Energy Goes Where the Attention Flows

I stumbled upon this quote and it really stuck with me — “Energy goes where the attention flows”. In the past year, this past month especially, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my priorities.

I challenge you to write out your priorities and for the next week document how much time you spend working on them versus the habits that you are trying to phase out (e.g. over-thinking, excessive social media, watching tv). Conceptualizing how much time you spend doing what allows you to evaluate how you spend your days.

We are creatures of habit; we give our time and attention to the things that matter most. Changing your mindset and creating positive habits will only benefit you. Next time you find yourself stuck with anxiety, over-thinking, procrastinating or just in a bad mindset, remind yourself that energy goes where the attention flows. The longer you spend in that negative mindset, the more energy you waste. Take that energy and expend it into something positive.

 

Featured Image by the talented Daniel Watts, he is also on Instagram.

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Jumping Through Hoops Can Actually be a Good Thing — 5 Reasons Why You Need to Start Hula-Hooping Today

Hula-Hooping is a popular hobby amongst people of all ages and sizes worldwide. It has exploded in the last few years and is becoming increasingly popular due to its many benefits.  Here are the 5 Reasons Why You Need to Start Hula-Hooping Today:

  1. Fitness

    Within a few minutes of hooping, your heart rate increases which will burn fat and support weight loss over time. Plus, you can do it anywhere, anytime, no gym necessary!

  2. It helps you to remain playful and childlike

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“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

-George Bernard Shaw

Hula-hoops are toys, taking time to play and focus on dancing and tricks has many positive benefits; so, rediscover the simple life by playing with a hula-hoop!

3. Increased Balance and Muscle Memory

Hula-hoopers are always learning new tricks and improving our muscle memory. By doing so, we are growing our neuroplasticity, thus not only strengthening our bodies but also our brains. You will notice an increase in your balance and awareness of your 3-D space very almost immediately— I love watching my old videos and seeing my improvement!

4. Stress Reducer

Hoopers worldwide can agree that hooping is therapeutic. Finding that flow state of mind is truly special. You can feel the endorphins pumping through your body during and after a good hoop session. With high endorphin levels, we feel fewer negative effects of stress.

5. Party Tricks

After a lot of practice, patience, and a little bravery, you can pull off some cool tricks and stunts. Practicing with your hoop will pay off!

 

I hope this article inspires you to pick up a hula-hoop. Follow my Instagram @julianneflows for some additional inspiration and I’ll give you a follow back!

 

 

 

 

The Power of Self-Expression

Self-expression is defined as: “the expression or assertion of one’s own personality, as in conversation, behavior, poetry, or painting.”

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Self-expression is a release and a form of mediation. You are uncovering your soulful power from within. It is truly a natural form of therapy.

I conducted an interview with three people for their input on the power of self-expression:

The first interviewee is a woman currently student-teaching, on her way to be a teacher. (She prefers to stay anonymous online because of her career).

What does self-expression mean to you?

L: “Self-expression is a way to show yourself and others the magic you are made of. It is also a way to release any energy you have stored – negative or positive. It’s a way to transmute negative energy into art, as well. Self-expression is about individuality as well as community…it allows us to attract the souls that resonate with our own. Through styles of food, clothing, meditation, art, traditions, language, etc., we are able to connect with the world around us. By listening to our spirit in our endeavor to self-express, we are better able to attract and manifest what we want in life.”

How do you reach the self-expression flow? Is it easy for you to find?

L: “Flow is about releasing energy. You have an idea in your mind – you go to work – you create it and it becomes reality. Or, you have emotions blocked up, perhaps are harboring something dark in your spirit…you can transmute those feelings through some sort of movement or task. Or perhaps you’re full of elation and bliss – that calls for a release of energy too! Either way, flow is therapeutic.

Turn on some tunes and move freely to the rhythm. Or find something to create with your hands. Cook, make music, do something exhilarating or exciting. But stray away from resorting to hurtful actions or painful flow (violence, harsh words) to release your negative energy. Love and art will set you free.

For me, it’s easy to find flow because I was never closed off from it. I know when it’s time to get up and dance or make something…I listen to my soul when it feels it needs to release energy. When I get an idea or when I have emotions that are trying to escape, I simply let it flow. I never fight the flow. I embrace it.”

Nick

The second interviewee is Nick. He is an aspiring neuroscientist and a classically trained musician.

What does self-expression mean to you? 

Nick: “The way I look at self-expression is putting the lock in the key … kind of like flow. No matter what it is that you are doing, you are doing it your way. To me, it is akin to being comfortable in one’s skin. It is the combination of morals, beliefs, desires, etc that most natural drive a person in the present moment.”

What is your favorite way to express yourself? 

Nick: “Anytime I sit down to jam on some instruments or playing music for others.”

How often do you need to Express yourself?

Nick: “Every single day.”

Brenna

The third interviewee is Brenna, she is currently earning her masters in psychology.

What does self-expression mean to you?

Brenna: “Therapy. Self-expression is essential to mental/emotional/physical health. Taking even ten minutes out of every day to yourself is important. There are so many emotions/events that can affect your mental health in everyday life. Sometimes we don’t have anyone to talk to, sometimes we don’t know how to talk about it, sometimes we don’t want to talk about it, sometimes we aren’t even sure what/how/why we’re feeling the way we are. However, it needs to come out. With expression, we are free to feel however we want. We are able to use our entire self in every aspect to organize, understand, and let out our feelings in a constructive and beautiful way.

Self-expression is my purpose in life, my reason for living, and my motivation to share it with the world.”

How often do you need to express yourself?

Brenna: “I express every single day. Some days more than others. Like I previously stated, it is important to take even the smallest amount of time you can, to care for yourself.  Whether it be hooping, painting, yoga, or simply sitting with my plants (I might also talk to them) and drinking coffee, I need to express.

As someone with anxiety, hooping has acted as a lifeline for me on more than one occasion. It has helped me pull together everything bottled up, and channel it into something I have control over. I believe so strongly in expression, I am going to school for art therapy. I want other people to realize there is help. There is a better way.”

 

How do express you yourself? Do you think self-expression is necessary on a daily basis? I hope this article inspires you to let that creativity flow.

 

 

Defining the Flow State of Mind: Effortless Concentration and Enjoyment

Flowing is the mental state when our best work emerges without struggle; also known as being “in the zone”. It is complete concentration, involvement, and enjoyment where nothing else matters. When flowing, we get to experience our own effortless power.

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”

– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the founders of “positive psychology” and the creator of the Flow Model Theory. This model represents the emotional state someone can be while undertaking a task or activity. Click the link on the model for an in-depth explanation of his theory.  Also, check out Csikszentmihalyi’s Ted Talks episode.flow-model-mihaly-csikszentmihalyi-toolshero

Mental state in terms of challenge level and skill level, according to Csikszentmihalyi’s flow model. Credit to https://www.toolshero.com/personal-happiness/flow-model-csikszentmihalyi/

I find my flow while dancing, hula-hooping, writing, creating art, and practicing yoga. How and when do you find your flow? Let me know in the comments below.

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Small Changes, Big Impact: 7 Simple Lifestyle Changes You can Make for the Enviornment

“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
― Confucius
Small changes are easy to make and can pile up quickly, resulting in a major difference over time. When it comes to saving our planet, we should shift some of our focus to our personal habits. Here are 7 simple changes you can make today to help the environment:

 

  1. Skip the Plastic Packaging. Buy a reusable, glass sandwich container and ditch the baggies. Also, purchasing a reusable water bottle saves you so much money over time (did you know it takes a gallon of water to create the plastic for the water bottle, and that doesn’t include the water in the bottle!)
  2. Turn off the TV when you’re not watching it. Many people are in the habit of falling asleep with the tv on. It is bad for the environment over time and it prevents you from getting a good nights sleep,  Turn off that TV before bed and pick up a book instead.
  3. Stop buying plastic wrap! There are alternatives to plastic wrap.
  4. Eat Less Meat. Woah, I said one of the unspoken topics (religion, sex, politics, and veganism of course). Personally, I am a flexitarian, so I’m not saying to give it up completely. Consider “Meatless Monday” or swapping out a few meals a week for plant-based alternatives. There are so many yummy recipes on Pinterest.
  5. BYOB, bring your own bag! Plastic bags have three times the greenhouse gas impact of reusable bags. Throw a few into your trunk, backpack or purse. Also, while you’re at the grocery store, stop using produce bags.
  6. Nix the chemical cleaners— invest in a Norwex. It is an antimicrobial, antibacterial cloth that removes dust, dirt, and grease from all washable surfaces using only water—no chemicals! You can also try to make your own green, DIY cleaning products, here are some ideas. 
  7. Try buying used — with apps like Letgo and Thredup and Facebook Marketplace, it’s easier than ever to find gently used things (and way less sketchy than craigslist). By doing this, you are lengthening the lifetime of that item and reducing the need for more. I found my papasan chair, my traveling easel, and many other things online for a fraction of the price; I’ve also made cash selling things I don’t need or use anymore!

These are all easy things you can integrate into your lifestyle. I hope you take away at least one and make it a habit.

“Yogic Surrender”

You sink into low push-up,
your thoughts begin to thin.
Now your heart shines through,
filled with gratitude.

Limbs linger at their fullest expression.
Love radiates off your lengthy legs,
you are grounded into this pose
let yourself bloom into bliss.

Meditating on the present
and surrendering to the movement,
you maintain the meaning
and every moment is magnificent.

Inhale positivity, exhale negativity
your breath moves you forward.
Surrender to this single second,
close your eyes and just breathe.

-Julianne Meskanick

Happy weekend, everyone! I was feeling inspired by my growing yoga practice and wrote this poem for my daily blog post. I hope this inspires you to find your mat this weekend or make time for meditation.

Namaste!

15 Motivational Mantras For Success

“What is a mantra? Mantra is two words: Man and tra. Man means mind. Tra means the heat of life. Ra means sun. So, mantra is a powerful combination of words which, if recited, takes the vibratory effect of each of your molecules into the Infinity of the Cosmos. That is called ‘Mantra.”

-Yogi Bhajan

Mantras have been used throughout history in meditation. They were introduced by Buddhist and Hindu religions and are associated with spiritual practices. The earliest known mantras were spoken in Sanskrit. However, your mantra may just be a positive affirmation. The following mantras are a collection I’ve thought, heard, or read.

Repeating the following mantras CAN make a difference:

  1. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try
  2. Don’t wish for it, work for it
  3. Always forward
  4. Opportunities don’t happen. You create them
  5. I appreciate the good
  6. No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist
  7. Great things never come from comfort zones
  8. I am open to receiving whatever the day may bring
  9. Persistence is vital
  10. The most satisfying time to take the next step is now
  11. I choose to see the possibilities
  12. Aim for the stars with your feet on the ground
  13. I believe in my future self
  14. I am always attracting abundance
  15. Everything I need is within me

Adopting the Habit:

Start with picking a few that you enjoy. Integrate the mantras by saying them while you drink your morning coffee, on the walk to your car, before bed, or anytime you have a few moments to yourself. Personally, I also keep one on my bathroom mirror and one my phone screen background to say every time I look them— it is easy to squeeze in meditation, it’s not about “having” time, it is about making time.