I was recently interviewed by "The Meditation Guy" on how to start an easy meditation practice. I hope you enjoy the interview!
1. What is Meditation in Your Eyes?
To me, meditation is simply being present with the breath and witnessing the mind, body, and spirit in any given moment. Meditation can include many other methods and practices of finding inner peace, letting go of stress, and feeling positivity and love, but at its core, meditation is simply a state of pure being.
2. Why is Meditation so important?
Meditation is important because it allows us to shift our perspective and find clarity. It gives us space from our thoughts so that we can remember our true nature of love and peace within.
3. What Is your Favorite Meditation Technique in your Daily Practice and how often you Meditate?
I love to meditate in silence and practice listening to my body and my heart. The body has so much wisdom if we are willing to slow down and really listen. I find that I can hear my intuition and receive guidance for the day when I quiet my thoughts and listen to what’s in my heart. This practice has led me to my most successful, joyful, and creative experiences in my life.
There have been phases of my life where I would meditate every morning. But lately, I simply practice mindfulness as I’m going about my day through different activities and I meditate whenever I feel inspired.
4. Why is the “conventional wisdom” about Meditation just plain wrong?
I think conventional wisdom about meditation would say that it is a religious practice or has to be practiced within Hinduism or yoga. This is simply not true. Meditation is a practice that can benefit anyone from any religion or no religion, whether they practice yoga and have spiritual beliefs or not.
5. What are the common lies, myths, and misconceptions about Meditation?
Many people assume that you have to meditate in lotus posture for an hour a day in order for it to be effective. This is not true. You can meditate while you walk, while you do dishes, while you shower. It’s simply a practice of being present whenever possible.
People also say that they aren’t the type of person who can meditate because they can’t keep still or calm their thoughts. But that’s exactly why we meditate! No one starts out with the ability to sit still or quiet their thoughts perfectly. We all start at the beginning and it takes lots of practice to be able to calm the mind. But it’s worth it!
6. How did you stumble upon your solution?
I discovered meditation when I started practicing yoga regularly. I began journaling every morning and meditating afterward. I loved starting my day with such a clear mind. When I would go within and start listening, I discovered the meditation techniques that I use and love today.
7. How do you typically get started with Meditation on a step-by-step basis?
It’s a good idea to first try guided meditations so that you can listen and follow along with a teacher who will show you the basic steps. But if you’d like to begin with silent meditation, I always recommend starting with breath awareness. Slowly relax your whole body and begin to listen to your breath. See how many breaths you can count without your mind getting distracted. Notice how the breath feels in your body and focus on each sensation. This is a great place to start your practice. Then you can begin to add a mantra to your breath awareness. For example, breathing in, you can silently repeat the words “I am.” Breathing out, you can silently repeat the words, “at peace.” See how long you can stay focused on this practice without your mind get distracted with thoughts. This is a wonderful meditation practice to begin with.
8. What is the #1 reason most people FAIL to succeed with Meditation?
I think people give up on meditation because they believe that they aren’t achieving a specific goal with meditation. People think that the purpose of meditation is to have zero thoughts - and that’s not really possible. Truly, there is no failure or success with meditation - it’s simply a practice that changes every day. Some days it will be easy to let go of thoughts. Other days it will be very difficult. This doesn’t mean you are failing at meditation. It means that you are using this practice to the best of your ability when you need it. It’s important to let go of the outcome with meditation. Then there’s no need to give up. It’s always an exploration that will change day to day.
9. What are some specific roadblocks to watch out for?
Watch out for negative thoughts that are judgmental and frustrated toward yourself. If you are very emotional or upset, it may not be the best time to meditate. Give yourself time to cool off and process your feelings. If you try to meditate when you are upset, you may end up being hard on yourself and giving up.
10. How can you, specifically, overcome these roadblocks?
Be patient with yourself. Be kind toward yourself. Meditation is a subtle and gentle practice that requires patience, stillness, and surrender. If you are overwhelmed with negative thoughts, journal about it or do something fun before attempting to meditate. Keep it light and go easy on yourself.
11. What are some specific action steps that you can take, today?
Any time you feel stressed or overwhelmed, stop and take 3 deep breaths. Clear your mind and reset with a positive attitude.
12. What if you got started today with Meditation... what would your life look like in 30 days, 90 days, or a year?
I believe you would feel much more peaceful, joyful, and present in just 30 days. In a year or more, your whole life could change. Meditation helps us tap into our intuition and our higher purpose. Over time, meditation will help you live the life of your dreams, filled with happiness, peace, love, and presence.
13. What additional resources are available to help ensure success?
Check out my YouTube channel Divinely Gia for hundreds of helpful meditation videos. Listen to Insight Timer app for thousands of great guided meditations from teachers around the world.
You can Find out More About Gia's work and Teachings in this resources
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Sometimes the Universe guides you on a wild ride to India! (Like I mentioned in this post)
Although I thought I had a plan for what was next in my life, when a psychic channel told me that I'd be invited to India with a small spiritual group, and months later I received that exact invitation, I was willing to drop everything and take the adventure of a lifetime.
It was nothing short of deeply transformational and spiritually uplifting. Most of the time, I was so absorbed in the moment that I didn't film many of my inspiring Instagram videos or even get out my journal to document my process. I was just... in it. But I did take a few short videos and had some realizations to share with you.
Here are 3 things (among SO many) that I learned on my journey to Rishikesh, India:
1. Being human is as spiritual as it gets
I mean, sure, astral projection and levitation sound pretty spiritually impressive, but when I was in Rishikesh, I realized that being in a human body is the ultimate spiritual experience! We get to taste, smell, feel, dance, stretch, breathe, listen, see, and experience a rainbow of emotions. When we leave these bodies, we will ache to experience the human form again.
While dealing with jet lag, a little "runny belly," and a tad bit of culture shock, I realized that just being in touch with my human self is a wildly fascinating spiritual experience.
2. Asking "why" stops up the process
Another powerful thing I realized while journeying to Rishikesh is that we are in constant process on our spiritual journeys. We are always shifting, changing, and growing. Sometimes this looks like losing a job or getting sick. Sometimes this looks like having epiphanies and creating new things. But we can't help it; we are always changing, and it's ALWAYS for our soul growth.
The only thing that sometimes gets in the way of our spiritual shifts is when we ask the question "why." "Why me?" "Why did this happen?" "Why now?" We start blocking the energy that wants to flow through us and transform us. Needing to know why will actually slow down the uncomfortable phase of transformation. If we can let go and trust what is shifting inside us, we will quickly see the other side.
3. We can choose to be the stone or the water
Spending 2 weeks on the Ganges River in the holy Himalayas will give you lots of inspiration! One such notion came to me on my last day while I was sitting next to the water meditating; in life, we can either choose to be the stone or the water.
Life is a constant, flowing, evolving dance, just like the Ganges River (or Ma Ganga as she's known in Rishikesh). We can choose to flow with her and be the water, or we can choose to plop down and resist the flow, as does a stone in the river.
When being the stone, we want to be in control and resist change. We want things "our way." But life flows past us every moment, and we stay stuck wanting things to be different than they are. When being the water, we synchronize with the rhythm of life and find ease and harmony. We shift and evolve with the currents, and enjoy the constant dance of life. Which one sounds better to you?
Below is a video that I made with photos and video clips from my trip (with one of my latest healing chants as the background music!). I hope you'll enjoy watching my journey.
To download the chant and listen to my music, Click Here
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Love you guys!
Back in 2011, I was guided to go on one such wild ride... to India.
I was 22 years old and had just graduated college with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. I had recently been certified to teach yoga, and it seemed like a pretty good life plan for me.
But then something surprising happened. I found my calling.
Though I was planning on teaching yoga, I just didn't feel ready when my training ended. I had just finished college and felt a little empty and uninspired.
After a serendipitous encounter that only the Universe could orchestrate, I met a music producer who told me that I was born to make music.
I was a singer all my life but never dreamed of becoming a musician professionally. It wasn't my dream... it was the destiny I had set out to fulfill in this lifetime.
When I found out that music was my calling, my Universe exploded into a new reality. All of a sudden, I was on a course that had only one direction and that was FORWARD. I had no idea what was about to come on my journey.
As a college graduation gift, my parents offered to send me on a trip to anywhere in the world. So I chose India. Thinking that I could deepen my study of yoga in the Motherland, I set out to find an ashram to live in where I could practice yoga and study spirituality.
WELL I DEFINITELY LEARNED SOME STUFF. haha
As fate would have it, I unknowingly found an ashram that was in Vrindavan, the holy town where Krishna (the Hindu god) is from. Unknowingly, I selected an ashram that did NOT offer daily yoga nor spiritual studies.
I was all on my own. For one month. In India.
Why would this be happening? I wondered... It wasn't just my lack of planning and research. It was meant to be.
To rewind the story just a tad, I had visited Ireland and England before landing in India. In another serendipitous encounter, I met a woman who suggested that I speak with a spiritual channel before embarking on this mysterious journey to India to find out why I was really going.
I was like... I know why I'm going. Guess again.
So I took her advice and called this woman who channels angels and spirit guides from my London hotel room the day before I departed for Delhi.
This encounter completely shifted my path. It exploded my Universe into a new reality... again.
My spirit guides communicated to me through this channel and told me:
1. I am also a channel
2. My gift and higher purpose is music
3. I am going to India to gain some wisdom and lessons that I learned in past lives there
4. I would have 7 awakening initiations
I will save time by saying... YEAH. WOW. It was all spot on. And I'm SO glad I didn't suffer through one month alone in India without having a deeper reason for being there.
It was tough guys, but that trip accelerated my spiritual growth by lightyears and set me on the path to becoming Gia- spiritual coach, sound healer.
I always wondered if I would go back to India... perhaps the Himalayas?...
YOU GUYS... IT'S HAPPENING. I'M GOING BACK TO INDIA IN FEB 2018.
And I can't wait to see what magic is waiting for me when I get there!!! I'm quite sure it's going to be epic.
And of course the Universe whipped up some more magical journeys for me in the process of getting to India. I have been guided to create a healing chants album with the ever-enchanting singing bowl. This is a sound healing instrument that I have been using for years in my yoga classes & meditation videos (and I was introduced to it on that same fateful trip).
My students have been begging me to put out an album with the singing bowl, and guess what? IT'S TIME.
I am SO excited about this project, everybody! I'm launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the album, and any remaining funds will go toward my trip to India.
I would love and greatly appreciate your support on this project!
In exchange for your generous donation, you can receive:
- the album download
- a special silent energy healing prayer recorded into the music
- a livestream performance of the album
- a private meditation and sound healing lesson with me
- a personalized chant written just for you
- a gift from India!!
It is my absolute honor to create this healing music for you. It would be my greatest joy to receive your support in creating it.
PLEASE JOIN ME ON THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
Anything you can contribute is graciously appreciated. The campaign ends on November 21, 2017.
I love you guys, and I can't wait to share all my new stories and awakenings from this next journey to India with you!
Blessings to all of you,
If you look at the photos above, you'll see a big difference between them (and I'm not just talking about how much photo quality has improved in the past 11 years!). While the body in these two photos may not look that different to you, the energy within these bodies is like night and day.
At age 17, I was suffering. I hated my body and didn't know what to do with it. This continued on for about 10 more years. I struggled, I dieted, I exercised, I tried everything. And even though my body changed very little from my heaviest to my lightest, I had a very distorted perception of myself. No matter how "fit" or "thin" I looked, I hated what I saw in the mirror.
No matter how many people told me how beautiful I looked, I could not believe them.
I studied Kinesiology (fitness, nutrition, & health) in college, almost exclusively to figure out how to change the body I was inhabiting. I would work out sometimes twice a day. I would starve myself or only eat salad. I would neglect rest and hygiene in order to punish myself for having an unlovable body. I was so unhappy with the way I looked that I geared my whole career path toward getting a better body. But this is the only body I'd ever have. And while I wanted to physically change it, it was actually a spiritual change that made all the difference.
I found yoga in college, which really helped me start appreciating the experience of being in a body. I started to enjoy movement that was more gentle and healing to my body. And yoga began to open me up to a deeper spiritual awareness of being a soul inside this body. But my struggle continued for years and years. No amount of external validation would prove to me that I could love my body.
After college, I realized that I didn't just want to understand the physical body and become a personal trainer. I wanted to dive deeper and discover what was inside of this body. Through my knowledge of fitness and nutrition, I could manipulate the physiological functioning of my body to lose weight or tone my muscles. But this wasn't enough. Even when I lost weight and saw physical changes, I still wasn't happy with my body. I still didn't feel at home inside myself.
As my spiritual awareness expanded and I focused intently on practicing self-love, I started to notice a pattern. What I saw in the mirror had nothing to do with the way I looked physically. What I saw in the mirror was a reflection of the way I treated myself. On days when I would eat healthy and exercise, I would see a beautiful girl in the mirror. On days when I would be overcome with guilt for having binged on sweets in order to cope with my emotional pain, I would see an unlovable, fat girl in the mirror. And in these two different mirror images, my weight would be IDENTICAL and my physical form unchanged. It wasn't my body I was seeing in the mirror. It was the tortured soul of a girl who could not feel at home within herself. It was ugly.
The healing really took place when I started to wake up and heal my emotional wounds. I recognized that I would binge eat or indulge in sweets or other treats when I was feeling pain, anxiety, sadness, shame, or other dark emotions. I would soothe myself with comfort foods. But of course this would backfire when I would look in the mirror and realize that I had disrespected my body in the process of avoiding my emotional experience.
I started to meditate. I started to experience spiritual awakenings. I started to value my soul. I started to feel at home inside my body.
I began to desire treating my body well, not so that it would look any certain way, but so that I could provide a beautiful sanctuary for my soul. I wanted to love my body, not to be beautiful, but to FEEL amazing inside of myself and to keep my energy as pure as possible so that I could FEEL the presence of my soul.
And you know what?? When I stopped caring about what my body looked like and I started caring about how I felt inside, my body became more beautiful.
I remember a few months ago, I had my last big breakdown about my body image. It was the culmination of a massive pattern that I was healing. I was on the edge of a new realization, a brand new awakening. I had been sick with exhaustion from the mental anguish of self-judgment and shame. I was in disbelief that I could still possibly be struggling with this issue when I felt so spiritually mature in many other ways.
WHEN WAS THIS EMOTIONAL TORTURE GOING TO END?!
I wanted freedom from this suffering. I was reaching the brink of this crisis. Out of sheer desperation, I was finally feeling ready to change my old patterns and enter a new paradigm. I wanted to make a new deal with the Universe where I could finally be at peace within myself.
I was in the shower. I was bathing myself and sliding my hands over my soft flesh. Looking down at this physical being that seemed so foreign to me at times, I heard my intuition speak to me loud and clear:
"If you want to be free and peaceful in your soul, you need to be willing to gain weight."
This felt like a major leap in faith. It was a risk that I had never wanted to take. I had always wanted control over the way I looked and to be spiritually enlightened. But I somehow knew that it was time to give that up. I was finally aware that, sometimes on your spiritual journey, your body needs to change in order to provide a good home for the soul. At times when you are integrating a lot of new energy, your body may need to gain a little weight in order to feel more grounded and embody the new frequencies. At times when you are manifesting and creating change in your life, you may lose weight in order to let go of old energies and make rapid shifts. Sometimes the body is a mystery to us and we simply need to TRUST.
Trust or suffer, that is our choice.
On that day in the shower, I finally said yes to the offering from my higher self. I created a new agreement with the Universe. I would trust my body to shift and change as needed while I focused entirely on the health of my soul.
You guys, the results have been INCREDIBLE.
I don't know if you can tell from the photo above on the right, but I am finally comfortable inside of myself! I am finally at home in my body and my soul is happy in its sanctuary. I am at peace. I am free.
I eat what I want, but I want what feeds my soul. Sometimes that's chocolate cake. Sometimes that's kale salads. I want to eat what makes me feel alive and vibrant! And that's usually something healthy.
I don't feel the need to overeat or binge. I'm aware of my emotional waves, and I ride them with a peaceful willingness. No longer do I need to drown out my pain with a painfully full belly.
I move my body in the ways that feel good and loving. I exercise when I have energy. I rest when I'm tired. I stretch, I take baths, I breathe deeply, I nurture myself when I am sick.
I don't worry anymore. I'm not afraid to change and shift. And I'm in utter disbelief to report that surrender is what gave me the most beautiful body. This body is unique. This body is mine. And I am okay with that.
I am not perfect with this new paradigm, but I am happier than EVER. I am more in love with myself than EVER BEFORE. I have arrived. My soul finally wants to be inside this body, and I am home.
If there was one thing that I would recommend to you if you also crave this comfort inside your physical temple, it would be to WAKE UP. Let your soul be felt inside your body. Stopping running from your truth by ignoring the messages from your body. Commit to trusting your body and creating a safe space for your soul to rest. Create a sanctuary inside yourself.
I would be honored to help you with this, and the first step I suggest is trying my free starter kit. It will show you the doorway to peace, presence, and comfort in your human form.
If you have questions or would like to work with me 1-on-1 on your healing journey, message me here.
I love you because I have found a way to love me.
May you have the most epically beautiful healing journey.
Shame is one of the lowest emotions we experience as souls in a human body. When I say low, I mean that every emotion has a frequency. Those feelings that make us feel light, lifted, and energized have a high frequency. And those feelings that make us feel weighed down, exhausted, and drained have a low frequency. And shame? It's right down there with the lowest of vibes.
It's that feeling of deep regret, guilt, and embarrassment.
For some of us, shame is a part of our daily life. Perhaps our families taught us to feel ashamed of ourselves for certain behaviors, traits, or desires, and we've never learned another way to feel about ourselves. For others of us, shame is a rare and dreaded feeling that we avoid and don't quite know how to cope with.
Though it's a shame that we ever have to feel so low, there is a higher purpose for this dark emotion that contributes beautifully to the evolution of the soul. When we approach shame as a teacher and a blessing, it actually helps us shift back into the light.
Shame from a spiritual perspective
The experience of shame is often brought about when we awaken to a part of us that was previously hidden. Where the ego is unaware of itself, it creates a shadow: a dark place to hide away the parts of ourselves that we can't accept. And when some of these shadow elements are brought into awareness, it can be very painful. We can feel ashamed about these parts of ourselves that we previously kept hidden out of awareness.
What we may not realize is that this is all a part of our awakening journey. We came into these human bodies as powerful souls to enlighten the darkness, to shed light on the shadow. This is our healing process. When the darkness has come fully into the light, we can integrate all aspects of the soul and return to our oneness with the Universe. So the soul journey is really all about bringing light to the darkness within.
This shame that we feel, then, is actually a powerful sign that transformation is taking place.
Shame is a messenger
When shame shows up because the ego has become aware of its shadow, we are being given an important message: healing is taking place, darkness is becoming light, and it's time NOW, more than ever, to love yourself completely.
After an element of shadow has been brought into the light, it can never again return to the darkness. This is a powerful healing transformation.
How long has this shadow been hidden? For how many lifetimes have we been blind to our lower aspects? My friend, this journey of awakening has been long and tiresome. The fact that we are NOW, in this moment, bringing a part of the shadow into the light is a real miracle! It is time to celebrate our progress, not agonize over the person we once were.
When we experience shame, we often ruminate about our mistakes and torture ourselves with judgment. I'm suggesting that we celebrate instead. We have become brave enough to see the truth. We have become awakened enough to heal old patterns. Recognizing the shadow is 90% of the battle, and the shame we feel is a sign that we made it. Instead of sinking into despair, let your shame swiftly transform into compassion and love. Now more than ever, we deserve our own love.
In these moments where shame arises, receive it as a messenger, a sign that you have accomplished a great healing. You are integrating your spirit; you are becoming whole. Call upon your higher self, your inner wisdom and light. Wrap yourself up in the most beautiful blanket of love and acceptance. Shame is a sign that you are becoming more whole and darkness is coming into the light.
For a firsthand experience of this healing transformation, please enjoy the meditation practice below.
It is an honor to share my inspirations with you. I hope that you have become inspired to give yourself more love, not less. Stay inspired with me and try out my free Inspired Life starter kit.
I can't wait to hear about your amazing journey, beautiful soul.
Gia writes about her journey through life and the many twists and turns of spiritual growth, relationships, health & healing, life as a performer, and the ever-unfolding path back to her heart.
I offer 1-on-1 energy healing sessions