How do I come up with my own positive affirmations? ~ Grace

Grace, To create your own positive affirmations: Decide what area of your life you want to transform by creating a positive affirmation: work, health, success, happiness, family, love, or money.Make your affirmations in the present tense: "I am" or "I have." Your subconscious mind will hear that it is in the present, not in the future.If you feel you are afraid of not being loved when you are your real authentic Self, make an affirmation like "People love me when I am myself." If you feel you don't earn enough money, maybe make an affirmation such as "My income is now increasing."

How can meditation affect aging and memory? ~ Kyle

Kyle, The Journal of Memory and Cognition reported college students meditating displayed significant improvements in memory performance over a two-week period on a perceptual and short-term memory test. The International Journal of Neuroscience published findings showing meditation reverses the aging process. Individuals practicing meditation for more than five years were physiologically 12 years younger than their chronological age, as measured by reduction of blood pressure, and better near point vision and auditory discrimination. Short-term meditates were physiologically five years younger than their chronological age. The study controlled for the effect of diet and exercise.

How common is meditation? ~ Blake

Blake, Ten million American adults now say they practice some form of meditation regularly. This is twice as many as a decade ago. Professionals, homemakers, farmers, prisoners, physicians, teachers, children, religious and nonreligious people are all flocking to learn the practice of meditation.You no longer have to go to an ashram or monastery to study with a monk or a guru to learn meditation practices. You can learn at hospitals, libraries, prisons, wellness centers, spas, airports, and in the privacy of your home. Serenity practices, especially meditation, are being recommended by more physicians and often by other members of the medical community. Meditation had been taken from the realms of "fringe" or "new age" to mainstream as the science of serenity becomes demystified. The mind goes through ingenious changes during the practice of meditation.

What is serenity? ~ Josh

Josh, Serenity is about coming home to your real Self and your true purpose. Just say the word serenity over and over a few times and notice what feelings arise within you: sadness, exhaustion, frustration, or grief? I lived a life where my primary family and society held little value and reverence for serenity. Serenity was something monks, nuns, and hermits entertained. Serenity wasn't something a busy successful person with kids, a spouse, a job, and community and church responsibilities would have much of a chance to experience. In my life, and probably in your life, serenity is viewed as a luxury, not as essential to the life of your body, mind, and soul. Serenity is essential to every living creature, and if we don't experience serenity in some form we will experience dis-ease on some level. Serenity practices have always been known to be good for the soul, but there is growing evidence that it is good for the body as well. Serenity is an antidote to the chronic stress that affects millions of individuals. Scientific evidence in the field of medicine demonstrates how crucial serenity is to our health and longevity. There are enormous sociological, psychological, and physical costs associated with the fallout from chronic stress including divorce, depression and anxiety disorders, unhappiness, alcoholism, obesity, child and spousal abuse, job related problems, and relational issues.Serenity practices provide many health benefits that directly affect medical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, insomnia, diabetes, hypertension, infertility, and migraine headaches.

Why should I persevere in life? ~ Matthew

Matthew, Perseverance is one of the greatest attributes one can possess or acquire. Perseverance means to continue a course of action in spite of difficult opposition. Perseverance is grounded in determination and resolute purpose. Being honest and optimistic enough to overcome obstacles and having hope amid suffering requires grit, stamina, endurance, and steadfast and tenacious attention focused on hanging in, holding fast, pressing on, seeing through, toughing it out. In short, perseverance is courage.It took Thomas Edison thousands of attempts before he discovered the light bulb. Most people experience failure as the end. Great minds like Edison's experience failure as motivation. His potent comment on failure was "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."The Buddhists have a saying about how to best follow the path to enlightenment: "Fall down forty times, get up forty-one." Seriously, I could just tell you to continue reading this statement over each day of your life. Repeat it each time a difficult task or situation arises. This is the unvarnished truth behind perseverance. It's simple, but it's not easy.Some of us are born with more ability to persevere than others. Others have more stamina because they have been using their "perseverance muscles." Perseverance is like anything else; the more you exercise and practice, the better you are at it. We know now, with emerging science, that there are practices that help us learn how to become stronger in the area of perseverance. Perseverance is a discipline. When applied to every situation, perseverance is the foundation of confidence and the scaffolding for creativity.

What are the benefits of meditation? ~ Todd

Todd, Meditation enhances our ability to persevere. It releases the stress and pressure of any situation. Meditation allows us to unplug from people and situations and return home to ourselves. It clears the mind, slows the brain waves, cools us off, and restores a sense of balance, energy, and power. Meditation provides a remarkable root with which to anchor perseverance.

What is Joy? ~ Presley

Presley, To experience joy in your life, you must begin with the intention of wanting to experience joy. Most of us hope or pray that joy will turn up in our lives. We think of it as partying out loud or something that pops into our lives like fireworks that explode overhead, sending streaks of light across the sky. Those fleeting moments are not joy. They're exciting, stimulating, and fun. But they are transitory jolts of happiness.Joy is a state of grace in which we experience communion with our selves and the Divine. Joy is an internal calm, a feeling that despite all the raging storms around us, inside all is well.We think we know what will make us happy: success, fame, money, beauty, power, or intelligence. All of these attributes are wonderful, but I can assure you, as one who humbly can say I have had the privilege of all of these; they don't manifest joy, diminish suffering, or create peace in your life. Medicating our depression, dissatisfaction, disorientation, and disease with possessions, distractions, drama, and diversions is not the answer we seek. We can justify and rationalize the necessity of all these things, but joy is an inside job.We all have the seeds of joy within us, but if we don't water, nourish, and tend our joy, it is difficult to know it is there. It can be cultivated by living mindfully and by continually developing our awareness.

What are the effects of truth and honesty? ~ Joanna

Joanna, To be honest is to have integrity, to be genuine and sincere, incorruptible, good, heartfelt, and natural. You are created to live out these magnificent words in your everyday life, inhale and exhale them with every breath, pour them into your children, channel them into your career, prayers, and dreams.Speaking the truth has an energy and life of its own; honesty can inspire generations of millions of human beings. I believe when you are honest, you are one with the Divine energy and propelled into a holy realm.The truth heals and lies destroy. Lies or dishonesty eat away at the person who tells them and dismantle all elements of our existence. Telling a lie is like volunteering for prison. You live a life of bondage when you live dishonestly. Living dishonestly causes exhaustion. Truth creates freedom and energy for the mind, body, and soul.