My Younger Self Would Have Greatly Benefited From Mindfulness, How About Your's?

Is there an activity in your life today you would have greatly benefited from in your adolescences? What are some of the most essential things you'd share with your younger self in today's world?

For me that is answer is YES. Especially now that I'm a mom, it's got me thinking about my youth and how I can raise this little person to be a strong, compassionate and loving human.  A desire commonly shared in parenting, I have no doubt.  

If I knew how much yoga and meditation would have impacted my life for the better, you bet I would I have grabbed on to the practices sooner. I didn't get committed to either until my 30's. I was incredibly dedicated to being a dancer and tumbler as a young girl. With that came discipline, hard work, developing a passion, busy schedules, tons of joy... and let's not leave out anxiety, nervousness, failure and thoughts about never being good enough. Although these things help shape us at a young age, isn't it equally important to learn how to cope, manage and understand the more difficult emotions we encounter? It would be incredible to see more effort focused on acquiring self-help tools and practices and less on dramatic labels and prescriptions in my book. There is so much going on in the world today. We are more and more inundated with information coming at us, sharing our lives in a fantastical social-media manner, stripped of the simple things and horrified by devastation time and time again. Mindful practices continue to bring me back to gratitude and compassion and that always provides a shift into something great. 

While I am thankful for great parents who did a tremendous job guiding me, not everyone grows up with such direction and support. And even if you do, sometimes outside sources, pressures and the circles you fall into can have a negative impact. I know yoga and meditation would have only strengthen my mind, body and spirit connection, complimenting my active and competitive lifestyle all through my youth. We only have so much time for our extra circular activities outside school when we are younger, which is why I find it inspiring to see more and more school systems implementing yoga into their curriculum. It's truly more than just a physical practice when guided by skilled, trained, passionate instructors. Children are beginning to learn yoga and mindful practices in pre-school now. Some schools are using meditation during detention and evolving the mindset of troubled kids. Not to mention companies like Google, Apple, Time Warner, YAHOO and AOL offering meditation and wellness programs on-site for employees. How amazing is that? If we are continuously seeing the scientific benefits of mediation, yoga and mindful practices significantly making a difference in the work place, I sure hope we unite as a society and encourage more of this for our youth. The same goes for nutrition, but that's another blog. 

I share my enthusiasm for these things because of the exponential growth and transformation I've experienced from consistently practicing them for years. I am a mom now, I have a responsibility and desire to be a great one who's full of vitality. Helping our baby-girl see how important wellness is; mind, body and spirit is a gift I simply want to pay forward and educate her with early on. I believe that proper nutrition, the power in breath work, regular stretching and being able to sit with ourselves quietly, are a key elements that will encourage awareness of our health, continuous growth and expansion with-in. I'm excited to be a part of a wellness shift I feel happening in the U.S. and pray we as individuals care enough about our wellbeing and that of our families, we learn as much as we can so we can make wise choices.

Sonoma Mom Inspirational Addict Blogger and wellness influencer Andrea Bogart with Daughter and Erik Almas Photography

If any of you are curious about meditation there are wonderful apps out there you can get started with. I personally love Deepak Chopra and Oprah's 21Day Meditation Experiences they offer several times a year for free. The next one, Making Every Moment Matter starts Oct. 30th if you want to join me? 

As a fun exercise, try writing a letter to your younger self sharing the lessons that have impacted you the most so far. This can be incredibly therapeutic and give you some clarity about what you really appreciate and serves you well today.

If you have great resources you love, share them with me. I'm all about creating community and helpful tips for one another! Have a beautiful week. 

XO ANDREA 

 

HAPPY HEALTHY HALLOWEEN

Ohh it's that wonderful time of year with pumpkin flavored everything and Halloween spirit is alive. Shall we grab a light jacket and take a morning stroll to stumble upon the changing colors and leaves falling? Let's do it...

Snap by my niece  Camryn

Snap by my niece Camryn

It's a perfect time to prepare our minds and bodies for the Holidays by keeping on track with our physical activity and healthy choices. The temptations of sugary Halloween treats and over indulging are real. Willpower can become our best pal during these times of vulnerability. We all have it but it shows up in different ways at various times for each of us. Can you trust that you're so in-tune with your willpower that you know the difference between letting yourself have a balanced life and slipping completely off track? Of course you can!

Awareness is our guide to inner strength rising to the surface through thoughtful perspective and choices that inspire us. So what keeps you motivated?

Other people can be awesome motivators as well as powerful quotes, personal mantras, underdog stories, fitness activities you love and let's not forget the power of just being YOU! Lead the way. I always say someone has to be the inspiration so why not let that person be YOU.

SELF TIPS

  • Set intentions that support your goals
  • Create an environment that's uplifting and supportive
  • Maintain your healthy rituals and explore adding in something new

SOCIAL TIPS

  • As you partake in social gatherings, suggest an activity to do all together
  • Bring a healthy snack you can enjoy and others may appreciate too
  • Create space for non-judging, fun conversations connecting with others
Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

Our inner self is affected by our outer environment. As we approach November listen to what that calls for.  I'm a believer in the mind, body, spirit all working together to maintain your best, healthy self! When we can sit quietly and listen intently, our core beliefs will guide us. At the end of the day take time slip into That fall festive feeling by sipping on hot tea, getting cozy under a blanket with a good book and enjoy the people you love.  Share what helps you with others, let your willpower be a vehicle for spreading some inspiration. 

Give yourself a Happy Healthy Halloween treat....

May I encourage those who are interested in starting or maintaining a meditation practice to register for Oprah & Deepak's 21-Day Meditation Experience: Creating Peace from the Inside Out starting Oct. 31, 2016? It's a lovely, FREE way to grow into being able to sit with ourselves. 

Thank you for stopping by. If you have any comments please leave them... I love hearing from you.

Helpful contributors on this blog were my awesome nieces, Anna (14) and Camryn (11)

YEP IT'S PILOT SEASON

I love opening up DEADLINE and seeing friends, students and acquaintances take over the headlines, it's incredibly inspiring!  Hollywood Life can constantly remind you of what you don't have or haven't accomplished yet, like many other career paths, but my BIG AND BOLD question to us all is.... WHY WOULD WE LET IT?  

I take pride in always striving to show genuine love and support to others. Joining the philanthropic women's goals group THE NEW HOLLYWOOD last year reassured me that my excitement to be motivated by others is steadfast and ever growing.  TNH wants to inspire everyone to rise higher, shine brighter and give back.  Heck yes, this is my kind of people!  I'm thankful. 

All my actor pals out there know the vibes that exist in the variety of casting offices we land in. You're running your dialog in your head over and over, waiting for your turn to shine. You look around checking out how each other dressed for the part, probably bump into a friend or two and say a quick hello, not to distract each other from remaining focused and take a moment to ground yourself.

My tips for getting grounded quick:

  1. Feel your feet in your shoes, feel the support from the floor beneath you
  2. One to three deep inhales and exhales (in the nose out the mouth)
  3. Say a little mantra or prayer if that's your thing, mine is: "I release myself from needing this job, the work is done, let's have some fun"
  4. Smile, send good luck vibes around the room and maybe even a "break legs" to the others waiting as you leave

We've all put in some dedication to our craft if we're getting into rooms to audition.  Doing the work and hitting home runs is what is in our control.  Accepting whom ever is meant to get the job will get the job is what helps me let go of any comparisons or drifts into negative thoughts. Believe in yourself and let go. 

Between meditation and a consistent yoga practice, I trust my 'tool kit' I've acquired and allow myself to continuously expand. This is a practice. I think our natural tendency is to go right to the things you don't have, wish you were doing more of and cling to failures rather than successes.  I also think most would agree, we WANT our natural tendency to lean into the positive rather than the negative, right?  So lets make it happen. We have the power with-in!  

Monument site at  Sarnath, INDIA  where Buddha delivered his first teaching. Photo by Erik Almas

Monument site at Sarnath, INDIA where Buddha delivered his first teaching. Photo by Erik Almas

Massive congrats out there to all of you working hard, showing up for yourself with some compassion, gratitude and dedication toward all that you're up to.  For those visible in the headlines, I'm so proud of you!  I'm inspired to continue on my own personal journey of thriving as an actress, sharing my passion as a yoga instructor and loving writing and sharing with you all right here through Inspirational Addict

There's a beautiful song I love by Trevor Hall called "You Can't Rush Your Healing."  One of the lyrics is;  'you're not running out, you're really running in,' which holds a lot of strength and power for me as I embrace becoming more self aware and appreciating who I am. All the parts, even the ones I don't clap for.  

One last tip if you are curious and interested in beginning a meditation practice or growing a more consistent one, Oprah and Deepak do a wonderful FREE 21-day challenge a few times a year that really helped me get started. My first time I only managed 8 days, then the second round I really committed and now I am proud to say I regularly meditate. It was a challenge for sure, it still is some days. Enjoy the journey.

Click for the intro about the Mediation Experience  and register if you like. It starts March 21, 2016.  

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Be your own cheerleader. Surround yourself with others who will support you and encourage you. Be brave and loving as you give that same support to others who cross paths with you. 

What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.
— Buddha