When you hear the word “meditation”, what comes to mind? If you said monks, hippies, or gongs, then you were like me 6 months ago. Yet, daily meditation is gaining in popularity – and for good reason! In this article, I’ll share my experience with the Ziva Meditation course, and how it has changed my life, career, and more.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small percentage of profit (at no extra cost to you) if you decide to purchase the Ziva Meditation course. I purchased Ziva myself, and all opinions in this post are based on my own, honest experiences.
I was fortunate and privileged enough to never really experience true stress growing up. I had a supportive family, good grades, and no health issues.
However, I have a gift for over-reacting, stressing about things that haven’t even happened (anyone else have made-up arguments in the shower?), and organizing things to a ridiculous level (can the real Type A’s please stand up 😆).
About three years ago, I started noticing the physiological effects of stress for the first time. We were planning our wedding, which was a happy yet stressful time. But, I also was extremely unhappy in my job, lacking any feelings of passion for my work, and was scared that I made the wrong career choice.
I started getting jaw pain. It got progressively worse until I could barely open my mouth to eat a sandwich. My husband told me that I was grinding my teeth so loud that it would actually wake him up multiple times a night. I even grinded through the retainer the dentist gave me!
I also started experiencing shortness of breath. “It’s like someone is standing on top of my chest, and I can’t get enough air”, I remember telling people.
I eventually moved into a different position at work, which relieved some of my stress, although I was still feeling completely uninspired. Long story short, that’s where this passion project, Food Farmacist RD, was born!
For any of you who own a business or work multiple jobs, man, I feel for you. The stress is unreal. For over a year, I worked my 40-hour day job plus 20 or so hours on nights and weekends for my own biz. I had completely unrealistic expectations for myself. I would constantly compare myself to more successful entrepreneurs, and I was always afraid of offending or allowing people to see “the real me”.
On top of the teeth grinding and shortness of breath, I was also experiencing terrible acne, increased sugar cravings, irritability, and lack of focus. I started to recognize that all of these symptoms had one root cause: stress.
About a year ago, I started doing daily “meditations” on my phone. (I later learned that these apps are actually mindfulness exercises, not meditations). While this helped a bit, I could never truly “clear my mind”, and I would go weeks without doing it, often giving up.
I stumbled across a podcast episode that had Emily Fletcher as a guest. Emily spoke about her experience with stress as a Broadway performer, and how she eventually found meditation and spent years training to be a meditation teacher. She eventually founded Ziva Meditation.
I was so intrigued. She made some powerful promises. Less stress. Better sleep. More productivity and creativity. Less reactivity and more emotional connection in your relationships. Whoa.
So naturally, I dove deep into research and would go back to the Ziva Website multiple times a week, but never take the plunge.
Finally, after a long, stressful 70-hour week, face full of acne, and post-blow up at my husband over something small (I can’t even remember what it was now 😆), I woke up Sunday morning and bought the 14-day online Ziva Meditation course.
Ziva was started by meditation expert Emily Fletcher. She teaches meditation to companies like Google, Harvard Business School, NBA players, busy parents, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.
Ziva Meditation is actually a technique – a way to meditate. You meditate twice a day, for 15-minutes each. It incorporates 3 main aspects.
I tried to research an official definition of meditation but found a bunch of varying answers. I think it’s because meditation means something different to everyone. But, put into my own very simplified, non-expert definition: meditation is a state of heightened awareness, connecting the body and mind in an effort to find a state of calming “bliss”.
The research about the benefits of meditation keeps rolling in. Studies point to benefits like:
There are SO many more benefits of meditation, but you probably get the gist by now! The Ziva Meditation course teaches you how to do it.
Mindfulness focuses on breath and physical awareness with the goal to expand focus on the present moment. My favorite part: there is no judgment whatsoever. You then take this practice into your real life. Here’s an example.
Think of the last time you got really annoyed or angry. Practicing mindfulness instructs you to:
The Ziva Meditation course teaches you how to incorporate mindfulness as part of the Ziva technique. Each meditation session starts with mindfulness exercises.
Put simply, manifesting is intentionally creating what you want in life. Our thoughts can shape our future. Thanks to a scientific process called neuroplasticity, we can actually rewire our brain with our thoughts (4).
Have you ever written down a goal on a post-it note so you can see it every day? This is a type of manifesting! Reminding yourself of what we want to create in life.
There’s no point in worrying about the things we cannot change. There is also no point in worrying about the things we CAN change.
– Dan Harris, 10% Happier
As a Christian, I did struggle a bit with the idea of manifesting. Am I discounting God’s plan if I try to manifest my future? Well, first of all, I’m no religion expert. All I know is my personal experience and that is this: daily meditation quiets my mind, so I am better able to hear God. If this resonates with you, then you may find the below helpful. For the manifest portion of meditation, I modify it a tiny bit:
My point in sharing this is that meditation and/or manifesting is not reserved for a certain type of person, religion, or belief system. You can tailor this meditation course to how it applies to your values and beliefs.
Mindfulness helps deal with stress in the present moment. Meditation helps to rid the body of stress from the past. And manifesting helps you clarify goals for the future.
This all-inclusive technique makes Ziva the best meditation course – in my opinion!
Emily teaches you this best meditation technique in 15 days. Each day, she sends you a video to your inbox. The videos are about 15 minutes long at first. Once you really get into the meat and potatoes, the daily videos are closer to 20-25 minutes.
She starts by teaching you mindfulness exercises. Then, she moves on to teach you how exactly to meditate. It does involve picking a “mantra”, basically a word that helps take you deeper into a state of meditation. Don’t worry – there’s no weird chanting of mantras or anything like that! Emily gives you a few choices of words to choose from, and you plant it in your mind during meditation.
Finally, she discusses the last aspect, manifesting, and ties it all together. I loved the organized nature of the meditation course, and how she slowly guides you into meditating twice per day. Throughout the videos, she gives awesome advice and feedback on common meditation misconceptions. Here are a few that really resonated with me.
Since finishing the Ziva Meditation course (called ZivaOnline), I’ve definitely experienced positive benefits on my health, career, and relationships. While I must admit that I sometimes forget to do the second meditation or go a full weekend without meditating, I am proud of myself for my overall consistency with the practice.
I no longer grind my teeth like a maniac 😂. While I still preventatively wear my retainer, if I forget for a few days, I don’t have jaw pain anymore.
I haven’t experienced the “tight chest” shortness of breath once.
I am less reactive at work and at home. The things that used to set me off on an angry or panicked tangent no longer affect me that way. While I still get upset (come on it’s real life), I feel I am much more able to see the big picture. I think my husband can testify to this change 😉.
I’m happy with where I’m at in life and business. I don’t feel the pains of comparison as much, and I find myself feeling more grateful for the present moment.
I feel more creative and inspired than ever. Just one month after finishing the course, I had my best financial month for Food Farm, ever.
My skin is improving, and I have fewer breakouts overall. Acne is multifaceted – so it usually isn’t due to ONE reason. But, I do believe that daily meditation played a huge role in my skin’s improvement.
I wanted to share my experience with daily meditation, and specifically the Ziva Meditation course (ZivaOnline), because I truly believe that anyone can benefit from this program.
Now, if you’re like me, then you may naturally have some hesitancy. Such as…
I don’t have enough time to meditate.
I felt this way too. And there is some validity to that feeling! But, before you shrug it off, know this: meditation makes you MORE productive. You really don’t have time to NOT meditate. Watch the video to learn more 😉.
I tried meditating before, and I couldn’t do it.
This was me! Before Ziva, I thought I was one of the people who “just couldn’t meditate”. But, I soon learned that a) I wasn’t properly taught how to meditate, b) it’s OK to have thoughts during meditation, and c) a shallow meditation is just as good as deep meditation.
A few times, I’ve experienced what I believe to be a deep meditation – where I feel an overwhelming wave of tingling calmness (it sounds weird, but it’s true). On these days, the meditations fly by so quickly! But on other days, my meditations are more shallow. 15 minutes feels like an eternity! But guess what? Both types of meditations still give me deep rest and clarity.
Besides the 15-day online course, you’ll also get access to live, monthly group coaching calls from Emily, access to their Facebook group for support, and bonus videos, trainings, and worksheets (like a meditation specifically for sleep!).
PLUS – (this wasn’t the case when I signed up), you’ll now receive Emily’s new book “Stress Less, Accomplish More: Meditation for Extraordinary Performance” for free when you buy the course. So jelly!
Not sure if you want to make the jump? No worries! Download a Free Guided Meditation from Ziva to get a taste!
This post contains affiliate links, which means Food Farmacist RD receives a percentage of the…17 December, 2018