You know the old saying that hindsight is 2020, which in general seems to feel like the truth. Well how about changing the paradigm a bit, and living in the moment and forgetting about how things could have and should have been, and not worrying about how things could and should be? It is so difficult to live in the present without the regrets of the past, and the anticipation of the future.

Our inherent preoccupation with times past or forward creates a present state of blindness. When we loose our ability to live in the moment, we lose sight of daily miracles and blessings, we build internal states of anxiety and stress, we lose our sense of happiness and well being.

What makes this all so interesting, is that we are built to create our own joy in the moment, literally and structurally we have internal systems that are right there inside of us, waiting to be activated so that we can enhance our well being, in the moment. Science itself has discovered the key to these mechanisms and now we know that without a doubt and without skepticism, that just taking a few deep breaths, or taking a big stretch, or just sitting and noticing, can stimulate the Vagus Nerve, and by doing that we can flood our body with well being and joy.

At Take Five Meditation, we love the fact that we all have an inward ability to create our own well being. We know that a regular meditation practice grows this ability, and makes it stronger, and more reliable, allowing us to live in the moment, to notice all of the small miracles that make up our lives. We love watching as our Take Five community grows their daily happiness and well being, by engaging their very own internal miracle, the happy inducing Vagus Nerve.

We look forward to watching you enjoy each miraculous moment of 2020.

With Wonder and Awe,

Tara

For more info on the miraculous Vagus Nerve read here

Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to let go of old stuff? There are just certain things in life that don’t want us to let go. These can be physical objects that clutter our homes, and they can also be emotional obstacles that have decided to park themselves in our minds and not leave. They become a part of our inner and outer landscapes for better or worse.

Have you ever noticed how good it feels when you finally take the time to de-clutter your living space? Getting rid of old stuff that you thought you needed, only to find out that removing it from your personal space feels incredibly uplifting and liberating?

Our inner-world, our minds, work in very much the same way. Out of habit we can get stuck in mental clutter that likes to show up over and over and again, blocking us from moving around comfortably and preventing us from bringing in newness and change. Just like a good home cleaning can make us feel so light and happy, when we take the time to clear (not empty) our minds, to de-clutter our brain space, we create an openness that is liberating, giving us the sense that anything is possible and that we don’t have to be stuck.

At Take Five Meditation we take great joy in offering you opportunities to create a meditation practice that can help you create more internal space, so that you can bring a sense of fresh newness into your life.

With Open Mind and Heart,

Tara

As we look towards the 2020’s it is the perfect time to reflect on the past decade. The decade where for better or worse, we all became addicted to our electronics in a way that we could have never imagined. The smart phone happened in the 2010’s and we’ll never be the same again. Or will we?

Not long ago, most of us could get through a long stretch of day without checking our messages and notifications. We were more at ease to make a direct connection with the person sitting at the table next to us. It is even possible, that we were not always on, and perhaps had some time during the day to disconnect and disengage. It already feels like those days are long gone, though it was not that long ago.

The 2020’s are an opportunity for all of us to balance the scale and make the adjustment that brings us out of the wild west days of the 4G 24 hour connection, to a place of equilibrium. We can get there, especially if we start to rebuild our listening muscles. Taking the time to disconnect from our phones, in order to connect with our people, requires that we listen.

We do not need infinite loads of data and information, but we do need human connection. 2020 just rings with auspiciousness. It can be a time when we make the choice to listen to ourselves, put down the phones and take the time to listen to our loved ones and friends.

At Take Five Meditation we are setting the collective intention of “Listening More,” as we move into the New Year. Our space is here to give you time to understand your own inner-voice, and a place to connect with others. A place where you can put your phone away, make eye contact, and listen. We know that as the lure of electronics becomes more and more powerful, that it is essential to offer our community, time and space away from it all.

We wish all of you a very Happy and Safe New Year, and we look forward to watching you grow your listening skills with each meditation.

With Ears and Hearts Wide Open,

Tara and Eldad

For more on listening read here

Have you ever had to work really hard to be accepted? Maybe by a peer group, or family members? Always changing and conforming to fit in with their likes and dislikes and their comfort zones. Have you ever completely changed who you are to feel like you belong?
The need to belong is a natural human yearning. It is intrinsic to our nature to want to be accepted into the fold and be a part of something. We humans will go to great lengths to belong to a group of other humans. Our need for connection is strong. The most strange and wonderful truth about belonging is that it has nothing to do with others, and everything to do with you.
Nope, it’s not about changing yourself, it’s not about conforming, it’s not about people pleasing. The key to true belonging is self-acceptance. To belong does not mean to change who you are to fit in, to belong is to understand who you are, and to be proud of it, connected to it. True belonging means being accepted for who you are, quirks and all, even if that means standing alone. You are your deepest connection to your sense of belonging. You belong when you are comfortable in your own skin.
At Take Five Meditation we know that self-acceptance grows as our meditation practice grows. Meditation is an important ingredient to create a deep sense of self and belonging. We love to watch our community connect through a healthy sense of belonging, not because we have to change who we are, but because we belong just as we are, without judgments.
With Unapologetic Quirkiness,
Tara
For more exploration on this fascinating topic, check out this link.

It is hard to believe that in one month it will be 2020. We will be transitioning from the teenage years of the new millenium, to the early 20’s. How fabulous is that? I am really hoping that we bring back the flapper dress for the pending 20’s. After all, a little roaring never hurt anyone. As we roar our way into this holiday season and the new decade, it is all so easy to get caught up in the to do list and the go go go. So much so, that our human-being, becomes human-doing.

This is all great, because a lot of our busy preparations during this season, are so that we can spend some good times with family, friends and lovers. Everyone is putting in time and effort to connect, and that is a beautiful, special way to spend the short winter days of December.

For many of us, this can also be an overwhelming time and a sad time for so many reasons. As much as we love our peeps, there can be stress involved with such concentrated family time and festivities. That is why it is so important to catch yourself before you become overtaken, to slow down and find those moments when you can recoup yourself.

Tapping into your mindfulness practice is an excellent way to counter holiday stress. We hope you take advantage of the offerings that we will have for you at Take Five Meditation. It is our holiday joy to provide you with a slow-down space. From our daily schedule to our special events, we are here to support your taking the time that you need for yourself, to maximize your holiday happiness. We look forward to seeing you on the cushions.

With a Deep Breath, a Roar, and a Tremendous Amount of Love,

Tara

For more on keeping your holiday season stress free, read here

There really is no downside to being thankful. No really, try to think of one downside without it being awkward. Of course it’s not hard to sit down and make a list of all the negative things that are built into the journey, leading you to get mired down in all of the yuck. However, it is particularly lovely to sit down and list all of the positive things. Those are the things that make you smile, and make you feel warm and fuzzy. Those thing make you want to give hugs, and go out with friends. Making a daily list of the top five things for which you are grateful can really have a positive impact on your health and life.

Even when life is knocking us around and making us wonder where the joke is, there are daily delights. If we take the time to notice and name the things for which we are thankful we are taking the first steps towards living the gratitude lifestyle. Even science is now talking about how practicing gratitude and being consciously thankful, pretty much improves everything.

As we head into the holiday season, there are so many things to be thankful for. For us over here at Take Five Meditation, our list is topped by our deep thankfulness towards our community. You folks pretty much rock. You make our studio one of the loveliest places in DC to spend time. You help to create the warm, accepting community that we love and cherish. So Thank You.  We cannot wait to see you here bringing your warm and fuzzy style to the cushions.

We also would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Enjoy your time.

From a Bottomless Well of Love and Gratitude,

Tara and Eldad

For more awesome info. on how great being thankful is, read here

When I was a girl, my mother always used to say “some days you wake up and everything hurts, and you have two choices. You can pull the blankets over your head and feel sorry for yourself, or you can get up and get on with your day.” My mom always got up and got on with her day. I didn’t really understand it then, but now that I am closer in age to what she was when she would say this, I know that she was talking about the aches and pains that can creep up on us as we move through life.

As someone who has made a career out of working in fitness and health, I have seen over the years how beneficial movement is when dealing with chronic pain. Exercise helps, but there is something else that plays a role in feeling well in your body, and it has everything to do with your mind. Over the years I have noticed that slowing down a physical practice by focusing on breath work and mindfulness practices, can make you feel better when you are experiencing pain. I have personally used meditation as a modality for healing injuries and reducing the pain that one gets from overuse or too much repetitive motion.

Since we opened up Take Five Meditation, I have had a number of clients tell me that they came because they were hoping that meditation would help them with the chronic pain issues that they were having. All of them made it a point to tell me that it was working for them. It did not surprise me because it has been my own experience. Now science is stepping in to tell us that meditation and mindfulness practice are indeed tools that can help mitigate chronic pain. It can help the mind to build new pathways that effect how the nervous system communicates pain to the body.

This is all incredible stuff that doesn’t come in a bottle, we have the power to heal ourselves right up there in those beautiful minds of ours. At Take Five Meditation, we believe that well being comes in a whole package. The mind and the body, balance each other out, and when they are most in sync is when we are at our best. We look forward to being a part of your Mind Body connection and look forward to seeing you find your well-being on the cushions.

With Love,

Tara

Check out this great story about how mindfulness can help reduce the need for opioids in pain management.

The word “Empath,” gets thrown around a lot lately. It’s become a buzz word for people who take on other’s emotions and get worn out and exhausted by them, sometimes without even realizing that this is what is happening. Chances are, if you are human, you have other humans in your life. People you live with, work with, hang out with who are a part of you daily environment. This basically means that there is always a swirling vortex of human emotion surrounding you. This means that you are sharing the energy of a lot of different people.
So where do you draw the line between emotional energy, and how do you know if it’s yours or it’s theirs? A good question, and the truth of the matter is that it is often hard to tell. It turns out, that “Negativity,” another buzz word, can be quite contagious. This means that you can be having a perfectly wonderful day, and because your best friend and or colleague are up to here in negativity, you can suddenly become mired in what is theirs. How do you know when this is happening, and how is it possible to not get swept away? How can you be a supportive friend or colleague without having your buzz killed?
Meditation is one of the best tools for helping us to understand when the emotion does not belong to us. It is a modality of self-observation and understanding that can really help us to structure a boundary system that protects us from other people’s negativity. Nothing is better than understanding when it’s not you, and it’s not yours.
At Take Five Meditation we truly understand that your self-awareness about taking on other’s bad vibes, and knowing how to cultivate healthy boundaries, strengthens your ability to practice loving kindness to yourself and others without becoming drained.
We look forward to being a part of your self-awareness campaign as you cultivate a regular meditation practice.
With Contagious Positivity and Love,
Tara
For more on how to deflect negativity read here

Have you ever noticed a beautiful smile? A soft gaze? A gesture of kindness that in a moment filled you up with warm fuzzy feelings? Chances are you have, and you really loved it, because those are all moments of loving kindness. The same person who moments before made you uneasy, suddenly shines a friendly smile at you, and the next thing you know, you want to be friends, and connect.

Let’s take all of those moments and imagine that you are the one smiling and giving off warmth to others and even more importantly, yourself. How does that make you feel? Chances are, practicing small and easy to do acts of love and kindness make you feel pretty darned good. So it’s a no brainer right? Just do it, as the old saying goes.

Not motivated enough? Well how about this. Scientists have discovered that a regular loving kindness meditation practice, slows down the rate that cells age, helping you to maintain more youthful looking skin and generally slowing down the deterioration that comes with the aging process. In other words, meditation helps keep you looking and feeling younger.

At Take Five Meditation we prioritize loving kindness, no judging, with lots of love and community spirit. We know that we are creating a space that is good for both body and mind by tapping into things that are so intrinsically valuable to being a beautiful person, that you can’t buy them in a tube or a jar. You are cultivating your outstanding beauty one sit at a time, and it dazzles us. We look forward to seeing you at your next beauty treatment in the studio.

With Glowing Love,

Tara

For more on how meditation impacts the aging process and cellular structure read here

Halloween is this week, and it is the perfect time to get in touch with your inner-child. Remember when you were a kid and imaginary play was such a big part of your repertoire? That incredible ability for your mind to travel everywhere, unbiased and full of wonder, allowing you to be whomever you desired to be?
What a treat to take pause and celebrate the wonderful creativity and imagination that you still have, though it might be buried under a lot of adulting. Yes it is still in there. A great way to tap into your childlike imagination and igniting creativity, is through meditation. Using visualization techniques, we can inspire, grow, and build our minds similarly to how imaginative play helped our minds to develop during childhood.
The power of visualization is real and can help us get to places in our lives and minds, way beyond our imaginations. At Take Five Meditation, we provide a non-judgmental space where you can experiment endlessly with your imagination and visualization. That’s exactly what a regular meditation practice is for. We would also love to see your costume ideas. This Thursday wear a costume to the studio and let your imagination soar.
With Childlike Love and Wonder,
Tara