Tag: mentalhealth

05.21.2020 /

How meditation has saved my life

I woke up at 7am. Brushed my teeth. Sat in my meditation spot. Set the meditation timer (calm app) for 20 minutes and closed my eyes. The same routine I’ve done for the last 3 years of my life.

After completing my 1304th+ session (252 hours 44+ minutes), I received a text from my long time friend, Kevin.

“Happy World Meditation Day” he said.

I didn’t even know this day existed. But to honour what it has done for my life, it is only fair that I share with you how it has saved mine.

It has become a daily ritual that I must do everyday. Just like physical training has changed my body, meditation has strengthened my mind. Learning to find the calm amidst the noise has helped me with my anger, depression and anxiety, the most.

How so?
By helping me become present in the moment, where the past and future don’t matter. I used to live in the past AND present. I would relive painful situations/memories and recreate the same emotions over and over and over. Sometimes still do.

But what is that actually doing for me except create disease of the body and mind? We aren’t truly living until we can be present. In this moment. Right now. I learned when the Dr. told us that my father had 4 weeks to live. Sitting in the hospital with him, everything became so clear. Nothing else mattered, the money, recognition and material things. The only thing that mattered was each moment that we had left with him.

You are not your thoughts,
You have thoughts

This really changed my world: I am not my thoughts. Meditation gave me the space to seperate myself from the thoughts in my head. Learning to let them pass by like the wind and not let them take me away and spin crazy (untrue) made up stories in my head.

It has also really helped me tone down my anger. I am by no means perfect and have lots of work to do, but I have come a very long way. And for that I am so proud of myself. It has helped me build a buffer around my thoughts so that I can respond, instead of react to situations or things that would normally have made me explode in anger.

It also really helped me slow down. To be present with each conversation, each task without trying to multi-task 5 different things at once.

There are some good sessions. Some really hard sessions. Some sessions where I wasn’t present at all. But what I learned is that it is not about how ‘good’ you are at meditating and understanding that everyday is different. The most important part is just the simple act of sitting down and spending time with yourself. Building self awareness through quieting the mind.

I used to get mad at myself. Ruminating about the past. Worrying about the future. Then the timer goes off. But now I know that it is part of the practice. Just like anything, it’s the consistent, disciplined repetition of a simple habit that has profound change.

The stats of my meditation practice I mentioned up above is to not brag. It is to show you how one simple act, everyday, adds up. Daily training of the mind compounds and can truly rewire the brain and change it for the good.

It doesn’t take much:

  1. Set it in your calender: Same time everyday. I do it first thing in the morning, which I found works best for me. All you need is 5 minutes.
  2. Make it easy: have a spot set up for you to do it, so there’s no excuses.
  3. Start with guided meditation – Apps like (calm, headspace, waking up) are amazing to get you started.
  4. Have an intention and purpose of why you’re doing it – Commit yourself to it.

Now here we are, 3 years later, after my first 2 minute meditation session. And I haven’t looked back. Again, by no means am I perfect. I have my good days and my bad. But I’m human. And as humans we all make mistakes but, in my opinion, it is our duty to learn from them and make this world a better place. Internally and externally.

I am beyond grateful for meditation. It is hard at times, very hard, but this is a practice I am dedicated to continue, everyday, for the rest of my life.

The best part of it. It’s FREE.

Grateful,
Steve Ramos

04.16.2020 /

Lessons in crisis

COVID-19 and Social Distancing could be the greatest thing to have happened to the human race, ever. As fucked up as it is, I believe everything is happening exactly as it should.

Think about it, when have you ever taken a full reset? Probably pretty rare. Now think of it not just individually, but as the whole world? I’m going to guess, NEVER.

This reset which forces us to stay home. We have two choices:

  1. To cope and feel like the world is fucked up and our lives are over. Stop working towards our dreams and use this time as an excuse to build bad behaviours.
  2. We can look at this as time for self reflection. A time for us to slow and be present with our family and loved ones. A time for us to facetime our family or friends we haven’t spoken to. A time for us to attend to the things we know we NEED to do, all the little things we’ve been putting off. A time for us to learn a new skill. A time for us to read books to grow our minds. A time for us to get more rest but also adapt and continue to move (even if slowly) towards our dreams.

Which one are you?

If you are the first option, that is okay. If you’ve been having a hard time and not doing much, that is okay. But how long will you let that continue? We can always choose to change the next moment. Choose to now adapt and take action.

During the second week of quarantine I was really down. I thought that we’d be back at work and I’d be making money (I’m a personal trainer) but when the social distancing kept getting extended I got really fearful and worried about how I would provide for our growing family. I let go and became lazy. Ate junk food. Stayed up late watching movies. And then I felt like shit. But I needed to go through it. Then I decided that I would not let the external factors determine my destiny. So I got back on track.

I really made it a point for myself to continue to work towards my dreams. I treat the day like I would a normal working day. I put in the work during the morning and day, then chill, be present and watch movies with Meaghen, in the evening. Having a healthy balance of both, especially during times like this has continued to give me purpose and meaning each day.

On the flip side, looking at old photos and videos with family and friends, truly makes me feel like I’ve taken SO MUCH for granted. The simple act of a handshake or hug, kissing our loved ones, going out to social events and travelling to beautiful places around the world. I took it ALL for granted.

And you know what? That is okay too. We are all humans who make mistakes. It’s situations like this crisis, that are catalysts for positive change in our lives.

Every morning, I get to have coffee with my fiance who is 4.5 months pregnant. We talk. We laugh. We plan on how we can make it through this. But most importantly, we are present with one another (no phones). I’ve spoken to my family and friends everyday. More than I have ever done. And for that, I am truly grateful.

Before the world was put on hold, ask yourself: Were you present with your loved ones? Or were you on your phone? Were you going about life with no purpose? Were you letting fear get in the way of your dreams?

Now that we must stay home. I hope we truly realize the importance of each moment we have together. How valuable our times is on this earth. Because we never know when that moment will be taken away. And we only have ONE LIFE. So will we continue to take those moments for granted? Or will we be grateful and present with one another, but also strive to be better and PUT IN THE WORK to achieve our dreams?

That is up to you my friend.

We are so blessed that we can still connect via social media, FaceTime etc. So call, text, facetime those that you’ve lost connection with. Tell them you love them, you’re grateful for them or just say hi. Adapt to the times and figure out how you can still grow, learn, make money and provide for your family during these times. Do what you can with what you have. For what you have is enough. And put in work. Remember your loved ones need you to show up.

SO, SHOW UP.

And remember, just like all seasons and just like the wind:

This too shall pass.

-Buddha

Love,
Steve Ramos

I am truly sorry to all those who have lost loved ones during this time. And to all the health care workers in the front line. Mad respect to you. Thank YOU. This is just my opinion and the perspective I’ve taken to help my get through this time.

03.22.2020 /

Together

We are ALL in this together.

No matter how hard things may be, know that there is a lesson within all of this. Sometimes the lessons are disguised as really bad things. But on the other side, if we learn from it, is a stronger you. A better you.

Let’s do what we can now, to build a stronger body and mind.

How to find calm amidst the chaos:

  1. Meditate daily – create space amidst all the noise. 6 breathes can lower your blood pressure.
  2. Exercise – even just 20 minutes a day goes a loooong way.
  3. Go for a walk – spend time in nature, it’s beautiful.
  4. Connect with loved ones – Facetime if you have to. We all need to show love and support and make one another smile.
  5. Be grateful – that we get to wake up and live another day.
  6. Recover – get back to a solid sleep routine of min 7 hours of sleep.
  7. Help others – get out of your own head and help other people. Whatever that my look like and see how you feel after.
  8. Reflect and re-evaluate – On some unattended things you’ve been putting off. This is a sign to now go for what we want. What we know we NEED to do for ourselves.

LESSONS: What’s the good from all of this?

The universe/God is making us ALL slow down. And cleansing the world and our minds with less pollution. Because prior to this, would we have?

This is teaching us that life is too short. So we MUST make the most of each and every moment. In the end, that’s all we truly have.

We get to spend quality time with our loved ones. So be present. Be grateful for all that we have. Because we truly have so much.

We are ALL in this together. WE GOT THIS.

Love,
Steve Ramos

Grateful for you.