A Three-Minute Vacation: Sunset Meditation

Please join me (Charlene) to practice sunset meditation in order to bring more peace and stillness into your life by watching the video above. May your weekend be filled with joy. If you’re interested in learning how to mediate or deepen your meditation practice, please visit:
Link to Learn to Meditate YouTube Channel:
Link to Sunset Meditation:
Link to Ocean Meditation:


Could Success and Happiness Be Intertwined?

For people who are hunting down success, one important question should be asked: are you happy right now? People who are choosing to be consistently happy are also the people who generally find greater success in life! It isn’t about being lucky all the time or having more opportunities than others may have. It’s about taking your opportunities, working hard to create a successful environment using all of your tools, and allowing yourself to be happy no matter the outcome.

Are you ready to choose happiness… and ultimately choose success? Below please find 3 tips for happiness and success

1. Take Care of Yourself Every Single Day

One of the core components of finding success is to take care of the problems that other people are facing. In order to take care of the problems that others are facing, however, you must also be willing to take time for yourself every day. There are a number of ways that you can take some time out of the day to take care of yourself:

  • take time to exercise every day,
  • give yourself 20 – 30 minutes of solitary time so you can meditate, or
  • develop healthy habits that pull you toward successful outcomes.

Just as someone can be pulled into eating sweets because they taste good and that makes them feel good, someone can also be pulled into healthy habits because they do the same thing. By taking care of yourself better, you’ll be in a better position to do more, to help more, and that’s what brings success!

2. Get Into a Consistent Daily Wake-Up Routine

When the weekend arrives, it can be extremely tempting to just sleep in for awhile because there are no responsibilities that are demanding to be met. Yet people who have a consistent daily wake-up routine that they use every day are actually happier and more successful. Why is that? Because it comes down to what we just discussed – taking care of yourself. When you feel fresh and focused in the morning, you’re ready to attack the day. When you don’t, you’re defending against the day.

3. Take Time To Disengage From the Day

Just as a morning routine that is consistent is important, an evening routine is as well. Being able to process the events of the day and to then disengage from them can help to quiet a racing mind, calm the thoughts, and ultimately bring about a deeper, more refreshing sleep. There are a number of different ways to disengage, but what you decide to do must be comfortable and familiar enough to you that it can help your mind sort through any bothersome thoughts or emotions during that time. It could be a walk, a familiar television show, or a few minutes of mindfulness meditation – if it works for you, then make the choice to do it!

Choosing success and happiness might be something that needs to be done every day, but as with any good habit, once you establish it, the habit will pull you toward it. Begin that process now so that you can experience the happiness and success that you want in life!



A Three-Minute Vacation: Ocean Meditation

Please join me (Charlene) to practice ocean meditation in order to bring more joy and peace into your life by watching the video above. Also enjoy a seagull, who flies through in the video. May your rest of the week be filled with joy. If you’re interested in learning how to mediate or deepen your meditation practice, please visit:
Link to Learn to Meditate YouTube Channel:
Link to Ocean Meditation:
Link to Walking Meditation – Part 1:
Link to Walking Meditation – Part 2:

Gratitude Is The Key To Happiness

Why Do We Practice Gratitude?

The idea of gratitude isn’t a new one – you can find the concept in the oldest of the world’s religions. That’s because gratitude is a transformative practice that takes the focus off of your own personal needs and let’s you instead look at the needs of the world around you. There may be no greater method of achieving a harmonious life than to be appreciative of what you have and have that “attitude of gratitude” that so many only have right around the holidays! Here’s why:

What Is the Cornerstone of Gratitude?

In order to practice the art of gratitude, one must first be content with what they have in life. As Paul the Apostle once wrote, he learned that there will be times of sufficiency and times when there are dark valleys that seem inescapable. Rather than dwell in the good and fight hard to get out of the bad, he learned to be content with whatever his circumstances happened to be. In that, he was able to establish a lifestyle of gratitude.

Why is contentment the cornerstone of gratitude? Because without contentment, we are always striving to have more. To be better. To accumulate more things. We do this because we have this inner urge to be satisfied. We think that if we get just one more thing, or take one more career step, or achieve just one more success, we can finally be grateful and happy… except no one ever is. There’s always something else on the horizon!

With contentment, you’re not looking to the horizon – you’re living in the moment.

How Can Gratitude Be Practiced Daily?

The easiest way to eliminate gratitude from one’s life is to be judgmental of yourself and of others. It could be as simple as coveting that brand new 60” LCD your co-worker is talking about buying in the break room. It could be more complicated as you may look at someone else’s circumstances and feel inferior to them. When you shift your focus away from these negative things toward contentment and then gratitude, some amazing changes happen within your body:

  • your brain begins to become more balanced;
  • your heartbeat becomes stable and rhythmic; and
  • your body creates biochemical changes throughout to create a happier you.

In other words, stress is reduced when you focus on being grateful now in whatever your circumstances may be. Research even shows that a regular practice of gratitude can help a student’s grades?

Where Do You Get Started With Personal Gratitude?

Becoming content in whatever circumstances you find yourself in can be difficult. Life can throw each of us a nasty curveball that seems impossible to hit! When that happens, there are still things to be grateful about in life: a friend who is always there for you, that triple chocolate fudge ice cream in the freezer that’s waiting for you, the smile of a child, or even just the warm sunshine on your face.

By focusing on the little moments and be grateful about them, gratitude in the larger things will naturally flow from you as well. Take a breath, find something to be grateful about right now, and begin the process of repairing, restoring, and harmonizing your universe.

A Three-Minute Vacation: Walking Meditation – Part 1

Please join me (Charlene) to practice walking meditation in order to bring more peace and relaxation into your life by watching the video. May your rest of the week be filled with joy and peace.
Mantra mentioned in this video: Om Mani Padme Hum (ohm-mahnee-pahdmay-hoom). This mantra means: joy, happiness is within you.
If you’re interested in learning how to mediate or deepen your meditation practice, please visit:
Link to Walking Meditation:
Link to Mantra Meditation:
Link to Peace Meditation:


A Three-Minute Vacation: Flower Meditation

Please join me (Charlene) to learn how to meditate with a rose to bring more happiness and love into your life by watching the video below. Give yourself a gift of three-minute vacation by meditating. If you’d like to learn more about how to meditate or enhance your meditation practice, please click the link below to sign up a meditation class. Happy meditating! May your day be filled with happiness and love.
Link to the July 29th meditation class:
Link to the video:

Simple Routines that Make Life Better


Young woman walking away alone on a forest path wearing a red overcoat

On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I discovered the real definition of what it means to slow life down. There were fewer deadlines, less overall hustle and bustle, and an emphasis on enjoying what the day gave you.

Even in the rain, there were people strolling to the beach with their dogs. Kids were building sandcastles. Life for them seemed like a vacation.

And that’s when I realized that some simple routine changes in my life could create a “personal Island Time” of my own. Here’s what I decided to do.

#1. Consciously choose to step outside of the material world.

Money does buy happiness. For a short period of time, anyway. Maybe being wealthy can increase that amount of time. At the end of the day, however, it is our relationships and experiences that provide true happiness.

So focus on what really matters to you. Make time for the people you care about every day. Have dinner with your family with the TV off. Go shopping together. Take a walk together. Find your own beach and enjoy it, whether it’s raining or sunny, and make time to build sandcastles.

#2. Take personal control of inner being.

Finding time to make meditation a habit will also be extremely beneficial. When you’re in control of yourself, then it feels like you can be in more control of the world around you.

With that control, it becomes easier to set meaningful priorities. Watching a sunset until it’s over feels a lot better than rushing from personal deadline to deadline. Time will always want to have control over you. Be willing to explore a different approach.

Just 10 minutes of meditation per day can make a real difference. My personal preference is for 20-30 minutes each day, but even 5 minutes is better than nothing.

#3. Decide to keep it going.

If you’re anything like me, then you’re willing to let Island Time be available on weekends, holidays, and vacations right now. Once you experience a better routine, you must make a conscious decision to keep it going.

There may be some rebellion experienced when you slow life down, especially if everyone around you is operating at a hectic pace. They may want you to speed up because it is more convenient for them.

Sometimes you must do what is best for you and your family. Just don’t compromise away the benefits of a better life because you’re trying to please others. Sometimes you have to be Priority #1.

#4. Do something kind for a random stranger every day.

Kindness is something that makes a lasting impact on you, the individual(s) involved, and the people who happen to see an act of kindness performed. It gives us all hope for humanity.

So I’ve decided to incorporate at least one random act of kindness every day into my daily routine. It can be something small, like picking up trash in the park. It might also mean serving at the local soup kitchen on a Saturday. Or volunteering at the local food bank. Or spending an afternoon at the nursing home, talking to people who may have not had a visitor in years.

Be kind every day. Do it in your own way. And life will seem much better because of it.

When life feels like it is out of control, it’s usually because you’re staring at your own reflection. Take back control with these simple routines that make life better. In doing so, you’ll be able to find your own Island Time.

How do you slow life down when it seems to get too busy? I’d love to hear more about your own routines and how you discovered they could be so helpful.

7 Steps To Loving Life Every Day

practice mindfulness

Far too often, we treat our lives as if it were a ship passing by the world blindly at night. Instead of looking at the twinkling lights on the shore, it is possible to be actively involved in the daily events of our lives. Instead of waking up one day and wondering what happened to your life, you can wake up every day and look forward to what might happen.

These 7 steps are proven to help you love life more every day.

#1. Disconnect

3 out of 4 kids sleep with electronics on in their room. For adults, the figure is closer to 90%. Electronic devices are nice to have as they connect us to a wealth of information and entertainment, but they can also disrupt sleep patterns. Texts, calls, or notifications at night can even wake you up. Disconnect the electronics overnight and give yourself time to breathe.

#2. Embrace

Our senses help us to experience the world in unique ways. Sights, smells, and sounds can help us to embrace new cultures, learn new things, or find new favorites. Touch helps us to be in contact with one another. Taste, which includes the sixth sense umami, has elements of all the other senses. Slow down, experience what each sense has to offer, and you will find a world of possibilities is open to you.

#3. Perfection

Each moment we experience has a small piece of perfection to it. In good times or in tragic times, there is always something good that can be taken out of each moment, although sometimes we don’t recognize those moments until they have passed us by. Actively engage each moment, seek out its perfection, and you will find that there is much more to love about life.

#4. Passion

Being busy is a state of mind. You don’t always have to be busy. You can choose to make time to pursue a passion. Include a new hobby as part of your daily routine for the next several weeks. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. As you explore your passion, you’ll be exploring a bit of yourself at the same time.

#5. Engage

What has happened in the past is history. What will happen in the future is unknown. What we have is a moment, right now, that we can control. Anxiety and worry are always going to be part of our lives, but they don’t have to be a controlling part of our lives. Take control, engage your worries, and then resolve anything that might be bothersome. You are in control of where your ship sails, but only if you’re steering.

#6. Delegate

Power comes from control. In today’s world, this leads many people to want to control the world around them. This causes people to eventually burn out because the only thing in this world that each person can control is themselves. By learning to delegate the control we feel we must have over others, we can embrace the joy that is often surrounding us at any given moment. This allows us to love what life has to offer.

#7. Contentedness

There will be good times. There will be bad times. Instead of going on the rollercoaster ride of hills and valleys, find a way to be content every day in some way. Certainly there will be challenges and stresses which will create moments of doubt in our contentedness, but these can be overcome. Accept life as it is and you may discover that it is already amazing!

Loving life every day isn’t always easy. With these steps in mind, however, life doesn’t have to be something that just sails by one day and you discover it is gone. Allow yourself the opportunity to experience everything that this universe has to offer you and you will find that falling in love with life in new ways every day is one of the best adventures we have.

8 Life Changing Resolutions For 2016


Resolutions are something that many people make every year. We attempt to set goals that can create meaningful changes in our lives, but 90% of people will give up on their resolution by the end of the first month. Here are 8 life changing resolutions to make for this year, which can be started at any time throughout the year, so that you can reach your goals consistently.

#1. Embrace the differences of other people.

What makes us different as humans can make us stronger. Unfortunately far too many people try to make others be just like them instead of embracing those differences. Instead of making assumptions, experience the many ethnicity and cultures this world has to offer. The end result? There will be much more compassion in your life.

#2. Make the most out of your emotions.

Anger isn’t a bad thing. It is the choices that get made when angry that lead to negative life experiences. Fuel your emotional energy into positive things. Take time to calm down if you experience anger that is overwhelming. Catch yourself before you lose control and you’ll have fewer emotional icebergs to navigate.

#3. Build bridges with people.

It’s easy to carry a grudge, especially if someone has wronged you on purpose. Righteous anger is one of the most difficult emotions to handle. This year, try to build bridges with others instead of burning them if you feel you’ve been wronged.

#4. Focus on appreciating what others do around you.

On the other end of the spectrum is the random compliment from a stranger. Appreciation from people we don’t know lifts up the spirit as much as righteous anger brings it down. If you see someone doing something great, then appreciate them in that moment. You may just start a chain reaction of appreciation.

#5. Be happy when others succeed.

We’re “always keeping up with the Jones’ family” in today’s world, it seems. We want that promotion. That raise. That new house. The fancy iPhone. When other people get these things, it can feel like a punch to the gut. This year, try to choose happiness when you see others succeed instead. If we think of humanity as a community, we all succeed when one person experiences success.

#6. Meditate.

If you can meditate for 20 minutes every day this year, you’ll change everything. Maybe you can’t start at 20 minutes right away, but you could build up to it. Try adding 1 minute per day to increase your time. You won’t believe the difference it could make.

#7. Find a way to be content.

Gratitude isn’t looking at others who don’t have it as good as you and trying to feel blessed. It is an attitude of contentment in both the good and the bad that life has to offer. When we can accept our circumstances in life, then we can begin to change them. Every moment has something perfect to find within it, so try to find those perfect moments this year.

#8. Stop playing the blame game.

One of the hardest lessons to learn in life is that when we blame other people for what we think is wrong in this world, there’s a good chance that what we’re really doing is shirking our own responsibilities for what is going on. Take ownership. Take a good, hard, and long look at yourself. Pointing fingers only works if you’re pointing at the truth.

For the next year, self-reflection will lead to self-confidence. Diversity will lead to strength. Being content will lead to happiness. What are your resolutions for the coming year?

7 Ways to Increase Your Happiness

7 ways to increase happiness

Happiness is a choice. Happiness does not come from possessions or external circumstances. But simply knowing that happiness is a choice is not enough. Fully experiencing it still requires a conscience decision to do so each day. A little effort can go a long way in increasing happiness.

1   Get physical.

Physical activity is a great way to reduce our stress levels and pump up the endorphins. Sometimes the best way to increase our happiness level is to have a good workout. If you are feeling lacking in the happiness area think about the last time you worked up a sweat. Physical activity boosts your confidence and your mood.

2   Outweigh negative thoughts with the positive.

Give your negative thoughts a spanking and slap on three positives to outweigh the negative. Figure out where your negative thoughts are coming from by trying to find three positive things about the topic. If you find more positives than negatives keep the source around. If you don’t, it is time to toss it out and start thinking instead about the positive effects of moving away from the source of your unhappiness. Take action towards the positive instead of letting the negative thoughts consume you.

3   Drop the worries—focus on what you can control.

If you can’t control it don’t worry about it. So many of us get wrapped up in what-if land that we start feeling at home in it. Figuring out solutions to worst-case scenario gives us a false truth that we are somehow more prepared or more control of things that we have no effect on. It is better to focus your energy on things you can control and things that can make you happier.

4   Do a happy activity every day. Give yourself small acts of kindness.

Consider a time you were really, truly happy. How did you feel in that moment? Don’t you want more of that? Figure out what things make you happy and do one thing that makes you happy every day. This way, when things are not going as well as we hope they would we can find ways to lighten our mood and change the direction of our lives back to happy land.

5   Smile—a smile attracts happiness of others! It is a magnet that lights up the world.

One of the most unique things each person has is their smile. The shape of our teeth are actually pretty interesting and I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who looked better frowning than they do with a big ol’ smiley face! I honestly believe that we are each here to make a positive impact on others in our own unique way. One way to do that is to smile at others let them smile back and enjoy the unique energy flow that comes from a smile exchange.

6   Accept your life.

When we focus on our dreams we are more likely to achieve our dreams and as a result feel more content with the direction our lives have taken. To do this most effectively we have to push past the life un-acceptance speeches that start with “What if?” “If only? or “Someday” and rewrite our mentality with action verbs towards our dreams. Like Chris Prentiss says in Zen And the Art of Happiness “Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that could happen to me”. Be the author of your moments and do what you can with your resources to reach your dreams but also accept life for what it is. You can’t change the past nor should you try. You are exactly who you are for a beautiful reason. Each of our happiness really depends on doing the work required to allow that reason to be expressed to the world.

7   Live in the present.

It is happy time all the time! Every moment is a new opportunity for us to be more alive and more in tune with the sounds, actions, and feelings of each moment. When we are present or “in the moment” we once again take our happiness away from its dependency on the happiness prescribed by our mind’s chatter to the happiness found at our present state. We become more aware, and with the intent of finding a greater sense of contentment our many senses begin to resonate with each moment to its fullest potential. Time slows down and we are at ease with the natural course of our lives.

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