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How Meditation Changed My Life

South Beach, Miami

Before I started meditating I was your typical high strung New Yorker.  Living life in the fast lane – going out to dinner and drinks every night. Constantly attending events, traveling to a new city or country just about every other week. And never taking a day off from emails, creating content, brand partnerships or editing photos.  While I loved that exciting time period, it also became incredibly stressful. I wasn’t able to shake off that stress like I had in the past through workouts, girls nights, retail therapy, reading, etc.  It felt like I was wearing a heavy blanket of overwhelming anxiety that I just could not get rid of!

I confided in my friend and pilates teacher at the time, who always seemed so calm, cool and collected. Despite running her own pilates studio and living in the heart of NYC – and asked her what the heck was her secret.  She told me she did a style of meditation called; Transcendental Meditation.  That night, I went home, googled different styles of meditation, signed up for a class that felt like the right fit for me. (I went with Ziva – a Vedic style which is similar to Transcendental). And now it’s been 3 years since I started meditating!

How has meditation changed my life?

First of all, I am able to manage stress and stressful situations with so much more ease.  Furthermore, I take things in stride and dissect a situation into mini blocks and tackle each aspect of it piece by piece rather than getting consumed by it. Second, I am so much more positive and happy.  Clinical studies show that a consistent, daily 20 minute meditation practice actually increases the serotonin and dopamine levels in your brain. Pretty amazing huh?  I have less social anxiety and anxiety in general. Also, I feel more confident in any social situation I’m put in even if I don’t know anyone or if it’s uncomfortable.

My stomach doesn’t feel like it’s in knots from stress, bad news, or work deadlines like it used to.  It’s insane how much emotion we hold in our stomachs and how that effects our digestion! Honestly, I have way more energy all day, feel more well rested, and rarely drink caffeine (maybe once a week now.)  Also, I can power through my workouts, have more stamina and just feel healthier in general. (Meditation is proven to increase your immune system.) In addition, I do not get jet lagged and time difference doesn’t effect me at all – yet another benefit of meditating.

I’m so much more calm and relaxed.

Just ask my friends and family members who have known my Type A, perfectionist self forever. ;)  I’m able to think more clearly and be more productive with my time and time management. Overall, I have continued to feel more and more grounded, open to the unknown (which I couldn’t say in the past as a bit of a control freak). And prepared for the ups and downs in life.

A lot of you have been asking me if I can teach you how to meditate or write about how to do it.  There are many different types of meditation and many different ways you can meditate… While it is a simple concept, I really do feel that it’s best to take a class and learn from an expert!  I’ve read several books on meditation, but nothing has been as effective as the Vedic meditation class I took in NYC called:

Ziva Meditation

(Which also offers an online class. By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post or affiliated with Ziva in anyway. I just loved the experience I had there.)

It’s a 4 day course (2 hours per day) so you can easily incorporate it into your life.  I’m partial to a 20 minute seated mantra meditation because not only do scientific studies prove it’s insanely effective (Which is why celebrities like Oprah, Jenna Dewan, Fortune 500 executives and top athletes practice it as well). BUT it’s something that I’ve been able to enjoy and stick with consistently everyday for 3 years without ever missing a day.  Note – Vedic is similar to “TM” or Transcendental Meditation which you may have heard of. In that they are both 20 minute seated meditations you do with a mantra.  There are lots of debates comparing the two. And I say choose whichever style or class jumps out at you. It’s such a personal experience!

Even though I don’t feel comfortable teaching anyone how to meditate (again it’s such a personal process and you should really choose the right style for you!). I’ll tell you in general how Vedic and Transcendental meditation work!  When you sign up for a course, your teacher will give you an ancient Sanskrit word that you repeat silently in your head, while sitting upright (I sit up in my bed) over and over again for 20 minutes.

(I do this first thing every morning before anything else.)

It’s called your “mantra” and basically acts as a tool to guide you into a relaxed state of mind.  No one’s brain can repeat the same word for 20 minutes straight without having other thoughts… So your mind will drift which is part of the process and totally normal!

You may start thinking about your grocery list, the dinner you have later that night, the random bird chirping outside your window… Just let all of those thoughts come, and then once you realized you’ve trailed off from the mantra you start repeating it again.  You keep a clock within eyesight and peek at it whenever you think you’re getting close to the 20 minute mark.  What’s crazy is that our bodies circadian rhythm somehow will usually always let us know when it’s been 10 minutes or 20 minutes exactly!  SERIOUSLY!  When I first started, I would get nervous that I would accidentally go over the 20 minute mark and miss a meeting. But I never did.

Usually, I peek at the clock at the 10 minute mark, realize it hasn’t been 20 minutes, then close my eyes and peek once more.  Once I see it’s been 20 minutes, I have a 2-3 minute “come down” from the meditation. Which is where I say what I am thankful for and just give myself positive affirmations.  This allows you to not be dizzy/lightheaded after the deep state of relaxation you just put your brain in! Also, I pop up from my meditation feeling energized and refreshed.

You may be thinking…20 minutes a day?!

That means I have to wake up 20 minutes earlier than usual?!  But 20 minutes is honestly nothing compared to what you’ll gain from practicing meditation.  Meditation will become such a part of your morning routine it will be like brushing your teeth. No joke!  Like I said, I have never, ever missed a morning meditation in 3 years. Even when I’ve been soooo tired or haven’t felt like doing it.  The benefits I get from it are just too good to miss out on.  You can meditate in your bed, in a cab, on a train, in an airplane, at a friend’s house, laying out by the pool, at your desk chair – anywhere.  You can meditate with the lights on, with people talking in the background. Even with horns honking, or in complete silence.

 So what are you waiting for?!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Wellness Wednesday post. It’s one that I’ve been wanting to write for a long time!  A big congrats to Emily from Virginia for winning last week’s giveaway!  This week’s giveaway is an entire box of Bliss Spa goodies for you and your bestie.  Each box comes 10 full size Bliss Spa products including a clay mask, facial cleanser, bath bomb, makeup remover, makeup wipes, foaming cleanser, body wash, and lemon & sage moisturizer (which is to die for.).  To enter this giveaway, Subscribe to my Youtube and newsletter, Follow me on Instagram and like any of my last 3 photos. Also, leave me a comment below saying “Subscribed and Followed”!  Winner will be announced next Monday. Good luck!

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Fillyboo dress (also love this one and this one)
Cult Gaia bag // Julie Vos necklace and bangles

Jessica Alexander Photography

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49 Comments

  • Carian says:

    What have you been waiting for?! Seriously! This is one of the best blog posts I’ve been reading lately. For quite some time now I wanted to start meditating, I manage to do so for about 2-3 days and then the next day it happens: ”I’ll do it later” and we all know that later becomes tomorrow and tomorrow becomes 3 weeks later. I truly want to make meditation part of my life. This post motivates me to make an actual plan. So, thank you Kat! Thank you for sharing this post. Big hug from the Netherlands.

    Love, Carian

    P.s. subscribed and followed!

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Hi Carian! AW I am so happy to hear that! TM is truly an amazing kind of meditation and has only positively impacted my life! I hope you’ll love it as much as I do! XOXO

      July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Christi says:

    Subscribed and followed! Thanks for the great post!

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Rach says:

    This is good to know and so reassuring! I’ve been trying out meditating and keeping falling of track. I definitely need to get back on it!

    http://www.rdsobsessions.com

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Simona Adamcova says:

    I absolutely love the dress and the whole vibe of pictures! The place is amazing and you look very nice and calm..and happy :)

    http://www.sinnamona.blogspot.com

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Roses for Fridays | by mia says:

    Lovely ♥️post … mediation is always good for the soul! 🌷👍🏼🌷

    🌸🍃ROSES FOR FRIDAYS 🌸🍃| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Holly says:

    Subscribed and followed :)

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Lindsey says:

    Such a great post! I started meditating about a year ago and it really helps!

    Subscribed and followed

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Emily R says:

    Subscribed and followed! I am moving to NYC and might look into taking that class. Other forms of meditation (like Headspace) have not worked well for me.

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Chermaine says:

    Beautiful. Subscribed and entered❤️

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • BeingIsabella says:

    What really stood out to me is that you said ever since starting meditation, you tackle a sticky situation bit by bit rather being consumed by it. I think this is so important and leads to living a much more happy, positive, and fulfilling life because as you said you aren’t consumed by only one thing. I’ve always been interesting in meditation because my dad practices it, but I’ve never been able to stick with it. This post definitely gave me the push to try it out again! xx

    http://www.beingisabella.com

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Karen says:

    Subscribe and follow! Thank you!

    July 11, 2018 | Reply
  • Laura says:

    Subscribed & Followed!

    July 12, 2018 | Reply
  • Krislyn says:

    Great post! In the mornings, I typically just browse on my phone for 20 minutes. Meditating would be a much better use of my time so I’ll have to implement it into my morning routine. Side note, love your dress!

    Krislyn

    Subscribed and followed :)

    July 12, 2018 | Reply
  • Kaori R says:

    Subscribed and Followed!!

    July 12, 2018 | Reply
  • Katie says:

    This was so wonderful to read! I live in NYC and have been struggling with anxiety for some time now. My therapist keeps recommending meditation but it seemed so daunting to me.

    I really appreciate your content lately, it goes below the surface and has real purpose. I’ve been following you since 2013 and it has been so great to see you make this transition to LA and dive into wellness.

    July 12, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Hi Katie! Thank you so much for sharing that – and thank you for your kind comment :) Meditation is a total game changer – I know you will love it!

      July 12, 2018 | Reply
  • Jessica from What To Style says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better and better. I can relate to what you say in this post.
    To deal with the daily stress, I spend a quality time with God before heading to work and before going to sleep. I feel that this connectionwith Him is absolutely important, to hear and learn what He says for us, change our lives completely for better! ❤

    xoxo,
    Jessica – whattostyle.blogspot.com

    July 12, 2018 | Reply
  • Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018 - With Love From Kat says:

    […] the rest of my picks below AND don’t forget you still have 3 more days to enter the giveaway in this post!  Have a great weekend […]

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Ewa Macherowska says:
    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Courtney says:

    subscribed and followed!

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Griselda Gray says:

    Subscribed and Followed

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Audra Davis says:

    Love this insight on meditation! I’ve heard so much buzz about it over the last couple of years, so I think I’m going to try it out, as I also have a lot of stress that is a major contributing factor to digestion issues. Thanks for sharing!

    Also… subscribed and followed :)

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Kim Henrichs says:

    Subscribed and Followed!!

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • lisa says:

    Awesome posts always! subscribed and followed.

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Lia says:

    Beautiful, inspirational post from a beautiful woman! Thank you! I too changed my life with meditation. I was able to change an injury in my cervical spine that kept me from having fusion surgery. It was a year between MRIs and on the second one, my doc took a look (just before a scheduled surgery) and said, I have no idea how this happened but we don’t have to do fusion. Such a cool moment! So great to find like minded inspiring souls out there sharing. May the blessing of your post return to you a thousande fold!

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      Hi Lia! Thank you so much for your sweet words! And oh my goodness I am so sorry you thought you were going to have to have that – WOW. Unreal and amazing that you no longer had to. Meditation is so powerful. Sending you so much love!!!

      July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Lia says:

    ps Subscribed and Followed!

    and that is a gorgeous dress!!!

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Thalia says:

    Subscribed & Followed!!! ✨

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Jessie Chen says:

    Subscribed and followed! Random fun fact: my boyfriend’s last name is also Tanita. When I first met him, I asked him if you were related and he said “Oh yeah, that’s my cousin. But we don’t talk to that side of the family.” He was kidding, but I believed him and freaked out for the next five minutes before he finally admitted he was kidding 🤦🏻‍♀️

    July 13, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      No way!!!! Omg! What is his first name?! That’s crazy haha! Tanitas are the best – we have such a huge family!!!! <333

      July 13, 2018 | Reply
  • Tricia Monahan says:

    I loved reading this! I want to make meditation apart of my daily life! I’m going to look into the online classes you recommended! Thank you Kat for another great post!

    July 14, 2018 | Reply
  • Jessie says:

    It’s Kent! His grandfather Fred is from Hawaii, so I’m wondering if maybe you guys are distantly related? (Sorry it’s not letting me reply to your reply for some reason)

    July 14, 2018 | Reply
    • kat@withlovefromkat.com replied:

      No way! What a small world!!!! :)))

      July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Sailaja says:

    Liked and inspired by your article, would like to start practicing meditation
    Thank you for the post

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Stephanie says:

    Living in a life where meditation is part of it is amazing.

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Stephanie says:

    Subscribed and followed!

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • angela curro says:

    subscribed and followed

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Michele says:

    Subscribed and Followed

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Jennifer Fraser says:

    subscribed and followed!!!

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Diamond Towns says:

    This blog post has been very inspiring! Thank you for sharing. I will be subscribing 😊

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Judy says:

    subscribed and followed!

    I had an experience with a guiided meditation a few months ago, and the calm feeling stayed with me for days. I need to look into it more closely, I loved that feeling.

    Thank you for reminding me!

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Karen says:

    Love how you’ve described your practice and I’ve always wanted to start but never really found reading books too helpful. Class sounds perfect and your 3 years in has inspired me to get going. Thank you! And… Subscribed and Followed!

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Kathy says:

    I loved reading about your meditation journey. I have been trying to just get started meditating and you have given me push to start.
    Subscribed and followed

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Erin Dow says:

    Subscribed and followed

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Hilary Hahn says:

    Cute dress! I also enjoy meditation and have worked it into my day as a morning or evening ritual. I find it helps me to gain clarity.

    July 15, 2018 | Reply
  • Eileen Wolf says:

    subscribed and follow

    July 16, 2018 | Reply
  • Weekend Reading. - The Stripe says:

    […] So much yes to Kat’s post on meditation. […]

    July 16, 2018 | Reply
  • Victoria Ripley says:

    Subscribed and followed! Love your posts!

    July 16, 2018 | Reply