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The Art of Sitting Still

Growing a business, although a rewarding adventure, is uncertain and often uncomfortable, just like life itself. The single most effective tool I’ve found to navigate that territory is meditation, which I feel has helped create a solid foundation from which to address all the surprises, all the emotions, all the mental chatter that inevitably comes up. If you read our last post, you already know we at SunLife are strong proponents of morning routines. Aside from gratitude lists, mediation is at the top of our recommendations to start your day with.

If the commonly mentioned benefits of meditation sound too abstract for you, here’s a couple fun facts from the Huffington Post: studies have shown that sustained meditation leads to neuroplasticity (i.e. the brain’s ability to change, structurally and functionally, which many scientists used to believe stopped after adulthood) and it increases gray matter in the brain (this may sound scary, but actually means your brain ages at a slower rate). And if you listen to podcasts like Tim Ferris’, you’ll notice it’s a recurring theme in many of today’s most brilliant and successful (in every sense of the word) men and women.

But where to begin? If you have trouble doing this on your own (or even if you’re a pro), we strongly recommend the Headspace app. It’s a guided meditation series that, along with basic timed meditations, includes different categories you can choose from (like Change, Anxiety, and Appreciation) and explores several different techniques so you can see what resonates with you. I can’t speak highly enough about this invention and personally use it every day. A lot of people seem to get overwhelmed by the concept of meditation because they think of the goal is having no thoughts. The advice given in this app really helps re-frame the end goal, which is to change the relationship you have to your thoughts and emotions, not stop them. As they say in Headspace, it’s similar to the difference of being out in a rainstorm versus observing the storm from inside the house.

I swear, Headspace isn’t paying us to say this and hopefully it doesn’t come across as an ad because the intention is simply to share with others something that so many of us at SunLife have fallen in love with and received such profound benefit from. So go on…sit back, relax and observe.

Hayley Gorcey
Owner- SunLife Organics

Why Gratitude Makes You Smarter

Happy New Year! We can still say that through all of January, correct? Hope your 2017 is off to a fantastic start.

Something we constantly emphasize with our team at SunLife Organics, especially amongst those in leadership roles, is the benefit of morning routines in laying the foundation for your day.  One activity we strongly encourage incorporating into this routine is making a gratitude list. My personal list is comprised mainly of things that happened the day before (big and small) to keep it fresh.

Although you could do this in your head, I recommend writing these lists in a journal. The act of writing helps keep you focused, plus you then have a record of all the amazing things that happened in your life. It’s been a long time since staying out past 10 o’clock or drinking champagne sounded like a good idea to me (not knocking it if it does to you), so December 31, 2016, I flipped open my journals and skimmed through my gratitude lists for the year. Through this process, I not only got to relive the year through this incredibly positive filter, I also received a welcome reminder of the accomplishments of 2016. A lot of progress comes out of the mentality I share with my business partner (a.k.a one of Town and Country’s Bachelors of the Year ;) ) of “Yes we did this, but we haven’t done that yet” or “We could be doing this better”, but to make sure it’s not at the cost of anyone’s sanity, including our own, it’s important to balance that thinking with the moments of “Wow, look how far we’ve come”.

As I read, I snapped some pics of the entries that stood out to me and the next day, I texted them to the people they referenced and let them know why I was grateful to have them in my life. I didn’t do it for a response, but that said, the fulfillment I experienced after realizing what an impact I had had on people’s days (another key tenet of the SunLife philosophy), in conjunction with the profound joy that came out of choosing to be grateful, was the greatest natural high I’ve experienced in a long time. When I sat down afterward to do some 2017 goal setting, the words and ideas flowed through me so clearly.

But of course they did. 

Recently I heard a podcast with Tony Robbins (Tim Ferris #178: On Achievement vs Fulfillment) where he talks about the hormones in your heart that affect the way your brain functions. If you put electrodes on your brain and your heart (EEG and EKG), in your normal state the results would look pretty jagged and they won’t look anything like each other. But when you pause, put your hands on your heart, breathe into it and focus on gratitude for two minutes, the results become rounded and they actually sync up, becoming an identical reflection of one another. This state is when your thinking is most clear and balanced, when your heart and head (i.e. conscious and unconscious mind) are in alignment.

So among all of the other things we want to accomplish or change or acquire this year, might we suggest letting gratitude be the foundation for the decisions you make and the actions you take. On that note, we are immeasurably grateful for the beautiful souls who love, heal and inspire us every day, on both sides of the bar. Can't wait to spend more time with you this year!

Hayley Gorcey

Owner/ Co-founder

SunLife Organics