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YOTEL Boston introduces ‘Meditation Mondays’ with The Boston Buddha!

AKYotel
Sky Lounge at YOTEL Boston, 65 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA

WHAT: Newly opened YOTEL Boston, the affordable luxury hotel inspired by first-class air travel, introduces ‘Meditation Mondays’ with The Boston Buddha, Andy Kelley, beginning Monday, September 18 at Sky Lounge!

Locals and hotel guests alike are welcomed to the Seaport hotel’s rooftop Sky Lounge for 30-minute guided meditation set against the backdrop of Boston’s skyline. Andy Kelley will help attendees hone their focus and mindfulness, Mondays from 8-8:30am, so they can tackle the workweek ahead.

 ‘Meditation Mondays’ is just the latest wellness offering from YOTEL. The hotel brand also produces Mindfresh, a series of 5-minute meditation and relaxation videos available for viewing in-cabin and on the YOTEL app.

Research shows that how we spend the first hour of the morning often sets the pace for the day. Why not, wake up and start the day & work week feeling relaxed and recharged? Attend ‘Meditation Mondays’ in PJs, athleticwear or business clothes and leave feeling happier, focused and energized. The series is a definite antidote for anyone with a case of the Mondays!

WHEN:     Monday mornings starting September 18th, 8-8:30am

COST:     $15 per session; complimentary for YOTEL guests

To book reservations, visit: https://yotelmeditationmondays.eventbrite.com

CONTACT:            Phone: (617) 377-4747

Web:     www.yotel.com/boston

Freedom To Choose

 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”   – Victor Frankl

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South Rim of the Grand Canyon, AZ

This has always been my favorite mindfulness quote.  We all need to look for the spaces between the stimulus and the response. That awareness begins with a pause. That self reflecting ability – in the moment noticing. In that pause we begin to notice what’s really happening (worrying about the future… a flash of irritation – a craving for food). With that realization, we allow what’s there – to be there – without reacting. In these moments, we enter a space of freedom – the freedom to choose.

After your meditation – or at a time where you feel relaxed – identify several situations during the day where you become or slip into a moderately reactive mode. Look for signs of anxiety or irritation. For example, for me it’s getting my son up for school. I can catch myself “mindful yelling”.  For you it may be, getting caught in traffic, a deadline for a project, feeling tired, overwhelmed at work, or being criticized by a loved one.

Select ONE area and for the next week have the intention to pause for a few breaths and become aware inwardly when you’re in those situations.

In that moment of pausing – that awareness – take real interest in what’s happening inside you… An uneasy feeling? Tension? Numbness? Pressure? Are you aware of anger, anxiety, or cravings? What are you feeling? Be with whatever sensation or emotion is present.

Then, take a few full breaths relaxing with each of breath and then resume your daily activity.

Notice the difference between being caught reacting all the time and being aware and awake. Honor these moments because it’s a deep awakening inside you.

Let me know how it goes.

-Andy

Breathing Yourself Back To The Moment

“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?” – Tao Te Ching

 
Whenever I’m creating a new guided meditation, it gives me the opportunity to work with my own experiences with the subject matter. I had plenty of time to explore my experience with impatience last week – with a stomach bug that is going around – that’s for sure.  I was trying to rush things and trying to move a little too fast before my body was ready… until I realized that I could just “breathe myself back

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Impatience

to this moment” and not worry so much about the future.  This helped me relax and get back into the natural flow of my life and let my body heal naturally.  I notice when we’re impatient, we are really just trying to make things different or better than they are.

When we want to change our lives in some way, we tend to focus a lot on the future – how awesome it’s going to be when we reach that goal. We look to that immediate result.  It’s like when we’re riding a bicycle… we’re always pedaling past the present moment.  Say we want to go from Southie to Cape Cod… we’re in Southie, but our attention is really focused on how great it will be when we get to the Cape.  We feel that things will be so much better when we get to the Cape, so we push and try to pedal as fast as we can to get away from Southie.

Our present moment patience is also constantly being hijacked by our smart phones, autopilot choices, and our knee jerk reactions to the speed of our lives.  We constantly react to stressful situations and become way too ridged and inflexible in our choice making ability.  Mindfulness can help us drop down into the actual feelings that are there, so we can reflect and get a sense of what’s really going on.  Using the breath as our anchor, we breathe ourselves back to the moment.  This helps us disconnect from that reactive panic button that we all have, and frees up a little space – allowing more thoughtful and creative choices to bring us back to the moment. Be patient… this takes time.

The next time you feel impatient, check in with your body. What do you feel? Chances are you’ll feel some irritation. Let yourself be with that. You might find that “breathing yourself back to the present moment” helps. Take a moment for yourself to recognize that your life can become your meditation if you choose to approach it with this kind of awareness.

As we move into next week, I put the challenge out there for all of us to meditate for 10 minutes every morning and anytime throughout the day you feel impatient – work on enduring the present moment by “breathing yourself back to the moment”!

I hope this helps!

The Mindful Olympics

Last Morning Mindfulness class of the semester. The Mindful Olympics! 15288686_10154730770488245_8990616644689605828_oThe kids favorite class. We tried to put all together as the students collaborate and combine their efforts to make an important difference in the world – and connect them to the larger community… and let’s be honest, they just really want to beat me in the competition😜.

We worked on our perspective taking these last few weeks. We played “Mirrors” and tried to mindfully consider other viewpoints – besides our own. We discussed how we can’t literally put ourselves in certain peoples shoes because they won’t fit – or we wouldn’t choose to wear them because we are all so different – and that’s great! Amazing group of kids!

Does Meditation get easier over time?

 

“Every meditation is like a snowflake, no two are the same.” – davidji

It’s a great question and one that students, friends, and colleagues ask me often.  There are plenty of days I ask myself the same thsnowgaing.  My answer is that for me personally, some days are easier than others and we need to try to accept the present moment as it is – without trying to change it or make it different.
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“Yum or Yuck” Your Way Out Of A Rut

Let’s face it, we all get stuck in ruts from time to time. Repeating the same old boring choices over and over again.  It’s like we’re on autopilot, just going through the daily grind, in a trance, where we are sleepwalking through the choices of our day.  And even when we thiFJ0A0252nk we’re here, present, in the room, we’re usually thinking… about the past, the future, judging something, or reacting.

In order to get ourselves out of these ruts, we need to become more aware of the choices we make ‘in the moment’ and ask ourselves how these choices make us feel.

Continue reading ““Yum or Yuck” Your Way Out Of A Rut”

Move & Meditate on Nantucket – Weekend Getaway!

Nantucket Get Away!
The Nantucket Hotel & Resort

Take a minute to reflect on all the emotional energy and effort you put into everything that you do in your life – your work, family, friendships, community, travel, health, etc.

Our lives are very busy and clearly over-scheduled!  Sometimes we forget how restorative and renewing it can be to take any time away from our daily routines, to recharge the batteries and connect deeply with ourselves and others in nature.  When was the last time you took a weekend for yourself and disconnected from your phone, your laptop, your weekend routine and just recharged?

Continue reading “Move & Meditate on Nantucket – Weekend Getaway!”

5 Tips To Help You Avoid Holiday Stress

kelleysandsanta“The greatest gift you can give someone is your presence.”  ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

I like to think that the greatest gift you can give to anyone this holiday season is to get your sh!% together.  =)

The Holidays are a time of joy, love, family, friends… and stress.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Holiday season.  Nothing makes me happier than seeing the look on my kids face when they’re opening their gifts on Christmas morning.  But… between the physical demands of always being on the go – running from one party to another – and the extra emotional energy needed to catch up with family and friends… not to mention socializing with colleagues at company parties, the Holidays can be VERY stressful.  Add in an ample supply of cookies, candy canes, caffeine, and some extra Nog, you’re bound to get some heightened physical and emotional reactions to your stress.

In order to slow things down so we can really enjoy the Holiday season this year we need to start planning NOW.  Here are five tips that will help you manage your stress levels over the Holiday season.

Continue reading “5 Tips To Help You Avoid Holiday Stress”

Active Listening

Active listening is the essence of meditation. It’s also the only thing that really matters in relationships.

Wait, I'm multitasking on my Princess Phone!
Wait, I’m multitasking on my Princess Phone!

As we explore our relationships, what matters most is staying present, being empathetic, knowing how to pay attention and to listen, holding space for difficult emotions, and regulating our emotions. All of these are directly trained through meditation practice.

If you’ve ever been with someone who is not listening to you, not really there with you, isn’t empathetic, you sense it, and you don’t feel as though you’re being heard. What is fundamental to a relationship is being seen, feeling heard, and understood. So the first thing meditation does is train us how to actually be present. How to focus our attention on this moment as we connect with that other person.

Even as a meditation teacher it is challenging for me to practice what I preach.  That’s exactly WHY I practice. Everyone’s mind wanders… a lot. Mindfulness helps me build up these critical skills (through those mental pushups) that positively influence my relationships.

I hope this helps!
– Andy

Meditation For People Who Don’t Get It But Really Need It

chalene-show

New York Times Best Selling Author, Celebrity Fitness trainer  Chalene Johnson recently asked me to be a guest on her podcast show!  I’d love for you to take a listen below and let me know your thoughts…

The Chalene Show – Podcasts – Meditation For People Who Dont Get It But Really Need It

Today is the day that I start my journey towards understanding if meditation has a place in my daily routine.  I’m speaking Andrew Kelley, a.k.a. “The Boston Buddha”.  Andy answers all of my rapidly-paced questions about meditation: Do I have to close my eyes? Do I have to sit with my legs crossed? Where should I meditate and for how long? And, most importantly, WHY should I meditate?

Fact: A lot of very successful people meditate. Another fact: I don’t. However, it seems like everywhere I turn, another super successful person is mentioning how important meditation is to them  on a daily basis. I already have a process that I go through every morning: plan my day, make my bed, stop and take a moment of gratitude, pray, exercise –  is there even room for meditation?

Some common questions about meditation:

Do I have to close my eyes?

Andy says, “No,” but he does recommend that as you’re starting, you should block out as many distractions as possible – and closing your eyes helps.

Do I have to sit with my legs crossed?

Nope. Andy says the idea is to be comfortable and that early practitioners of meditation didn’t have comfy couches like we do.

Why should I meditate?

People who practice and endorse meditation say that it helps them re-focus their mind and also provides them with a sense of calm. Andy says he started meditating because he was having a hard time sleeping and he was pleasantly surprised that it only took one week for his sleeping habits to improve.

When should I meditate?

There is no “right’ time, but you might have to make meditating a priority in your schedule. Many people meditate in the morning because there is nothing else scheduled at that time – it’s quiet and there are no pressing demands on their time. You’ll need to find the time that works best for yourself.

Lastly, JOIN ME ON MY 30-DAY CHALLENGE THROUGH MEDITATION!

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Want more great tips and resources on improving balance, energy, organization, health fitness, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Each episode of my podcast, The Chalene Show is designed to give you strategies and simple steps you can implement today to become a better, more balanced, happier version of yourself. LISTEN NOW!