Back to top

The best gift you can ever give your...

Last December 26, I entered a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. We woke up at 4am, meditated, had breakfast, meditated, had lunch, meditate, took a tea break, meditated, listen to daily discourses, meditated, then went to bed at 9pm. Supercalifragilisticexpialiawesome!

I had spent all of December reviewing 1,000+ daily gratitude entries for 2016. And I noticed that I was happiest when I took extended time off from my business. So on Christmas day, before starting the Vipassana retreat, I gifted myself the entire month of January off. Best gift ever!!

It was easier and it was harder

This was my second Vipassana retreat in 6 months. It was easier because instead of learning a new technique and practicing it, I just practiced it. Everything was familiar.

During the first retreat, I sat for 25min before everything started to hurt. During this one, I sat for 50min before everything started to hurt. Progress!

But it was harder because the inner crap that I eliminated last time (yay!) left way for deeeeeeper inner crap to surface this time (crap!).

It's like surgery, but in reverse order

Many have asked about my Vipassana experience. The best I can do is compare it to elective surgery:

  • You know you don't need it
  • But you know it'll enhance your quality of life
  • But you know it'll hurt like hell
  • But you also know that the pain will fade and you'll be far better off

Except the order is different:

  • Surgery gives you anesthesia --> then physical surgery --> then medication to dull your pain
  • Vipassana gives you zero anesthesia --> then spiritual surgery with lots of pain --> then liberation to boost your happiness

It's also like childbirth

For those who are interested in attending a Vipassana meditation retreat, don't be dissuaded by all this talk of pain. It's like childbirth: after a while you forget how much it hurt and want to do it again. I did. Lol!

The best kind of endurance training

Vipassana was like mental Olympics training. To sit on a cushion for a continuous hour, without moving any part of the body, oy!

Whenever the pain kicked in at 50min, I defaulted to "fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck" to try to reduce the pain, like Lamaze breathing.

But then, I remembered being taught to be non-reactive, so to not amplify the source of the reaction. So I switched to "pain, pain, pain, pain, pain," thinking identifying the sensation by name would reduce the source of the pain.

But then, I remembered being taught to not to use words to dilute the practice. So I switched to "ow, ow, ow, ow, ow."

But then, I remembered being taught to not qualify any sensation as good or bad, to remain equanimous. So I switched to "it’s just a sensation, it’s just a sensation, it’s just a sensation."

But then, I remembered being taught to always tell the truth. So I switched to "fucking hell, I'm moving my leg and walking outta here!"

They died :O

The above cycle repeated itself over, and over, and over, and over...

My inner perfectionist was dying inside. She couldn't do the meditation perfectly.

My inner restless shiny-squirrel was dying inside. She couldn't sit still doing the same boring thing over and over.

And then, on the 8th day... they died! Both of them... died :O. Somebody pop a champagne! I was freed. It was the strangest feeling. And still is. Woah!

The best gift you can ever give your business

Do you have any idea what a business sans perfectionist and sans shiny-squirrel is like? 

  • Re-branding is 90% complete
  • The Overachiever Personality Test is complete (you'll get the link in the next few days!)
  • 28 Secrets Overachievers Want You to Know e-book is written (working on finalizing layout)
  • Waiting list for Mastermind is at 116% capacity
  • Readership went from 5,000 to 7,000!

So the best gift you can ever give your business is: liberation. Free yourself from... yourself!

Only if it works for you

Vipassana happened to be a 6-in-1 technique that gave me: liberation, endurance training, death of inner perfectionist + shiny-squirrel, serenity, full system reset with 10 days away from life, and full business reset with 30 days away from work.

Practice what works for you. And ideally, practice a technique that gives you multiple-in-1 benefits!

You asked last time

1. Speaking of what works for you, on my last blog of the year, you asked:

When you have so many talents and ideas, how are you supposed to choose just one thing?

  • Answer: You don't. Choose 3 things and cycle through them linearly (do one after the other), simultaneously (all at the same time), or cyclically (do one for a bit, the 2nd for a bit, the 3rd for a bit, come back to first one, etc.). Or, you can choose more than 3 things AND accept that each thing will take more time to complete. If you choose more and refuse to accept this reality, you will feel suffering. So don't do that.

 2. Once you stop living according to what other people think, how do you figure out who you're truly meant to be?

  • Answer: What you choose to do and who choose to be on the journey to figuring it out is who you're truly meant to be.

3. What do you do when you took time off to figure things out, but you still don't have any free time?

  • Answer: You sketch your Busyness Tracker and upgrade it every 3 months.
  • Will be sending you a link to Busyness Tracker from Málaga, Spain, where I'm moving to tomorrow!!!

Sending you a whoppin' dose of happiness and freedom from the Chicago International Airport departure lounge!

Lotsa goodies coming your way, are you ready?

xo, Ella