Catherine Tanaka
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Why You Should Do This Too!

I have been obsessed with business books over the past few years- I love gaining knowledge on how I can run my business better and be of greater service across all my jobs. Lately, however, I have been questioning the relevance of what I do with all the turmoil in the world- does fitness really matter when people are dying, where there is so much hate, when it seems like all we really need is MORE love, kindness and humanity in the world… (i could go on forever).


My children are my joy- pure, un-relentless joy… But I needed an input of relevance positive information amongst the sadness and chaos I see in the world.  So I picked up a new book last week: The Book Of Joy. This book is an intimate look at the conversations between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the conversation of JOY.


They are looking at the questions of “How do we find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering?”

[Read the book- it is such a beautiful look at these two holy men]

These men have endured and “survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression” but despite it all they are two of the most joyful people in the world!



The Dalai Lama shares a little about his 5, yes FIVE HOUR practice of DAILY meditation.  He rises at 3am to meditate for 5 hours straight.  This is probably why he is one of the greatest holiest spiritual leaders of our time, but he shares the scientific evidence that grounds the practice of meditation in truth and relevance that many people seek to validate the rationale behind doing something.  He shares that meditation “allows your mind to settle inward, beyond thought, to experience the silent reservoir of energy, creativity and intelligence found within everyone – a natural state of restful alertness.”

Meditation has been part of my life for many years now. I actually attribute my first child’s sweet calm demeanour to my daily meditation when I was pregnant with him.


I recently added the practice of mediation back into my daily morning ritual, even if for just 5 minutes.  I has made a shift for me- given me more vulnerability to be present, to love greatly and play bigger.


I promise you, finding and focusing on your breathe- inhaling and exhaling deeply- for 5 minutes minimum can CHANGE YOUR LIFE!


I can never seem to focus on anything for very long, let alone sitting in silence for a long perio of time.  But i know the benefits of meditation, the value and pay-off, is far greater than my antsyness- so I choose to mediate in the best way I can.


I don’t think a meditation practice needs to look a certain way or should have a set of rules.  I is a “practice” meaning that progressively you will grow to improve your ability to quiet your mind and focus.  

Here is what I do, and I invite you to try it on and make it your own.


  1. I like to mediate immediately upon waking up- I get OUT of bed and sit in a comfortable position, cross-legged and place my hands on my thighs with my eyes closed.  This is usually at 5am so it is always quiet- but if you’re not in a quiet space, find one.
  2. Visualization is always part of my mediations.  I always picture myself in one of my two favourite settings, either on the edge of a beach with the waves lapping up against my legs, looking out at the horizon, or I picture myself sitting on a mountain top, looking across atop hundreds of other mountain tops.  If you’re not a visual person, you can focus on the rhythmic flow of your breathing or listen for your pulse or your heart beat.  This allows you to have a focal point to bring your thoughts back to when you find your mind wandering.  I know I always get distracted- many people do- just refocus and bring your attention back to your breath or your visual picture.
  3. I use a timer to keep me on track and give me a point to work towards. I set myself up for a 10 minute meditation mostly, but 5 minutes is perfect and reasonable to start with. My goal is to always just be and I let go of whatever expectations I have attached to the judgement of meditating.
  4. After i feel grounded and that i’m just sitting on my mountain top, I either hang out there a little longer or I create an intention for the day, a way you want to greet the world with, or an attitude you want to approach your day with.  Usually my intention is EASE and ACCEPTANCE- don’t ask- my goal if for my life to show up more effortlessly and for me to be accepting of whatever come without judgement- not as no effort, lazy, but show up as it should through the law of least effort.

  1. Finally, I just let my time mediation be whatever comes.  I try to find quiet, inner calm in my racing thoughts.  I look to transcend my thoughts and find my state of being.


Anyway, that’s what I do and find that there is tremendous benefit for me.  My thoughts are less chaotic, I find inner peace, quiet my inner critic and find more joy in my daily life in the simplest things.  
I hope this is helpful! I’d love to know if you try this and how this goes.


About the Author Catherine Tanaka

My name is Catherine Tanaka. I am a Personal Trainer, Transformation Coach, Yogi enthusiast and Mom of two. I am on a mission to make a difference in others happiness through fitness using the best research available to give you the best fitness hacks to make being the best version of you possible. Learn more about my one-on-one coaching or check out my Online Course - The Body Project Protocol.

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