The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation


I’m an on-again, off-again meditator. In today’s world, it can be challenging to take a few minutes of “me time” every day to balance yourself. No matter where you are in your life, odds are there are many things vying for your attention, but it’s actually in our best interest to take some time each day for meditation. “Meditation” can be an intimidating word, but it can be as easy as taking just a few peaceful moments to clear your mind.

I’ve always felt my best when I have 15-20 minutes to meditate at the start of everyday. The time I set aside for meditation also improves this way. It becomes easier and easier for me to reach a ‘clear’ space, the more often I meditate. Like everything else though, the practice of meditation is a habit, and somewhere along the way my meditation habit stopped, so now I’m working to get back into it.

In the meantime I try to find other moments to calm my mind. It can be 60 seconds of clear thought, 10 deep and uninterrupted breaths before moving on to something else (these can be done in the car or in any private space), or 5 minutes lying down in bed before sleep just appreciating the day. It can also be journaling, or taking a brief walk. The true purpose is to put space between your thoughts and the amount of time spent thinking them, with the goal of being present. Allowing yourself to be present, without interruptions, creates designated time for clarity to bloom.


The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

If you do a quick Google search for “meditation,” there’s a long list of philosophies and schools of thought that you can dig through. If you’re interested in learning more about them and choosing one that fits your lifestyle best, go for it! If not, though, don’t worry. You can reap the benefits of meditation without having to dive too deeply into a practice. Below are a few simple steps to straightforward meditation.

  1. Find a quiet spot where you can sit or lie down — however you’re most comfortable.
  2. Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Feel free to use props, such as a pillow or folded blanket, if you need to.
  3. Slowly try to calm your mind. Don’t try to block any of your thoughts. Instead, try to notice and accept them as they appear, but don’t dwell on them. Just surrender to that noise in your brain.
  4. Relax your body – start with your shoulders, then unclench your jaw and continue to relax as you calm your mind. Meditation can only really happen if your body is able to relax, so make sure you’re comfortable and feel free to move around until you find the right position.
  5. Sit quietly for a minute, or up to 20 minutes and focus on your breathing.
  6. When you’re ready to get up, try to bring movement and intention back into your body and mind slowly.

How Will Meditation Benefit You?

  • Meditation can help regulate emotions, including anxiety. By learning how to clear your mind and simply exist with your thoughts you can better control the emotions that you feel. For people who have anxiety, this can lead to better control over that anxiety.
  • Meditation can help you stay focused. One of the most challenging aspects of meditation is allowing thoughts to occur without getting distracted by them. Essentially, you’re focusing on the task of not focusing. By doing so, you can learn to have greater control over your mental focus, and this can lead to better productivity and concentration throughout the rest of the day.
  • Meditation makes you take a closer look at whom you really are. When you’re alone with your thoughts, it’s hard to pretend that you’re someone you’re not. Through meditation, you can see first-hand your reoccurring thoughts and feelings so you can confront, change or adjust them. Meditation can be used as a tool for growth.
  • Meditation is wonderful for your skin. Stress is very hard on your skin —from frown lines to a dull complexion; it can take a toll on your skin’s health. Meditation helps you overcome stress and take a more confident, thoughtful approach to situations that, eventually, can help eliminate stress before it even appears.

    Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn

    Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

    “Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

Growing Through Grief

Growing Through Grief


It was 3 years ago today. I called my Mom and she didn’t answer the phone. That in itself wasn’t too unusual since I just spoke to her the night before, but when I tried to reach her later in the day and she didn’t answer again, I knew something was wrong.

Before the end of the day her body will be taken to a funeral home, I will have talked to a dozen people whose names and faces I’ll never remember or recognize, I will have googled cardiac arrest repeatedly, and be crying so hard while begging God to bring her back, that I actually think I’ll hyperventilate.

When you lose someone incredibly close to you, it’s as if a screen that’s been shielding you from the world – a protective screen you didn’t even know was there – is suddenly gone, along with the person you love. You see things more clearly, feel things more deeply, hurt harder, but also love stronger. You’re forced to grow, forced to reflect – the death of one person can create a domino effect in your life.

And that certainly was the case for me. I’m not an expert on grief and I’m not someone who is even fully healed from my Mom’s death, but I have learned the value and power of living deliberately.

Because the former screen that shielded me, also allowed me to believe in illusions. The Illusion that time isn’t limited. That ‘now’ will never come to an end. That negative emotions like insecurity and jealousy are acceptable, and that fitting in is more important than being your authentic self. Those illusions are gone.

I’ve learned we have choice for a reason. We get to choose who and what we give our attention to. Choice is powerful. When we choose, we focus, and what we focus on determines our satisfaction in life. Half-lived lives happen when we focus on things that make us feel unsatisfied.

Learning this lesson changed my focus – personally and professionally. I rebranded and relaunched my own beauty company after taking time away to process grief. And I learned the value of mental health and wellbeing. Genuine Glow now makes a nutrient-rich exfoliator, and promotes the benefits of inner wellbeing. We highlight and discuss the importance of inner beauty while making an outer beauty skin care product. I don’t believe those 2 things have to cancel each other out.

Genuine Glow represents a 360-degree Glow. An equal combination of inside and outside beauty. To do that, we recognize that feeling good on the inside is just as important as looking good on the outside. We won’t compromise one for the other. We are working to reimagine beauty.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

A Step Towards Attainable Self-Care

A Step Towards Attainable Self-Care

A Step Towards Attainable Self-Care


We tend to think of self-care as an act of doing or something to schedule. Taking a bubble bath, attending a yoga class, getting a massage, having a glass of wine at home to relax, or an evening out with friends. Although these certainly are components of self-care, they only make up a fraction of what self-care actually is.

We can buy all the wellness products, enroll in the most popular workout classes, travel to fabulous destinations, and take a hundred bubble baths, but if we can’t find balance, satisfaction, and peace inside of us, the “me time” that we often refer to as self-care won’t cause us to feel better for very long.

Regular self-care has to do with what we are saying, thinking and feeling, not what we’re buying or doing. Taking care of our headspace and loving ourselves needs to be at the heart of our self-care routine. There isn’t anything else that will replace the positive benefits that come from prioritizing our wellbeing and showing ourselves kindness.

This starts with taking an inventory of the words we’re thinking and saying out loud, as well as paying attention to what we’re watching, what we’re reading, and what we’re having conversations about. Have we set up our day to care about ourselves or are we responding to the situations that are happening around us? Are we going into our day with a purpose or are we allowing other people and their intentions to take center stage?

It starts with taking an honest account of what our days look like and making adjustments when appropriate. We often don’t see the role we play in our own drama until we do this. And although there isn’t a one size fits all approach to how we should start our day or what we should be giving our attention to, we can tell by how we’re feeling if we’re on the track to satisfaction or not.

Taking score of our feelings helps us to understand where our set point is. Because sometimes we can become so accustomed to a negative set point that it doesn’t even feel negative anymore.

An example: I had a good friend for a number of years that lived out of state. We became closer at a certain point in life when we were both facing tough situations. She was going through a divorce and I was having a challenging time in a new job in a brand new city. At first it was nice to have someone to complain with, and someone who agreed with me. I had an ally in unhappiness and ironically that made me feel better. We could laugh and carry on about all the shitty things we felt were happening to us. But eventually I needed to make changes to get my set point back to satisfaction, and once I did, I didn’t have as much to complain about.

The topics of conversations I wanted to have were different than before. I didn’t want to complain about what was – I left that behind, I now wanted to enjoy feeling good. Even though she too made changes, her complaints didn’t stop. And I noticed her set point didn’t move to where mine was. I kept this friendship going for a while because we had known each other for so long, but every time I talked to her it was easy for me to fall back into that pattern where we looked for and spoke about things we didn’t like. Eventually I realized I was tolerating a lot of lows for a few highs and our friendship ran its course.

Although this doesn’t always have to happen – we don’t necessarily need to cut people or things from our life, in this case, it was for the best. So often the strongest emotion wins and the loudest voice takes over the conversation even if it’s unpleasant or wrong. And if we’re around someone who is complaining, we often complain.

So I had to take account of my role in my own drama and recognize who and what I was giving my attention to. One of the greatest gifts I’ve learned is that we get to decide where our focus goes. We can decide what we give our energy to. This is living deliberately.

Once I realized this friend wasn’t a shoulder to lean on, but rather it was someone who made it easy for me to stay stationary, I became much more aware of the conversations I was having. I recognized the words I was saying would trigger feelings within me, and I didn’t want to repeat the mistake of focusing on the negative.

Our future is being put together by our daily routine. What we give our time and attention to dictates our emotional responses. And in life there are times when bad, unfair, unfortunate, and sad things happen that we don’t have control over, so why would we want to spend our time looking for unhappiness or feeling dissatisfied? Our behavior – our conversations – our thoughts – become habits. And those habits become our life.

Life isn’t black and white. It’s full of colors and options to pick from, and we owe it to ourselves to identify and focus on the things that bring us the most satisfaction.

Each today is creating our tomorrow. We have choice in every moment.


Nicki Carrea believes that true beauty is synonymous with well-being. In 2015 she established Genuine Glow, an inside-outside wellness and skin care brand, and is a published beauty and wellness writer and speaker. Drawing on her life experiences she conceptualized and launched the Genuine Glow blog, which spotlights authentic voices, and creates a platform for shared experiences and human connection. Nicki is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and currently resides in New York City. You can connect with Nicki here: LinkedIn & Instagram

Genuine Glow is a wellness and skin care brand that creates nutrient-rich exfoliators and specializes in inside-outside health and beauty. Established in 2015, Genuine Glow has been nominated for 3 CEW Awards (Best New Indie Beauty Brand, Best New Indie Skin Care Brand, and Best Exfoliator/Scrub) and chosen as a Top 50 Breakthrough Beauty Brand. You can connect with the brand here: WebsiteInstagramFacebook

“Genuine Glow™ products and blog are not intended to cure, treat, prevent, mitigate or diagnose any disease, and are not intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body. The Genuine Glow blog is based on anecdotal wisdom and the experiences and research reported by others. We are not medical professionals and we have not independently tested these claims. Always consult your physician or mental healthcare provider if you have questions about a medical or psychiatric condition or if you seek medical advice.”

Pin It on Pinterest