TransformU: Brain. Mind. Body. Heart. 

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To expect the best from my students I have to be the best myself. I developed an intentional framework that's based on my values and it inspires and empowers me to make the best of each day. I live a mindful life- Mindful thinking, running, meditating, eating, teaching, socializing -all of it. I hope you'll join me in living an intentional, healthy, joyful, productive, and mindful life.  


Together we can change the world.


Meditation didn't come naturally. The truth is that I didn't even think about meditation until one day. It was around 2013. The stress, frustration, anxiety, and the loss of my parents took a toll on me and I needed help. I wasn't happy. I had everything I was supposed to - career, money, car, etc...but I was still not happy. So I heard about mindfulness meditation and began exploring and learning all about it. I attended meditation classes, met other people, and went on a meditation retreat. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I came back with a new mindset and perspective on life. I immediately noticed a real psychological and cognitive difference and I decided to immerse myself and become a lifelong student of neuroscience, specifically neuroplasticity, which gave me the insights needed to understand this personal transformation I was about to experience.  Needless to say, seven years later mindfulness meditation has transformed my life and it’s been my mission ever since to educate and empower others about personal transformation and growth through meditation and a consistent wellness routine. 


We can achieve personal and professional fulfillment once we learn about who we really are: our values, beliefs, behaviors, goals, career, relationships, etc.

A strong mind, body, and heart/soul are imperative to our wellbeing. I've had a workout routine since 2001. Around 2010 I added strength and weight training, high intensity- HIIT, and bodyweight exercises. In 2013 I added meditation to my wellness routine and that's when everything "clicked". I am always learning about new ways to improve my overall health. I love challenges and usually sign up for social challenges such as running a marathon. I love to push the limits and strengthen my mind and my body and be ready for what's ahead. Of course, I share my lessons with my students of all ages because my mission in life is to educate and help people achieve their potential. I want people to be happy, healthy, and in control of their lives. 

My running journey began with walking one mile and then jogging two and before too long I was hooked. I signed up for running races, met fellow runners and I fell in love with running. I love to run and have been running since 2000. For me, running is meditation, strength, courage, and it's also miraculous. It is tough too, which I love - it prepares me for life's challenges. When I run I am only running, thanks to my meditation practice, I am no longer letting my mind control me, at least most of the time. Since 2000 I've run multiple races including the 2007 New York City Marathon, and this year I'll be running the 2020 Chicago Marathon. 


If you are thinking about running or you're interested in learning how to run in a more mindful way, here are my top 10 tips:



1. Be open to change. Start small - walking a block, then two, then add walk/jog and work your way up to 15 and then 30 minutes. 


2. Stay connected to your mind-body-heart and listen to what it tells you. a proper form is IMPORTANT so I suggest reading a book on running form and see what works for you.


3. We are made to run. Do not be afraid to push yourself and get out of comfort zone.


4. We are stronger than we think we are.  We are only limited by our often self-limiting beliefs. You'll hear the voice in your head telling you to stop, and give up but do not listen to it. You are in control of your thoughts, not the other way around. 


5. Strengthen your legs. Many people get injured because the muscle is not used to it and didn't receive proper attention. How can you get your legs stronger? Use proper shoes, incorporate squats and lunges and stretch.


6. Join other runners. Running is social and you'll love to meet other runners and become inspired and motivated to keep going. 


7. Keep track of your running, measure and adjust. I use a few free apps - Strava, runkeeper, and Nike Run Club. It's motivating to see your efforts and be sure to celebrate every little achievement and build confidence. 


8. Eat mindfully. I believe it's far more important what and how you eat. WE must eat in a mindful way to give the body the food it needs so we can be healthy and strong for a lifetime.


9. Schedule your runs and stick to it. Just like anything else running requires practice. Try to run in the morning and see how you feel. Try in the evening and see how you feel and then decide. I prefer mornings. 


10. Sign up for a 5K race (3.1 miles). I love to sign up for a few races throughout the year to stay motivated and healthy. For a 5K as a beginner, it will take about 12 weeks, give or take, depends on your endurance, and overall health. 


My morning routine:


  1. Wake up at 5 am

  2. Coffee

  3. Meditate

  4. Workout

  5. Read

  6. Write - Journal

  7. Eat

  8. Begin a productive day


My evening routine:


  1. Write Journal - reflect

  2. Plan the next day

  3. Meditate

  4. Read

  5. In bed by 10-10:30


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Dr. Val Margarit is an educational leader, faculty trainer, speaker, and author.  Her work focuses on the complex relationship between neuroscience/neuroplasticity, education, and social behavior. She has won numerous teaching awards, including Teacher of the Year, and the Free to Choose Excellence in Education award. She created a massive open online course The Complete GuideAchieving Success in College and Beyond and has been teaching and training online for the past 10 years. Her books include the best-selling “Why Not You? How to Become an Empowered Woman and The Successful Student Mindset



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