Meditation to me, means being still, being quiet and simply just being. Seems easy right? Simple concept yes, but easy to implement, not necessarily. There is a lot that goes into the process of creating a meditation practice.
The nice thing is that it can and should look however you want. For some people it is a long period of time, in a specific spot, and for others it is 3 minutes in the car before you walk into your home after a long day.
Meditation and mindfulness have become buzzwords in wellness circles. But for me, I have found this to be an invaluable practice and one that I am working on daily.
We, as a culture are not used to slowing down, getting quiet and creating space to be alone with our thoughts. We are trained to expect noise coming at us from every direction, pretty much at all times.
Constant noise and distraction from the world around us is something we can’t control. However, the good news is that we are able to control and choose how we react to it. That response will inevitably be determined by what we are rooted in and the strength of our “muscles” when it comes to following our heart, and our intuition in the face of differing opinions.
The way I see it, developing a meditation practice is a way to flex and grow that muscle. If we are allowing time each day to get quiet ourselves and then intentionally quiet the world around us, we are creating space for our inner most desires and thoughts to come to the surface. It is a sad thought that the most beautiful, creative and profound ideas or dreams might be forever lost in a sea of crazy. What if we make it our mission to simply settle down on purpose and see what comes up? The good news is, there is not one right way to meditate.
This sense of uniqueness is a common theme with A Simply Big Life because I believe so strongly in the fact that we are created to be individuals. We all have unique gifts, abilities, struggles etc, things that makes us who we are. Since that is the case, then why would we assume there is a one size fits all diet or the one perfect way to meditate for all of mankind.
I’m here to tell you that your meditation practice can be as unique to you as your fingerprint! It can be as long as you want, it can be in any location, you can be walking, sitting, standing, the list goes on and on. I don’t know about you, but that gives me so much freedom and excitement, while also taking the pressure off. Not only can it look different day to day but also will change according to your season of life.
The only thing you must do when you want to begin meditating is…are you ready for it…just START! The only way you are going to find what works for you is by experimenting. Try different apps, different positions, and lengths of time. Also, experiment with the time of day that makes the most sense for you.
Naturally we think of starting our day with meditating, but truly an afternoon session or right before bed will allow for so many benefits. When the main goal is shutting out the noise and reconnecting to yourself, however you choose to do that is the right way! With all that being said, I know that meditation can be very intimidating and even written off as woo woo or not for you. To that I say, don’t knock it till you try it.
There are endless benefits that stem from meditating. For me personally, probably the most clear result is when I take some time in the morning to get quiet. I will find that throughout the day I am able to respond in a much more calm manner when things don’t go according to plan, which is A LOT (especially when kids are involved!)
That right there is enough for me to want to keep going, but I also believe that continuing on this path and creating a real, consistent meditation practice will allow me to tap into my intuition on a daily basis. This is a big deal because, I want to live my life fully expressed, I want to be in alignment with my values and truly live each day on purpose. The way I see it, meditating on a daily basis is one of the incredible tools that I have in my toolbox to do just that.
To get you going on the path, I want to share a few things that have helped me along the way. First, downloading an app when you are beginning is a great idea! I have tried both Headspace and the Insight Timer. The only way you will figure out which one suits you is by trying them both. For me, I tend to gravitate towards Headspace when I want to be consistent and not think too much about which meditation to do. The app will guide you along your journey. For the Insight timer, you have tons of options and you could do a different one everyday if that’s what floats your boat.
Next, I have found that deciding on a general time of day as well as your typical spot is a good idea. This will take some of the guesswork out of creating a practice and you are more likely to form a habit. Again, it will look different for all of us, but for me, I like to try and get it in during my morning routine. I tend to go up to my room and I have a certain chair that I like to sit in because its comfy. It’s really that simple, whatever makes you comfortable will most likely mean that you will want to continue to do it.
Lastly, I have found that it can be hard sometimes to jump right from the crazy, loud world we live in, to a deep state of relaxation and meditation. Lately I have been trying to get in the zone by doing a few stretches or even a yoga flow to connect my mind and my body. I find this calms my mind just enough to sit in my seat and be still. If yoga isn’t your thing, or you think it might be, you just don’t know where to start, try this beginners flow.
But be careful, yoga, just like meditating can become addictive!