Meditation, what is it exactly? Why do people do it? Why do people think they can't do it? These are all great questions that I'm here to help you better understand from my point of view.
What is meditation?
Meditation is about being in the present moment and using techniques to help you be mindful of yourself and your surroundings. I believe that meditation is a personal experience and can be transformative if done on a consistent basis. Meditation is about using your breath and visualizations to help train your consciousness to a more focused state.
Why would I want to meditate?
Ever wake up one day and say to yourself, "I'm so done with feeling a certain way?" I think I can speak for most of us and say that we all have. It happened to me much too frequently and I knew there had to be a way to just feel better overall. That is when I found yoga, meditation being one part of the 8 limbs - Dhyana. I'll definitely be talking about the 8 limbs another time! Meditation can help in so many ways. It helps bring a calmness I've never felt before and brings emotions to the surface which is a way of healing.
I realized when the feelings bubbled up during meditation that after the session I felt so much lighter. I also learned to completely dive into what I was feeling because when I did that I was teaching myself how to deal with it while it was happening. I think when we feel depressed or sad we just want to remove that feeling and get on to the high vibrations BUT the low vibrations are the growing lessons, it's how I have learned so much about myself and how it's a forever learning experience. Feel it, process it & let go of it.
Excuses I hear all the time are:
"I can't meditate, I can't sit still that long." "My mind can't focus, I have a million thoughts running through my head."
If you didn't have thoughts running through your mind you wouldn't be human. Don't beat yourself up about it, acknowledge the thoughts and go back to focusing on your breath or your affirmation.
Anyone who can sit or lie down can meditate. It's always hard to start or to try something new right? But if you're truly looking to dig deeper to find your true authentic self, to find more peace of mind, to set a high vibration tone for your day, or maybe to destress after a long day, meditation can help your mind and your subconscious to get to your destination.
How do I meditate?
You just do it, just start! Don't even worry about the how, just freaking do. Let's get on with it, shall we!?
6 easy steps
In a comfortable seated position with spine lengthened, SETTLE IN.
NOTICE the breath, do a full body scan.
BREATHE start to deepen the breath, maybe focus on a counted breath. Take a pause in silence.
VISUALIZE or FOCUS on the first color that comes to your mind. That color turns into an energy that encompasses your entire body starting from the toes up to your head.
FEEL whatever it is that rises up to the surface, sit with those feelings, process them and let go. Breathe in affirmation, breathe out letting go anything that does not serve you. Pause in silence.
PRESENT MOMENT slowly start to bring awareness back to your body, noticing your surroundings, maybe some light stretching to start or end your day off right!
A guided meditation for you
Find a comfortable seated position either on the floor in your bed or in a chair with feet flat on the ground or lying on the floor with your spine lengthened.
Take a moment to relax the body, connect to the breath and settle the mind.
As you begin to find stillness, bring your awareness to your breath. Notice the gentle rise and falls of your inhales and exhales.
Observe the breath, is it smooth and steady or shallow and quick? Either way is okay no judgement, just simply observing.
Start to deepen your breath.
Create a pattern where your inhales matches that of your exhales. Let's do this by a counted breath.
Exhale, Inhale, 2, 3, 4 Exhale, 2, 3, 4
Do this as many rounds as you need.
As you sit with your breath become aware of your thoughts that might pass by. Acknowledge them and let them go and come back to your breath.
Set an intention for the day or to close the day. E.g. I am open to possibilities and find comfort in my decisions. Or simply - I am grounded, calm, stable and safe. Pick something that resonates with you.
In your mind breathe in an affirmation.
Inhale - I am Exhale (affirmation)
Bring your hands to heart center, let's take a big cleansing breath together, exhale, inhale through the nose and a big exhale out through the mouth sigh it out. Letting go of all that does not serve you.
Slowly bow the head down, gently blink the eyes open. Slowly bring the head back up.
Hooray! You did it! Don't you feel 10lbs lighter? Ah, I'm excited for you to find some peace and calmness, reduce some anxiety and stress in your life. The deeper you dive into yourself the less messier life becomes. Give yourself the time and that gift, it might not be noticeable overnight but I promise you it will change your life. I'm walking proof. I have to make the time and it's not easy being a mommy. I like to do my meditations in the morning because it really sets the tone for the whole day. How do I find time with 2 kids? Well, that has to be a whole other blog! Signing off until next time.
Photography Credit: Sara Lemner Photography