I'm going, to be honest. I LOVE meditation.
Don't get me wrong, there was a time when I absolutely hated it. I mean, meditation was just an invitation for my anxiety to creep up into my thoughts. Trying to meditate for even a minute let the anxiety loose. Then I'd hear the faintest sound of my cat, or the ping of my phone... UGH. I just ended up quitting altogether.
Even though I stopped meditation for a while, I knew I had to find a way to make it a consistent practice in my life. I knew the benefits and the difference it would make, especially when it came down to my mental health. I had to make meditation more exciting and something I looked forward to rather than absolutely dreaded.
Personally, I think of mediation as an incredible luxury. It's available to absolutely everyone on earth and is accessible to the one thing we left behind in childhood... our imaginations. For most people, the issue is... taking the time to slow down and having to deal with our thoughts. Like, who wants to do that work? We often think that meditation is just a bunch of "woo woo" that spiritual leaders are constantly preaching about. But, they preach with good reason.
Here are some of the emotional benefits to meditation:
Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
Building skills to manage your stress
Focusing on the present
Reducing negative emotions
Increasing imagination and creativity
Increasing patience and tolerance
These are only the emotional benefits...there's more!
* read more about meditation and the benefits here.
I started to think of meditation as FUN. An outlet for my imagination, creativity, and potential. The one point of my day I allow myself to let go of the hustle and bustle, the responsibilities, the to-do list and completely focus on myself. It's the chance to connect to my inner child and engage in PLAY. It's pure, light-hearted, positive, and inspiration that allows me to explore my potentials and possibilities in my life. It holds the road map of where I am and lights the path to where I want to be. The path of my inner adventure.
Here are 5 tips to help you develop your own unique meditation practice...
1. Schedule in your calendar as a sacred appointment.
I'm not going to sit here and tell you that meditation is easy. Because it really isn't. That's why they call it a practice... because you actually have to practice doing it. In order to do so, I found that blocking out at least 15 minutes to meditate in my calendar each day, keeps me accountable in following through. This sacred appointment helped me see the importance and value of holding space for myself. It taught me that slowing down and not being busy every single minute of the day is essential to my happiness. It has become an appointment that I rarely miss because ... well, I'm now a believer in the power of meditation.
2. Find a meditation that you ACTUALLY like listening to.
Meditation on my own was really hard. I was distracted, stressed, and began forcing myself to breathe which ended up feeling like a chore. Obviously, once something starts to feel like a chore, you immediately stop doing the thing. I didn't want to make that a habit. I decided to search for a few guided meditations that would motivate me to sit still even if it was just for a few moments. Music became a very important aspect of meditation for me. It was the thing that allowed me to fully relax, let go, and unlock my imagination. Maybe it's my inner nerd and my love of all things fantasy, but melodies that made me feel like I was in the middle of an epic adventure movie are my favourite go-to's. Start exploring what sounds relax you, allow you to breathe, and let go. If you find that you do best with complete silence, do what works for you. In the end, whatever you're listening to ... make sure it's your inner being.
3. Don't try to block all your thoughts out... that's counter-productive.
Sometimes my meditations last for a minute or 1 hr. I used to give myself a really hard time and be upset when I couldn't find the peace I was looking for. But meditation is not some quick fix that you can learn overnight. It's a process that takes time and consistency to make it stick. When thoughts come into your mind, allow them to be there, observe them and let them pass. With meditation, it's never perfect and you have to go at your own pace. There's no room for comparison to your bestie, who meditates for 2 hrs a day. Forget everyone else and focus on yourself. Give yourself a break and be proud you're starting this practice from the ground up. Most people, don't even get this far.
4. Get comfortable.
If sitting or crossing your legs, isn't comfortable for you, find another position that works best. Trying to meditate while keeping your posture when it hurts is not going to help your focus. Personally, I enjoy laying down for maximum relaxation because I can let my body just fall into place. I also like to search out a spot outdoors so I can be with nature. Getting comfortable also means choosing a time that works best for you and your body. Morning meditations may make you fall right to sleep and evening meditations may cramp your bedtime style. This is where captivating melodies can come in handy to stop you from falling asleep. Ensure you let all the other people in your house know you're not to be bothered. Ask your family members or roomies to give you some peace and quiet for an hour. If you have kids, you may want to schedule your time after they fall asleep. Again, this practice is all about finding what works for you.
5. Make it your own.
There is no right way to meditate. It may mean just a couple of minutes of sipping tea alone or sitting on your balcony staring at the sky. You choose your own meditation adventure, my friends. Do your research. Learn about the different ways to meditate and make it your own. The beauty of meditation is its creative process. As you continue to take time to meditate, it will evolve and change as you learn more ways to tap into your inner world. Explore new ways to make meditation fun so that it becomes a joyful experience that you WANT to do every day.
Meditation has helped me connect to myself in ways I didn't think possible. It's cultivated self-trust, compassion, intuition, strength, and a direct path to who I truly am. It's reduced my stress levels and helped me navigate difficult decisions. In addition to the relationship with myself, it's also created deeper connections with the people in my life. I'm able to be in the moment, listen and digest conversations, and better understand the other person. Whatever meditation journey you choose... be patient and enjoy the process because there is no greater joy than finding inner peace.
Want to learn how you can access your inner adventure... sign up for my 30 Day Inner Adventure Program today! www.thejoytribeco.ca
Lots of love,