Wellness isn't about looking good or fitting into your clothes, though you might glow more or manage your weight better if you are well. It's about your whole health- mind, body, spirit. Are you able to manage stress? Are you able to sleep at night? Are you able to create boundaries and say, "no" or "yes" when you want to? Do you know who you are? What your core values are? Do you live with intention and make decisions based on your intentions and your inner values? Are you able to speak up about things you care about- despite the possibility of judgment? Are you able to make peace and let go of old hurts?
Meditation is one method that helps us return to our breath and the present moment- to insert a pause in our actions or reactions and to choose again. It facilitates that kind of empowered and embodied living we want to have- the one in which we know who we are, what we want and design our actions with intention.
Don't Judge Your Monkey Mind
There is a myth that meditation is a completely blank mind and sometimes that causes people who are new to meditation to feel as if they are failing and to move into judgment right off the bat. It's like throwing a baby into the deep end and hoping they swim. If it works- that's amazing. If it doesn't- well, that baby may never want to bathe again, let alone swim.
Most of us know that meditation involves taking deep breaths and noticing the air as it enters the nasal passages or the lungs or causes the belly to expand and contract. You can do it sitting up, lying down, or lying with your knees bent and calves on a chair in front of you. So, if you are new to meditation and mindfulness- don't worry if your mind races or strays. Know that it is completely natural and helpful to actually recognize your busy mind and stray thoughts. The act of noticing IS mindfulness. When you notice, you can take a breath and redirect your thoughts again. If you catch yourself judging or feeling angry about the stray thoughts that enter your mind as you try to breathe, gently re-direct your thoughts to more loving ones. Some specialists will recommend labeling stray thoughts- "thinking, worrying, wondering" and to return to the breath.
Accept Guidance and There's Plenty of It
If you have trouble sitting in complete silence and breathing, there are many aps that can guide you to learn to focus on your breathing. They range from 2 minute meditations to hour long meditations.
There are a Wide Variety Of Types of Meditation
Breaking Beyond is an amazing Shamanic Meditation Podcast by Jill Pape Lemke. Imagine adult story time. She will lead you on a spiritual path to discover the inner healing you need. It's a bit magical and a bit of a journey into the universe. Gorgeous and descriptive.
Haye House Meditations- You can find meditations that will take you through past live regression, meditations that will bring you in contact with spiritual guides, guidance for increasing your creativity and self love.
There are free videos on YOUTUBE as well.
Want something more straight forward and instructive:
I love the UNSTRESS meditations and the 4 minute meditations at the end of Barre Blend from the Beachbody on Demand app. You can get workouts, wellness and nutrition through BOD as well as a supportive coach (me) and a supportive group to cheer you on. Click on the BOD to be redirected to my Beachbody site.
Create a Smell Association:
Try using Essential oils while you meditate. If you use the same oils over time- you will develop a smell association. While the oils will help you ground and focus as you breathe in early meditation practice, they will later be able to help you return to that sense of calm without the actual meditation- just by smelling that familiar scent. I love Frankincense for meditation, but there are many others that are phenomenal, too. Vetiver, Patchouli, Balance, Lavender, Rose, Sandalwood, Wild Orange and Peppermint are all oils I breathe in as I start meditation for different reasons.
Create a time and a space to meditate: Don't overthink it too much, but if you are a planner, a couple of soft cushions, candles, diffuser, blankets and low lights can help ease you into breath work. Create a sanctuary for yourself and set the expectations with kids and partners or roommates that this is your space and time. Use sound canceling headphones to create a space when you don't have physical real-estate for it.
Please, let me know how you're doing and don't hesitate to ask questions!
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Intuitive mother, writer, teacher, wellness coach, daughter, wife, friend and advocate for true belonging and self love.