This article was originally written at the end of February 2020. A time when life still seemed “normal”. As of today, the entire world has shifted and we are changing our stories. However, this article seems even more relevant now and perhaps why I have waited to publish it. Meditation is a beautiful practice that allows you to connect with yourself. During this time when the world is practicing social distancing and sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is my hope that meditation will provide you comfort and solace. It is my intention that meditation will provide you sanctuary during an uncertain time. It is my desire that this message of peace, inward connection and inward reflection soothes you when you are needing it most.
I am RESISTANT to meditation!
What images come to mind when you hear the word “meditation”? Do you picture a monk, sitting on a barren hilltop, cross legged, hands resting on his knees, eyes closed, chanting “ommmm”?
That’s the image that always came to my mind when I thought of meditation. And you know what? I don’t have TIME for that! No way!
It wasn’t until about a year ago that I finally opened my mind and gave into the practice of meditation. It was at a time when I was seeking answers and a trusted friend said I should give it a try.
But I was SKEPTICAL! I told my friend I don’t have time to meditate. I told her I don’t think it will work. I told her I can’t sit still for long periods of time. I told her there is no way to “shut off” my brain.
She simply said to me, in her exquisitely calm voice, “Hallie, give it a try. It’s 10 minutes a day. If you don’t like it, you can stop doing it. But it’s helped me a lot and I think you will really enjoy it.”
I’m always up for a challenge so I decided to give it a try. Her offer of a 30-day free trial of the Calm app helped seal the deal.
The next day I downloaded Calm and started with the “daily calm” guided meditation. 10 minutes. Ok, I can do this.
My first reaction was that it was hokey. While I enjoyed the narrator’s voice and message, I wasn’t convinced I could actually benefit from this practice.
That said, I’m stubborn and determined and I’m not one to back down from a challenge. So, I was not going to waste those free 30 days!
Before the end of that free trial, something pretty amazing happened. I started to look forward to my “daily calm” mediation that I had incorporated into my morning routine. I found the 10 minutes to be a great way to wake up and start my day. I found that on days I didn’t do it (like on a weekend when I usually sleep a little later and don’t practice the same morning routine as Monday through Friday), I felt a little less centered.
I decided to purchase the app so I could continue to use it and work on my new found practice of meditation. Over the past 12 months I have tried many forms of meditation and I want to share how they have benefited me and how you can start to incorporate meditation into your life.
More importantly though, I want to offer you a REASON to give meditation a try. As an In Demand Woman, time is your most precious asset. You and I both know that if you feel you are wasting time, you will ditch the process! I will share with you how you can incorporate meditation into your everyday life that takes no longer than 5 minutes (unless you choose to go longer!) that will actually INCREASE your time and allow you to feel more productive.
How to start a meditation practice
Mediation is about going inward and give yourself space to just be and connect with your higher-self.
The only thing you need to do to start a meditation practice is the conscious decision to do it! You don’t need any fancy equipment. You don’t need a special outfit. You don’t need to find a barren hilltop.
Meditation is about going inward and giving yourself space to just be and connect with your higher-self.
As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Everything inside and around us wants to reflect itself in us. We don’t have to go anywhere to obtain the truth. We only need to be still and things will reveal themselves in the still water of our heart.”
What is the right way to meditate?
There is NO right way to mediate. Mediation is all about taking time to be quiet and be still. Over the past year, I have tried many forms of meditation and different forms resonate with me at different times.
Here are some options that you might explore:
Guided meditation – Use an app like Calm or Headspace to follow a guided meditation. This takes all the guessing out of the equation. Simply find a comfortable position, commit to the amount of time on the recording, put your headphones in and follow the prompts. You can also find guided meditations on YouTube for a variety of different topics.
Repeat a mantra or affirmation – Pick your favorite affirmation and sit quietly with your eyes closed and just repeat the affirmation. Perhaps set a timer on your phone for 2 to 10 minutes so you know when to end. As you repeat the mantra, let the other thoughts in your mind flow through you and wash away.
Breathwork – Breathing is a powerful tool to find peace and connect with your higher-self. I suggest setting a timer on your phone and finding a comfortable position to sit in. Count your breaths as you breathe in and breathe out. Count 1 on the inhale and 2 on the exhale. If you find yourself lost in thought instead of focusing on your breathing, come back to the breaths and start counting again.
Gratitude – Gratitude can be a great way to meditate and so easy to start with! Decide how long you want to meditate for and during that time quietly say in your mind everything you are grateful for. These can be big things or small things. Just focus on your heart and let the gratitude flow.
Music – Put on some quiet music that allows you to feel relaxed yet wakeful. As you listen to the music, observe how your body feels. Feel the energy flow upward from your toes through the crown of your head and release any negative energy coursing through you.
These are only suggestions and there are many, many more ways to meditate! What’s your favorite? What works for you? Try out a few and see what resonates! Remember, each day is different, so what works today might not work as well tomorrow and that’s perfectly fine.
Why should I meditate?
The answer to that question lies within yourself. However, I want to offer a thought about why you should start meditating based on my experience.
Meditation allows you space to connect with yourself. It is a time that you carve out in your day JUST FOR YOU. I know you are always giving your time and energy to others.
Meditation is about making time for the sacred space that exists in your heart and mind.
When you choose to start a meditation practice, you are choosing you. You are choosing to give yourself the rest and relaxation you need to recharge your energy.
You should not meditate because I told you so or because you think it’s what you have to do or because someone else told you that’s the expectation.
Meditation is about making time for the sacred space that exists in your heart and mind. By choosing to honor that part of you, you unleash the goddess within and give yourself the opportunity to explore who you are.
Meditation is a very personal practice that can work in a multitude of ways. If you take away nothing else from this article, I want you to know that you are worthy of this time for you!
Being an In Demand Woman is, well, it’s demanding! And it can be energetically taxing! It’s also exhilarating and beautiful and fun. In Demand Women need time to just for them. And by creating this time and space through meditation, you will increase your energy.
If you want to create more time, space and energy for yourself, incorporate a daily meditation practice. Start small! 2 minutes a day is all it takes. There is no right or wrong. You can vary how you practice. The most important thing is that you are carving out special time to nourish and energize the most important person in your life….YOURSELF!
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