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So, wait…you’re saying I don’t have to sit still, with no thoughts, to meditate?
But, if you can, you are an epic master and I applaud you.
And if you can’t, don’t let this discourage you. Getting to the point of being able to sit in stillness and silence, without thought, is the result of long-term practice.
Don’t beat yourself up for not being “there” when you sit down and try.
The beauty of meditation is found in the practice, because that’s where the ripples start. That’s where the change happens.
When you first sit down to meditate, you are (more likely than not) full of thoughts. Thoughts of judgements. Am I doing this right? Shut up, brain. When’s the peace gonna start? This isn’t working. What am I doing wrong?
Or thoughts of your day. Oh sh*t, I forgot to pay the electric bill. What time is that appointment again? Don’t forget to pick up laundry detergent. Ugh, that person who irked me earlier, what nerve…
There are so many ways to meditate. And so many ways to begin.
This is a great way to introduce yourself to meditation, because it gives you something to focus on while you’re trying to get out of your head. They take you to a beautiful place that feels good, and they guide you through relaxing and letting go.
You can also meditate through activities (I call it moving meditation). As long as you’re doing them mindfully, you’re meditating.
Examples include walking, swimming, soaking in a bath, shower meditations, yoga, doing the dishes, eating (have you heard of mindful eating?), painting, drawing, doodling, sketching, coloring, dancing, or hula hooping! The list goes on.
All of these things turn into meditation when you allow them to bring you into the present moment.
You can also meditate on a mantra. One I use often is “Breathing in peace, I release.”
Lying down and breathing into your belly (focusing on the rise and fall) for a few minutes is a great beginner practice as well.
Or you can try yoga nidra, which is said to be as powerful and refreshing to your brain and body as an actual nap. (You can find guides to yoga nidra on YouTube, as well).
Here’s the key part of any meditation practice: bring yourself back to the here and now whenever a thought arises. Over and over and over.
After enough practice, it won’t feel so hard.
Soon, you’ll find yourself being able to sit down to meditate and just be. You’ll find yourself more present in your daily life and having enough space to enjoy the present moment. (Which is great for calming your fight-or-flight response system and boosting serotonin.)
The benefits of meditation have been scientifically proven to have a great impact on your health and wellness. Meditation helps you to cope with the stress of daily life. And I’m willing to bet that we all could use some of that! Meditation also helps us to disconnect from our knee-jerk, conditioned actions and tune into the (often overlooked and unheard) inner guide.
Give it a try. And let me know how you meditate.
Is it moving meditation? Mindful activities? Have you been able to master sitting for 5, 10, 15, or even 200 minutes listening to the silence? Have you been wondering where to start? I’d love to hear about it!
Oh, and, while you’re here, enjoy these two poems I’ve written after meditating:
“I meditate best in the sun.
In company of the trees,
I hear the birds through my thoughts and focus my energy on the warm rays.
Feeling it spread with each breath…
The happiness molecules turning my dark to light and exhaling what no longer serves me.
Welcoming the universe’s positive energy.
I sit in peace and hold gratitude for this moment.
Thank you, Universe. Thank you, God. Thank you, Angels.
And, thank you, Mother Nature. I’m looking forward to changing seasons with you.
And for more opportunities to find comfort in this space you keep.”
“Quieting the mind, I let go of resistance. Leading with breath, my body flows. Moving meditation. Reaching bliss through yogic love. Inviting spiritual miracles—peace.”