I have held off writing this post for almost two months. I didn’t want to share how to start meditating when I myself do not meditate everyday. But I have finally realized that at this point in my life, that waiting to do something is never the right answer. I have been meditating more, I can meditate so there really is no reason to not share my tips with you. Just because I’m not meditating daily, doesn’t mean you can find tips and tools to help you start. There are a lot of misconceptions of meditation out there. I feel as if when someone thinks of meditation they believe they have to sit crossed legged, in silence, and eyes closed with no thoughts. And then when that doesn’t happen they automatically assume they can’t meditate. I mean, I still battle that thought and I can meditate!
First off, there is more than one way to meditate. You can do guided meditation, listen to music, mantra meditation, moving meditation and probably many more forms. I prefer to listen to my meditation playlist or follow a guided meditation. I encourage you to try out many different styles to find what you enjoy most.
These hacks are mostly for self guided meditation. Yoga is my choice of a moving meditation, so if you choose that option, mantra or guided… only one or both of the tips are going to apply. Take what you need and just apply it to you:)
Meditation Tip 1: GET COZY
You do not have to sit, straight up and uncomfortable. I like to sit in my bed, lay in my bed, sit on a pillow on the floor against a wall or lately I have been sitting on the couch. EASY! Whatever gives me support so i’m not achey. I toss a blanket over top of me sometimes too. Finding a comfortable position is what is key. You do not want to get half way through and realize your back aches from trying to have good posture or vice versa. The blanket, or sweatshirt just helps to keep me warm in the colder months and I even toss on a fan for coolness in summer. Taking out as many variables as you can, will help you remain focused on your breath, thoughts or mantra.
Meditation Tip 2: START SMALL
Whether that is a minute everyday, only meditating 3 times a week, it does not matter, it is still meditation. I have realized that you don’t need to meditate everyday to gain benefits. You also do not need to sit there for an hour on your first attempt. I notice if I meditate, I am instantly more productive and creative after… no matter the time of day (example: right now as I write this)
I promise those two things are going to help you get meditation in your life. It does not have to be 0 to 100 and instantly a daily habit, but even just a weekly habit. You will feel better, lighter, and happier.
Meditation Tip 3: ROLL WITH IT
I think it is also important to note that meditation is not sitting in complete stillness with no thoughts. You might eventually hit that point where you meditate for 10, 15, 20 or even 60 minutes in pure bliss where you might think you have fallen asleep, but it won’t happen right away.
No one told me when I first started meditating, that it is ok to have thoughts. It is normal and realistic. We live in a culture where we are constantly stimulated so our brains don’t know how to naturally shut off like a light switch. I feel that this is where most of us get frustrated and label ourselves as not a meditator. When I first started to incorporate meditation into my life, I would try to bring my awareness back to my breath if a thought occurred. But as I have meditated more (not consistently) I have allowed my mind to acknowledge the thought, give it time to process and then move on. This allows me to work through what is coming up, but then it a point of relaxation to focus on my breath or nothing at all.
HOW I MEDITATE:
Somedays I do guided and other days, I put on my meditation music and sit there listening.
If I go on my own, I begin my meditation practice by focusing on my breath. I usually say a mantra like “Nothing else matters, in this moment” a few times before transitioning into “inhale, exhale”. I feel like this is my way of centering myself and grounding into the present moment. From there, I let my mind take me where I want to go.
Think of these thoughts or ideas as a scene in a play. The actors/actresses in it have their time and then when it’s over the curtain closes to signal its end. I do not force myself to end it, I let my mind wander and explore all of its options before naturally moving onto the next wave of thought. I only stop meditating when I feel like I’m ready to be done. Usually, there is a time period of complete stillness, where no thoughts are entering but rather just feeling the sensation of my chest rise and fall.
Allowing myself to meditate in this way has allowed me to break through tough or confusing situations with clarity. Some of my most creative thoughts come through meditation because I have allowed myself to ground into the present and tap into my creativity. I find I go through this same process in yoga. I can’t completely shut off, unless I have worked through whatever is coming up. The whole meditation experience might last 15 minutes, but I only sit there in complete stillness for 2, but that does not mean I did not meditate. The whole time was meditation.
You can train yourself to work up to longer increments if you need be, 1 minute and then slowly working up. Set a timer for one minute to work through your thoughts, and then reset it to try and focus on your breathing. I have found in my experience, if I trust my mind to go where it needs to, it will lead me to a completely relaxed state when it is ready.
I hope this helps you and if you have any tips share them below 🙂