Meditation is something that everyone knows about, but not everyone knows how to do. It is the ancient wellness practice that focuses on training our minds towards attention, awareness and compassion. It also provides mental, emotional and spiritual health that can reduce stress and anxiety, and increases concentration, while making us feel calm and relaxed.
In this blog, I will give you directions and helpful tips on when, why and how to meditate, and hopefully give you some insight on what it’s all about!
Why Meditation is Important
Meditation has been used around the world since the beginning of time, and is even taught in children’s classrooms in certain countries. It has been the staple of yoga instructors, gurus and anyone in the spiritual profession, as a time of connection, reflection and tranquility. Meditation helps center and ground ourselves and relieves the stress of everyday life. It helps us find peace inside our self, giving us the strength and power to maneuver through life with a more positive outlook. It can connect us on a spiritual level with our guides, angels, deceased loved ones or religious figures, who give us advice and greet us with warmth, security and love. Many use meditation to lift past, or negative emotions they might be feeling, and to move forward, letting go of all the things that no longer serve them as a person. It helps bring in love, acceptance and forgiveness for ourselves and others, causing a chain reaction of peace and love for everyone around us. This is why meditation is so important, especially at this time in the world, where so many people are lost, scared and uncertain.
But let’s be real… not everyone has the time to sit around for hours om-ing and spiritual connecting to another realm of peace. We all have crazy, chaotic lives that can require a LOT from us, and most of us forget to just take a moment to literally, smell the roses, and take a breath. We forget to replenish our symbolic well that gives to others, and instead, live day to day on autopilot, hoping the next day will be better. As time goes by, we feel more drained, exhausted, weak and irritable, with a volcano of emotions growing inside us just waiting to erupt. So, let’s talk about real-life meditation that can improve your life without requiring a lot of time or thought.
The hardest part of any meditation ritual is, how and where to start. This is where it becomes difficult for most people to grasp the concept of meditation, and unfortunately begin to believe it is an unachievable event that they can never accomplish, and give up way before they even start. We have actually put a bad stigma around the subject, but you would be surprised how many things are considered meditative that we do all the time that we would never think to be. Everyone already has a preconceived visual of what we think mediation SHOULD look like (thanks to TV and social media). Spoiler alert… you don’t need to sit in the lotus position with tranquil music playing and incense burning while om-ing to meditate… but that would be ideal if you can make it happen! But for the rest of you, here are some examples of unconventional meditation: Walking, reading, writing, practicing an art related activity, music, relaxing in your comfy chair, laughing, getting your hair or nails done, taking a bath, dancing, singing, playing video games, etc. Anything that you love to do can be meditative! If it takes your mind away to another realm where you are happy and relaxed… it’s mediation. We just need to learn to do more of it to feel calmer in life. This is considered, “You Time”, a time when you replenish your well so you don’t feel so overwhelmed from your daily life. Even if you can find 5 minutes to yourself a day, this can help improve your mood and outlook, making the world around you seem brighter and more manageable.
When to Meditate
If you can do a little more than unconventional meditation, here is my recommendation: set a time for yourself and start to make it a ritual. Example: “Every day at 5pm I have 30 minutes to meditate and take some me time”, and then follow through! Make your boundaries very clear with the people, kids and things in your environment. Let it be known that those 30 minutes (or however long) is YOUR time, and request that no one bother you. You owe it to yourself to take a break from life for a short time frame, and you deserve it. And yes, I understand with kids, animals and family, putting your foot down and asking for a break can sometimes be near to impossible, but I live in a house with 12 cats, a husband, mother-in-law and family, so if I can do it in that noisy environment with the TV constantly blaring, you can too! You will learn to drown out all the noise and focus on you. Or find a different time, like when most of them are asleep… and sometimes meditating in the car is just as good! Just remember, it doesn’t matter how long you meditate, as long as you are consistent, and do your best to have some kind of meditation schedule to make into a daily routine. It’s better to have a time set aside for yourself, but life happens, so do your best to meditate at least once a day at some point.
How to Meditate
If you can find the time and the location, the next step is spiritually protecting yourself! (And this doesn’t apply to unconventional meditation, but you can always do so if you’d like) just remember to always protect yourself before going into an altered state. You want to make sure any spiritual connection you have is from the light. So, visualize yourself being surrounded in white light (and optional gold light for extra protection), ask your angels and guides to protect you during your meditation, take some deep breaths, ground yourself by visualizing roots coming from your base root chakra or tailbone area, along with roots coming from the souls or your feet, and going down deep into the earth, and just focus on breathing and relaxing. You can also envision a door opening to let the other side know you are open and receptive to spiritual connection, and closing the door when you’re done, but this is optional. And for those of you who are afraid of opening yourself up to the unknown, remember, that as long as you spiritually protect yourself beforehand and close yourself off afterwards, you will be safe! Just make sure your intention is very strong that you only want to connect with those in the light. And for those you like to write, keep a notebook next to you when you meditate to write down important messages, images, or sounds that can occur. When you’re done with your meditation, thank your angels, guides or anyone that came to visit you, and take another deep breath, and visualize the spiritual door closing (if you choose). This lets the other side know that your meditation is done, but you can always come up with your own ending. Another tip: Don’t worry about if the messages are coming from the other side, or just your own thoughts. Either way, it doesn’t really matter as long as you feel safe and the messages are positive and uplifting. You will be able to discern thoughts from messages in time with practice.
The Rest is Up to You
Here is where I will leave you to do the rest. Don’t worry about if you’re doing it right or wrong. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, only what works for you. You can listen to relaxing music, burn sage, incense, or candles, sit or lay in a comfortable position, or listen to a guided meditation with someone walking you through the process. A great app that I use on my phone is called, Insight Timer. It is a free meditation app that has literally thousands of different meditations with different time limits. You just put in how much time you have to meditate, 1 minute or 3 hours, and it will pull up all the meditations for your time requested. You can even listen to live meditations and interact with groups of people. You can even search what kinds of meditations you would like to try, i.e. spiritual connection, talking to your higher self, letting go of old behaviors, literally anything! You can always explore YouTube, other Apps, or anything else online to find what works for you. Just try to find a routine or schedule you can stick with that won’t overwhelm you. This should be a positive, calming experience and should never be stressful or produce fear. Some animals and children like to meditate as well, so you can always include them if you’d like! Family meditation can help bond you as a unit, and make you more connected to each other, but this is completely optional! Other meditation options are: Meditation classes, yoga classes, sound baths (with sound bowls and other instruments) etc. You have the choice to make mediation your own, and customize it to your favor so it works for you. Remember to just have fun with it, and relax!
I hope this helps take the fear or anxiety away from the thought of meditation, and gives you a better idea, explanation and direction about it.Good luck, and happy meditating! ~Namaste~