Since January 1 I have incorporated a daily meditation practice. I set aside about 20 minutes per day, usually in the morning, and give myself the space to breathe and check in with my mind, body and spirit. There are days that my practice feels super productive and others that I nearly fall asleep. I consider both to be wins, mostly because I intentionally set aside the time and space for my practice.
We have all heard that meditation is good for us. There are countless articles and research papers out there proclaiming that it can lower your stress, improve your body’s function and make you happy. All I know is my experience with it. I am certain that if I never created the space for my daily meditation I would still be deep in mourning for my mom’s life. She would have never wanted that for me.
Not only has my practice helped me deal with my mom’s death, but I have also noticed that I am way more in the present. The extra noise in my head has minimized a ton. I am better able to decipher productive self talk vs. negative self talk, and have learned to efficiently identify the negative and either explode it in my head, or turn it into a positive. Both methods take a bunch of practice and persistence, but it can be done.
I am often asked, “How can you just sit still for 20 minutes and not do anything?” Well the secret is that I am doing many things. I start off by going to a physical location that feels safe for me. When I meditate I like to be in a quiet room. I often lay down, but this is dangerous when I am tired as I will lose my meditation and just fall asleep. If that happens, I don’t get upset with myself, I just know next time, if I feel tired, I will need to sit up. I recommend sitting when you first start your meditation practice, otherwise sleep will most certainly happen.
Once I have and ideal location I close my eyes and work on grounding myself. My mom taught me when I was about seven or so, how to ground in order to improve my balance while playing soccer. She told me to imagine my tailbone going all the way to the center of the earth and attaching like a giant anchor. I remember trying that and seeing a profound difference in my balance. Who knew I would use this tool to not only help with balance, but later to keep me in the moment when participating in difficult conversations? Now, as I have become more practiced in my meditation, I have a numerous ways that I like to ground.
In addition to grounding, I also observe my space. This is the space around me as well as the space in my body. I assign colors to the different areas and end up creating a living color pallet that swirls around in my head. If I feel pain in a particular part of my body, I assign a color to it. Then I think about what that means, and ground it out. Sometimes I even like to imagine it blowing up. It all kind of depends on my mood.
I like to meditate this way as it feels like I am able to sort the noise out in my head and create clarity for myself. It’s like cleaning out the old while putting something new and fun its place. If you would like to learn how to use a similar method to mine in your meditation practice I recommend going to https://www.jeninebeecher.com/meditation-foundations.html Jenine is a good friend of mine who offers beginning meditation classes remotely. She will not only be able to walk you through a guided meditation, but she will also be able to teach you the tools you will need to create the perfect practice for you.
There are countless other ways to obtain the benefits of meditation. Some of these include moving meditations like: Yoga, Thai Chi and Qi Gong, however you may need to be mindful that these don't turn into workouts. Guided meditations and mantra meditations can be super helpful as well. The key is to find the practice that best fits for you. This doesn’t have to be limited to just one type. I encourage you to set some time aside on a daily basis and try out any type of meditation for a month. See how you feel.