ON some realness, meditation is the truth. I’ve always been much more “turned up” than zen, but meditation has changed me … like on a cellular level.
Ultramarathons have taught me the art of visualization and mindfulness. Sports psychologists and spiritual leaders alike know the power of the mind. Meditation can not only change your brain matter, it can alleviate stress, anxiety, and the pervasive mind chatter we all battle.
Trust me. I’m no zen master. I still curse like a trucker, lose my cool, and have irrationally negative thoughts. Meditation is called a practice for a reason.
Here are meditation tips that worked to get me started:
1. Do YOU & experiment.
There’s no “wrong” way to meditate. It’s about establishing a regularity and a rhythm. There are so many different types of teachers, methods, and online communities to help your journey. Music? Religious talk? Mantras? Walking meditation? Dabble in some research and see what works. There are as many styles of meditation as there are meditators.
2. Guided Meditation
I love Gabrielle Bernstein guided meditations. They are only 5-6 minutes. This helped me start because I didn’t feel like I was devoting too much time. Now I’m up to 20 minutes and I don’t even need the guided recordings.
Here are some links to Gabrielle’s work and free podcasts:
3. Commit to 21 days.
Studies show that doing something consistently for 21 days reinforces habit. Mindfulness is a practice and getting into the habit of waking up and meditating helped me. If you fall off, there’s always tomorrow.
4. Start small with a few minutes.
Maybe you’ll be able to dive right into hour long meditations. I didn’t. Even taking 3 minutes to walk and breathe is a start.
5. Don’t stress about it.
I’ve had many stops and starts with meditation. My inner monologue was often asking “Am I doing this right? What am I having for lunch? What do I need to do today?”
For me, meditation is not about nothingness, it’s about acknowledging what comes up and clearing my internal channel. I’ve really found this to be a powerful tool in manifesting my passions and desires.
I have mini meditations all the time. Breathe in for 5 counts, hold it for 5 counts, and release for 5 counts. I literally do this whenever I see my getting impatient, stressed, or negative. It’s a practice used by the military to steady soldiers before battle. Powerful shit!
7. Let it go.
Some days will be better than others. Don’t focus on daily practice! Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go.
8. Start the day off with intention first thing.
Meditating first thing in the morning helped me establish a practice. It also helped for me to do it before grabbing for my phone to check emails. tweets, instagram, etc. Silence the noise. We can’t be turned up every second of the day.
9. Fake it til you make it.
You might feel silly at first. I did. I found that going through the motions actually allowed me to believe in the breathing and mantras.
10. Dwell in possibility.
You can only have in your life what you believe is possible. For real!
Meditation helps quiet the mind. You have a choice to be your most giving, loving, powerful self.
Namaste, my peoples.