We read all the headlines, see all the posts, we KNOW meditation is good for us and that a mindfulness practice is necessary for healing. But...what if your mind never stops racing or you have so little time or kids interrupt you or you don't have privacy or you JUST DON'T KNOW HOW?
Lemme tell you straight. The first few times I meditated were rough, and then the next one or two were amazing, and then back to rough. What the heck? So I tried another form and another, until it hit me. If this meditation thing was going to work for me it had to work for ME. I was going to have to figure this out according to what my needs are. No rules.
So the next morning. It was dark and cold (again, Minnesota ;) and I stumbled downstairs to grab my coffee and a blanket. I walked into my favorite room, sat on my favorite cozy couch and I lit a candle. There. Soft light. Flickering. It was peaceful. I was mesmerized.
And that's all I did.
Whether or not my mind had reached an altered state OR I was just spaced out...MY MIND WAS QUIET. For a few minutes, to begin my day, I wasn't planning or prepping or worrying. I was meditating my way.
Small moments. Big quiet. HUGE Change.
If you have a hard time centering your mind, finding peace in your day, practicing gratitude or meditation, you're not alone. Often the last person we find time for is ourselves and, sad as it is when we think about it, life goes on and kids, partners, work, family, life still calls. So, make it work for you. ALLOW it to work for you. See what transpires.
Here are Some EASY Practices I put into place to "Mindful-Up My Life"
(Guess what? When you allow yourself to have a few meditation/mindfulness practice CHOICES, you can choose what works for that day, and feel good about it.
No perfection necessary!)
Breath work is a whole blog in itself. But for now, practice BREATHING by placing a "BREATHE" notification on your phone. Set it for every hour to two hours. When it buzzes - take in three deep, mindful breaths. Fill your lungs, sister. Hold it at the top. This works in meetings, while shopping, when you're driving, during dinner (before dinner is great for digestion) -- you can do this whenever and nobody needs to even know. And when your kids see you -- they will join you or laugh at you. Either way, you are teaching them a lifelong practice. They will thank you later!
Honestly, I don't even know how to do a real walking meditation. But I do it almost daily. I LOVE Deepak & Oprahs 21 day meditations. I have listened repeatedly for 7 years to Finding Your Flow .
Listening to a guided meditation while you walk your dog or run, saves time yes, AND creates so much headspace AND creativity. When your body moves while your mind is super-focused, it's amazing what problems you can solve or creations you can imagine.
This is a great way to just focus for a few moments while being still. If your mind wanders AS IT WILL, just gently guide it back to your mantra. Can't think of a mantra? Pinterest has a bunch. Or, start with the word "Here". A former client came up with that one and it was so simple and honest --- if you want to be present just think HERE.
However, try out some body/self affirming ones too. A belief is only a thought we keep thinking. So if you need to believe something different about yourself or a situation or person, repeat a thought. That's how mantra work. So try:
"I am Beautiful." (don't get crazy on me here. Beauty IS important. Not the social media kind, the kind we were born with. Don't deny your beauty.)
"Peace Begins With Me"
"I matter" "I am enough" "I am healing" "I am strong" etc...
1) Think about something you love or are grateful for (psst, even the things that piss you off but you KNOW are sending you a message to learn, those too)
2) Imagine showering it with love and appreciation and SEE it RECEIVE your gratitude. (I have appreciated clouds and leaves and rivers -- just SEE them shimmer and glow with your love)
3) SEE this person/object SEND BACK their love and appreciation for you. FEEL it SHOWERED over you, SURROUNDING you.
4) Choose another and keep going.
Other ideas are: