I have never heard someone say “I should do less meditation”. But I have heard, I can’t do it because… I fall asleep. My ___ [kids, work, phone etc.] interrupt me. I don’t know what kind to do. I can’t get my mind to slow down. I am so busy how can I fit it in.
Those challenges are totally valid. However, if you set yourself up to win when you start, you will be able to create a meditation practice that you could actually sustain and fall in love with. I look forward to my long morning walks or yoga practices to clear my brain fog everyday. They have become my time to connect with nature and my body. Plus it is a great chance to connect with my intuition AND they have helped me solidify my own meditation practice. Here are the my 7 Steps for Starting a Meditation Practice.
- Choose a Good Spot
Where is a good spot to meditate? Any spot in your home, office or outdoors where you can sit comfortably and relax. That’s it. If clutter is distracting to you, choose a spot that is clean. If the smells and sounds of nature is soothing to you, either meditate outside or meditate inside with the window open.
Turn your phone on DO NOT DISTURB. Turn off all notifications and ringers.
- Get Comfortable
You want to be comfortable enough to allow your body to relax and your mind to unwind. If you are tired, perhaps save the meditation for right before you go to sleep. Remember, comfortable enough to slow you down. Not so you are ready to take nap
- Remember You Are In Training
A quiet mind is not typical. Our minds on their own are like puppies that need to be trained. In the beginning, your meditation might look like. Inhale deeply. Pause. Breath out deeply. Do I need 4 or 5 apples from the grocery store? Inhale deeply. Pause. Breath out deeply. Am I breathing deep enough? Inhale. My leg is uncomfortable. Exhale… You get the idea. You are training yourself to focus on one thing at a time. It takes practice. Practice Regularly
If you once had a daily practice, you likely remember how good it made you feel. I say a daily practice because like brushing your teeth you won’t have to think about it. It will become a habit.
- Find What Works for You
There are many different styles of meditation. I think of all meditations can be broken into 2 categories still or moving. Yoga, Walking, Qui Kuong and Tai Chi are all examples of moving meditation. Some include surfing, weeding, hiking, running and swimming as meditative. Koan, chanting mantra, prayer, hypnotherapy, visualization, and pranayama breath work are all examples of still meditations. You can do any of these meditations alone or in a group. Inside or outside. For a short time or for multiple days. Try new types. YouTube is a treasure trove of meditations of both kinds. Plus there are a bunch of great apps too.
- Track Your Progress (Figure Our What Works)
Find an app or go old school and use a journal. You could track how you feel and what works like what the time of day, length, and types of meditations. I found morning meditations work best for me but only if I exercise first. You could create tracking 21 days of meditation to start.
- Meditation Looking Beyond Self Care
Meditation has many benefits. They compound over time. When you practice regularly, your well being, peace of mind and emotional resiliency will expand. It is great self care. However meditation for millennia has a sacred component. So remember when you take the time to meditate, it can be much more than stress relief. Meditation can help you create a deeper context and connection to life. When I am regularly practicing, I feel very connected to the essence of life within myself and in all things.