Friday, March 2, 2018

Meditation Practice

I have very important news to share: I've started meditating again. Cue applause as well as balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling. I used to have a very strong meditation practice. While doing yoga teacher training I fell in love with the peacefulness that my meditation practice helped me achieve. I would meditate almost every day anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes depending one what I could squeeze in. I quickly learned that even a short meditation is better than no meditation at all.

But when both of my parents got sick, a time where I should've clung to my meditation practice, I stopped completely. My anxiety was through the roof, and I could not sit with my breath without my mind spinning out of control freaking out over what the future had in store for my family. Ugh. Not fun.

After my mom passed away, I started meditating again, sporadically and it was paramount in helping me move through the grief process. In the past few months I've kick started my meditating to bring it back with consistency. Oh, how I missed it dearly. My favorite part of meditating, for me, is that doing it regularly gives me a moment or two to pause before reacting to something or someone. I'm an incredibly reactionary person by nature. And it's one of my least favorite qualities about myself. I really appreciate my brain giving me just a couple of seconds to inhale, exhale, and think before I react in a way that I might regret. Being an adult is hard, man.

I know a lot of people feel like they can't meditate because they a) don't have time and b) can't clear their mind of thought. Well, as I've been reminding myself over and over lately, even a few minutes will help. I've started my day with meditation during the work week, and it kick starts my day in a really great way. One of my teachers recommends sitting up when your alarm goes off, hitting your snooze button and just sitting with your breath for that 7 minutes it takes for your alarm to go off again. Give it a try! I hate the snooze button. My husband abuses the hell out of it, so I never ever use it. So instead, once he gets out of bed, I set my timer for 10 minutes and meditate away. After really cold runs, I often find myself in an epsom bath for a good 20-30 minutes. Instead of spending the whole time scrolling through my phone, I listen to a 20-25 minute guided meditation. Bliss. So just making small pockets of time really helps and adds up over time.

Also, no one can clear their mind of thought. That's really not the point of meditation. If we all waited until we were masters at clearing our mind to even start meditating, none of us would ever start. Ever. Instead, no that going in to a meditation that things will come up. Thoughts will pop up. A to do list might form. You might have a SUPER EXCELLENT AMAZING SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM YOU'VE BEEN STUCK ON. (That happens oh so much to me, and I love it.) The trick is to acknowledge that your mind is wandering, pause, and then commit back to your breath. Even if you're incredibly forgetful, I promise you'll remember the super amazing solution to that problem you've been stuck on after the meditation is over, and surely your to do list will still be there as well.

I've been using the app Sattva for years. It's a free download to most phones. There are guided meditations, some challenges and badges, and it keeps track of your meditation minutes for you if you're into that sort of things. It has beginner guided meditations and music to stream in the background, and just a plain ol' timer if that's what you want. I've heard good things about headspace as well, but have stuck with Sattva so far.

Who's with me on the meditation?? Get started and let me know how it's going for you.

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