Every minute of every day we tell ourselves a story. Those stories can be uplifting and affirming or they can be self-defeating and negative. Are you even aware of your stories? When you realize that your life is the outer reflection of those little stories, you will begin to choose your stories wisely. The first step is to become aware.
One morning I woke up and decided to give myself a 30-day meditation challenge. I wasn’t exactly sure how I would begin my meditation practice or how I would sit still for even five minutes every day but I was very determined to try. I was so sick and tired of feeling bad and not having a deep understanding of why. The same stories kept playing over and over again in my head. I felt stressed and anxious much of the time and wasn’t even sure why.
I started waking up a little earlier than usual and went and sat in my cozy chair and closed my eyes. I tried silent, deep breathing meditation one day. Another day, I tried a guided meditation. I fell in love with listening to high frequency music (528 Hz) on YouTube and felt myself drifting into a deeper place. For those of you who may not be familiar with this high frequency music, it is “healing” type of music that soothes and can bring about positive transformation.
Once I faced my fear, sat quietly on a regular basis and began listening to my intuition, that little voice inside me that was begging to be heard, I found the right path I needed to follow at this point in my life. It helped me discover a deeper part of myself that had been hiding in all the chaos of my life.
When I learned there is no right or wrong way to meditate, a whole new world opened up. The most important thing to do is get still. That’s it. Simply get still. Finding the way to quieting your mind comes with time. The notion of erasing all thoughts and clearing your mind is not really achievable for many of us – unless of course you are a Tibetan monk living in a monastery. As thoughts enter your mind while meditating, you will begin to see what is pressing on your mind and what might need attention in your life. Even the most painful ones hold so much important information for us. It helps to acknowledge, reflect and recognize the feelings and thoughts so we can make better, more informed decisions on what is best for healing ourselves. They are the road maps for our lives. Ignoring or denying them usually leads to suffering in the long term.
There are so many expectations for us first-time meditators and it rarely goes the way we had planned or hoped for. Try not to be discouraged or frustrated but find the beauty and excitement in the thoughts, feelings, memories and fantasy’s that are jumping around your mind, wanting attention. All are a part of who you are and they hold great importance, no judgement here. To be present or mindful is to bear witness to your thoughts and emotions and not cover them up or ignore them with frenetic activity.
Do you know what motivates you now? What you crave and need to feel more settled in life? What makes you smile and feel like you’re creating something special for yourself and others? What’s your true purpose or that special gift you have? Where do you want to be a year from now or even five years from now? What’s the next step? Do you know? That’s what meditation offers you on a deep conscious level; insight into your soul, your life, your purpose, your hopes and dreams.
What if you just sat in a quiet space for a few minutes and began to take notice of your thoughts as they enter your mind? What if you became the silent observer and notice what arises with each deep breath you inhale? Acknowledge, review, accept and bless it. Releasing the ego side of ourselves that judges and criticizes. Release the urge to be the perfect meditator, to do it right. Calming the “monkey mind,” that incessant chatter we all hear and starting to focus on the breath and asking life’s big questions; Who am I? Why am I here? What is it I’m being called to do with my life? How may I give back? Asking these questions of myself helped me get a clearer picture of my life and how I viewed the world. It doesn’t always happen overnight and in the beginning, it can feel really uncomfortable to be alone with that deeper part of ourselves. Turn off your computer and smart phone. Just sit quietly. Don’t worry about the outcome. Let go of the attachment of how it will get done and just set your intention to try. And try again.
We all deserve to be heard and seen. It only can happen when we are ready to show up for our lives. How to do this? Stop and sit in the stillness. Ask the big questions. Listen for the answers and be witness to what comes up. The Wisdom of You, that power place that is deep inside is begging to be heard. Go and follow those big dreams that lie inside of you. I will be by your side cheering you on!
My 30-Day Awareness Meditation Challenge:
One of the most gentle and approachable forms for a beginner is mindfulness meditation. The object is to observe the wandering thoughts as they drift through your mind. The intention is not to get too involved with the thoughts or judge them but simply be aware of them, let them pass and return to your breath. You can also practice a mantra you say each time your thoughts come up in an effort to refocus your mind. A mantra may be as simple as repeating; all is well or so it is.
Set a timer for 5 minutes.
1. Sit comfortably in a chair, on the floor or a cushion. Try not to lay down, chances are you will fall asleep.
2. Close your eyes gently. Soften your mouth and make sure not to clench your teeth.
3. Make no effort to control your breath, just breathe naturally and fully, expanding your stomach with each inhale. Exhale fully through your nose.
4. Focus your attention on your breath, observe how your body feels. Breath into the tight areas and sink deeper into letting go of any areas that feel restricted.
5. If your mind wanders, observe your thoughts and release them by returning your focus back on your breath.
Repeat this meditation each morning before you start your day or in the evening before bed for a full 15 minutes. Increase your meditation time as you become more comfortable with your practice.
Peace, love and pear!
* These and many other "big life" questions come from my Soulful Connections card deck. All 120 questions are designed to help you explore and discover your power and purpose.