Have you ever tried meditating before? I know a lot of people who regularly practice yoga and meditation together. I, however, was never the person who jumped on the yoga train or the yoga mat for that matter. It never resonated with me and truthfully, meditation never did the first couple times I tried it either.
About two years ago, I decided I wanted to try meditating as a way to release stress and relax after some hectic work days. I found a 21 day series of guided meditations to try out and you know what happened? I couldn’t sit still for longer than 3 minutes of listening to this man’s bland chanting voice on the guided meditation before I turned it off to go make my dinner. That continued for the next 3 nights in a row that week. By the 4th night, I think I actually made it to 5 minutes before I needed to get up and do something else. And by the 5th day, I decided meditating wasn’t for me. Not my thing.
I didn’t get how people could meditate for 20 mins or LONGER on a regular basis! It was so foreign to me.
About a year later or so when I began working with my own life coach, I had this craving to feel more connected, relaxed, and mindful in my day to day routine. So naturally my coach suggested meditating. I told her all about my previous experience meditating and said I didn’t think it would work because it definitely DID NOT work the last time I tried. However, she had a great free resource for me to try for 1 minute, 5 minute, or even 20 minute meditations and said I should really give it another shot.
AND SO I DID. I was pretty reluctant at first using this guided meditation app on my IPAD that she recommended. It went okay. I wasn’t getting 100% of everything I wanted out of it, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first time I tried to meditate. I did it for a few weeks regularly and then stopped.
It simply wasn’t the right fit and it felt like more of a chore or something to cross off my to-do list by meditating instead of something that was actually making me feel relaxed…
Fast forward to the spring of earlier this year and here I was, once again contemplating the idea of finding a meditation practice that I enjoyed.
Why I was contemplating this again? After all, given my track record with this, there was no way I had patience for it and it clearly wasn’t my thing. But then I came across a guided meditation by Gabrielle Bernstein that was only 5 minutes! First of all, five minutes? I’m totally down with that. Second of all, I could definitely handle the sound of her voice and the meditation was not just a bunch of chanting. Third, the meditation was focused on a topic I was actually really interested in. It was the perfect combo!
Guess what happened after that? I gradually fell in love with my very own version of meditation! Can you believe it? I fell in love with meditating? The girl who couldn’t sit in easy pose for longer than 60 seconds, now loves it?! Get out of town!
How did I fall in love with meditating and why?
First of all let’s get one thing straight, I use the term mediate very loosely. By definition meditate means to engage in contemplation or reflection or to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation according to Merriam- Webster dictionary. Yes, people have all sorts of perceptions of what meditation means to them or what they perceive it to mean from what they have witnessed in certain areas of the world, but when it’s stripped down and taken out of the dictionary that is it what it means.
SO what does meditating mean to me?
1. To me, meditating is sitting in easy pose (cross legged on the floor) with my arms out, resting on my legs with my palms up. I’ve tried other positions as well, but this is the one I enjoy the most.
2. I like to do a short guided meditation or sometimes I turn on some calming music and simply sit with my thoughts with my eyes closed. (Some people like to focus on their third eye for true stillness (third eye = focusing on the middle of your forehead in between both of your eyes.)
3. I begin with focusing on the breathing techniques I’ve learned and I end with saying a prayer of thanks for what I’m grateful for that day.
How long do I meditate for and when do I meditate? It truly depends. I’m the feel it type of person so I go with whatever feels right. If I end up meditating for 15 minutes or even just 3 minutes because that’s all I needed, that’s completely okay with me. I enjoy meditating the most in the morning to start my day off right; however I don’t do it every morning. I do it when I truly feel like it. There are no have to’s or should’s associated with this.
I fell in love with meditation because of how it makes me feel. I feel calm, at peace, connected to myself & the world around me when I mediate. It helps me realign with what I view as most important in my life and in my day to day activities. It’s also an incredible gratitude exercise for me to actively recognize how truly thankful I am for all I have.
Have you ever tried meditating? What does meditation mean for you and what do you enjoy about it?
If you want to give meditation a try – here is one of the first guided meditation I tried from Gabrielle Bernstein. (Meditation) OR if you want to try it on your own, here is one of the songs for protection that I enjoy playing when I meditate. (aad guray nameh)
Let me know how this goes for you in the comments below!
Hugs & Mochas,