When it comes to meditation, I used to think a yogi chanting on a floating Persian rug. Sure a few times we practiced meditation in modern dance class, and it was helpful. But overall it was a foreign concept and something easy to dismiss as just, well, dumb.
If you've spent some time with me lately I've probably told you about meditation and why you should do it. I held back sharing about it for a reeeeallly long time because, well, #weird.
I guess I'm finally ready to share about it because it's made such a huge difference in my life. I meditate before or after my daily prayer and scripture study every morning, and I try to every afternoon. But you know what, if you are happy, successful and at peace in your life, then you can just forego this and keep on doing what you are doing. But I can guarantee you already meditate if you are there. It's a total game changer. Look up any successful person that you admire and google them, I can guarantee they meditate. All of my favorites do: Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Oprah, Ellen Degeneres, Clint Eastwood, Mother Teresa, ...
Benefits to meditating:
A few things I didn't plan on but freaking love about meditation:
I'm happier, way happier (for someone who has suffered depression this is HUGE)
I'm more patient
I have more self love and love for others
I don't overeat anymore
I don't oversleep anymore
I don't judge people as much anymore (it's getting better every day)
I don't judge myself as much anymore (this comes before the former)
I have less negative self talk
I don't get carsick anymore
I don't get as sick anymore (and get better faster)
How do I meditate?
There is no one way to do this (just like anything) but this is what works for me.
SIT UP STRAIGHT
I have a quiet corner in my bedroom with a chair. I sit with my feet on the floor, hands on my lap, palms turned upwards. Sometimes I connect my pointer finger and thumb, because it helps me focus better. The important part is sitting up straight, sometimes I'll use a pillow behind my back if I'm tired. I used to meditate lying down, which also works...but you can fall asleep a lot. Just saying.
The important part is having a straight line of posture for air flow with your breathing.
I set my phone timer for 20 minutes and close my eyes. I also use the app #insighttimer which I really love as a timer. I breath in slowly through my nose and exhale through my nose. I've used many different methods of meditation and this is what works best for me. In the beginning I would visualize light or blue light coming in with my breath and filling my body, and watching it leave. Now I focus on my breath and my mantra. Choosing a scripture, word or saying that helps you to focus on not focusing is a mantra. I know, it sounds weird. But the entire point of meditation for me is learning to clear out the clutter of thoughts in my head and connect with my savior for 20 minutes. I repeat my mantra over and over again in my. mind with every exhale until I have cleared my mind. If I start thinking, I'll start it again to return to stillness.
Listen, I went bonkers in just the first 2 minutes when I started. My brain did NOT want me to ignore it. Not to mention I also suffer from ADD/ADHD. But with consistent practice I slowly grew better at peacefully letting go and just breathing. If my mind wandered, I'd go back to my breath or my mantra. Sometimes I get answers to problems, sometimes I have a morning where nothing happens, but that Is rare and usually when I'm coming down with a cold or something weird. 100% of the time I have more energy, peace and love and am ready for the day.
MAKE IT A HABIT
Set your alarm early to get it done when the house is quiet and still. Don't put it off!
It is really hard to meditate with kids banging on your door for fruit snacks or the phone ringing or when you are already irritated about something.
"Don't get so busy that you don't take time to meditate. Take the time..." Harold B Lee
I now daily meditate and can tell a huge difference when I've missed a day. So can my husband. Seriously. I don't have to tell you after several meditation sessions to keep doing it because you will see for yourself the unspeakable benefits to this practice.
Here are a few reasons why I meditate: I connect with my inner purpose, God and my savior every day. I am filled with peace and the knowledge that I am loved, that I am love, that the world is a beautiful place with me in it.