I have tried meditation many times in my life, and have found it to be difficult for my wandering mind to get into. I tended to just fall into a quick nap or get frustrated because my mind refused to be tamed into peaceful submission. But recently I took a Discovery Board Workshop from Laura Egland at Vision Architect (which I totally recommend, by the way) and was confronted with my misgiving about meditation. Laura led us through a very calming and grounding mediation exercise that allowed me to clear my mind and focus on the task at hand. No falling asleep, no aggravation. Woo hoo!
Today I found the following article from Organic Soul that speaks to people like me… those of us that have not found meditation to be second nature, but are seeking the calm and focus that it can achieve. With all the stress of the holiday season encroaching, we could all use a little mental break right about now!
Finding inner peace can sometimes result in a frustrating battle between your desire to just chill out and the realities and stresses of the world. Between appointments, work, family, friends and other distractions it can be difficult to be in the moment and relax. While there is no specific “formula” about how to “properly meditate”, sometimes the best way to do it is through visualization and transporting your mind someplace else.
It may be easier said than done, but it is beneficial to try and meditate every single night. This may sound difficult to commit to, but spending those few moments with yourself can help to clear your head before getting a good night’s sleep. You’re put in a more tranquil state of mind, naturally keeping you more relaxed and positive in everyday life.
I suggest beginners start right before bed and utilize aromatherapy and calming music. Try the following suggested visualization meditation to help ease you slowly into a meditative state:
Laying on a flat and supportive surface with spine aligned; slowly begin to sink deeply into the ground. First feet, then legs, core, arms shoulders, and head… all fully are sinking down, as if sinking into a floating cloud. Our body feels very heavy as every muscle relaxes into the floating cloud, floating high in the clear blue sky. As the cloud is floating on the sun shines bright and warm on the skin and the cool breeze gently blows upon our face. All worries and troubles are washed away like a passing spring shower. We feel refreshed and cleansed, ready to start a new day. We lay here floating on, feeling comforted and happy bringing us to a place special in our hearts. What does this place look like? Imagine we are arriving at this place….
Meditation can also work during the day by adding a gentle alarm that will ease you to come to. As you’re beginning to move, remember the following:
…Slowly start to wiggle toes and fingers, awakening our bodies for the rest of the day. Rotating to the right side, lie in the fetal position. Using the left arm as support, and keeping eyes closed, sit up and come into a cross legged position. Let’s be thankful for this day, for our loved ones, and for having the courage to try something new today.
The overall goal of meditating is so we can maintain a positive state of mind and become more conscious of ourselves. I speak about positivity a lot, because I find that positive thinking and gratitude can help boost your immune system, improve your eating habits, and motivate you to workout. When you have a positive outlook on life, all other aspects of your life begin to improve: you’ll feel energized and more likely to be fit and healthy, you’ll appreciate the Earth what it does for us, and you’ll appreciate others and their contribution to the world.
This piece was contributed to Organic Soul by Brittany D. Costa, health and wellness educator and journalist. Costa currently works at Brittany D. Costa Freelance, where she performs private in-home and electronic personal training and health and wellness guidance. She has also worked at several fitness clubs and is the Official Health and Wellness Guide for various Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant contestants. Check out her blog for more information!