Many of us have heard about the pros of daily mediation…much research and discussion is still to be done on this subject…but more and more it seems that there is a positive correlation between a daily meditation practice and improved mood, health, and an actual change in brain chemistry so that these benefits can become long-lasting with continued practice.
You’ve all heard Oprah extol the benefits of being in the moment and being present and making a daily gratitude list. Mediation can take on as many different forms as you can imagine. As in the article above, you can choose to meditate for two hours a day. This isn’t how I would recommend starting out though!! Keeping your breath and mind focused for even one minute may be a challenge in the beginning.
As with ALL positive changes that you might like to try in your life, the best way to be successful is to plan it all out as you would with a business project. Where will you meditate? How do you envision it going? When will you meditate and for how long? The more details you have in your plan, the more likely you are to actually carry it out and succeed…and Change Your Mind!!
As a single, self-employed mother of three busy teen boys, I make time each morning at 4 AM before I run off to see my first personal training clients to go get my coffee (which I drink black and have pre-set on the timer so it is ready for me), light a scented candle (I like lavender in the morning and a citrus later in the day), and I hold my coffee cup and sip it slowly while just focusing on my breathing in and out and looking at the candle. After I focus on my breathing, I slowly go through my day in my mind so that I can imagine each client, each interaction that I will have going well and happily. This type of positive pre-game review of my day really helps me to set my mental tone. Once I have drank my coffee and reviewed my day, I make a gratitude list that is very straightforward: I write “I am grateful for,” the date, and the numbers 1 – 5. Then I quickly write in the first 5 things that come to my mind. My children normally top the list. My fabulous friends and amazing clients are always on there. My health, my house, my life…all frequently make appearances on the list in addition to anyone in my life who is going above and beyond at that moment.
While I realize that my particular approach to morning meditation is different from most, it truly makes an incredible difference in my daily life. Not only do I feel peaceful, centered, and happy throughout the day, but when I am confronted with unpleasant events, I believe that this daily practice helps me to calmly deal with these events so that I can be proud of the way I conducted myself. In the end, all we really have is who we are in the universe and how we treat the individuals we come in contact with.
Some people prefer guided meditation CDs or mantras or yoga postures…all of these are good. It really comes down to what do YOU envision working for you…what will center and calm YOU…and what actually fits into your day. I can WANT to meditate for two hours a day but without severely compromising my sleep, that won’t happen right now. My 5-10 minute practice is working for me, and days I need to recharge later, I can always do it again!!
Make a plan that works for you. Namaste!