Many people, not conditioned to meditation, cringe when you mention it. Countless people, I have suggested it to have hit back with “I tried it, I just got frustrated, so it didn’t work.” It’s not because they disapproved of the concept of meditation; in fact, I feel most are envious of people that can manage to do it. Meditation needs time to become practiced, and initially, it will be challenging. The irony is that most of us do it every day without even being aware. How many times have you arrived at your destination without memory of the journey? This could be described as a form of meditation.
Meditation is a concept focussing the mind on breathing to create a calm and emotionally stable state. Meditation can train you to concentrate, gain clarity, and release anxiety and stress. When you first start, the mind will wander, and it takes consistent practice to be able to switch off thoughts even for short periods. As practiced as I am, I sometimes have days when thoughts or worries creep in. I merely see myself swipe them away and remind myself that this is “MY time.”  Your state of mind at the time of attempting meditation will play a big part in your ability to conquer it. People who are time poor or stressed are the ones most likely to become frustrated. The irony is that these are the personalities who would benefit the most. Learning to stop thinking and listen to your own body is crucial to your wellbeing. Giving yourself this valuable gift will teach your internal self to slow down and control conditioned response to particular circumstances. By using forms of meditation, the body learns an alternate response. Once you perfect this, you can try other forms of meditation that may resonate with you.

 Set yourself up

Set up a comfortable space that you love being in. It will help you look forward to the time.    Set up a little ritual – Candles, music, pictures, smells   At this stage, don’t be concerned about where or how to place your hands. Just whatever is comfortable is fine.    Choose a time when you know you are NOT likely to be disturbed.    Let your family, children, partner, and roommates know not to disturb you   Turn your phone onto mute    Put your pets outside if they decide this is the time they want attention   Give yourself permission to take this time for YOU  Schedule in 10 minutes a day for yourself when starting and increase as you improve.  You can play music, tune into external sounds, or sit in silence. If you choose music, it must create an emotion within. Either motivational or relaxation. 

Keep it short initially to limit any frustration with the wandering mind.   Accept that your mind will wander.    Start with 1 minute. Note: When you first start, If you CAN go a minute and not have a thought, you are doing well.    Start with inhaling slowly in and slowly out. Breathe to what is most comfortable for you but always exhale longer than you inhale. The objective is to slow down your breathing to lower stress and heart rate.  If you choose to leave your eyes open, have a focus point. Either a candle flame or a spot on the wall. You might also find it helpful in the beginning to repeat silently to yourself while inhaling “breathing in” or rising, rising, rising, and when exhaling, “breathing out” or “falling, falling, falling.” This is a method used by monks in some parts of the world.  When you notice that thoughts have crept in, bring your attention back to your breath. Physically use your hand to wipe away thoughts. If it keeps bouncing back, swipe it again and then imagine pulling down a steel door to trap it OUT. Smile to yourself because you are in control.  Alternatively, you can acknowledge the thought to one of your sensors. Hearing, smelling, seeing (visualization), then return to breathing.    If you feel any pain or discomfort anywhere in your body, then change your position. There is no set rule for how to sit or lie  Keep a journal close to jot down any ideas that may have come during the meditation. This helps to lift your awareness.  Once you conquer a consistent meditation practice, then you can start with short guided online meditations.  It is worthwhile becoming trained at short sessions. By preparing yourself with short sessions, you are building discipline and conditioning the mind and body on how to behave. That way, when you start guided meditations, you are already disciplined.     Don’t give up. Keep going. Its only 10 minutes    Meditation takes consistency, discipline, and practice. You don’t just decide to learn the piano and become a concert pianist overnight. It takes practice to perfect. Realistically it took me around 2- 3 months to be able to switch off for at least 15 minutes consistently. The more you practice, the faster your body learns a better response, and the better you will become. You will reach a stage where you will look forward to it.   

The benefits of a good meditation practice are enormous.   Meditation is calming   It makes you feel relaxed and happy   It creates an involuntary positive response from the sympathetic nervous system. The body learns a different reaction to a situation or people that previously may have been a negative influence  It clears a foggy mind and improves concentration and focus Slows respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure Reduces anxiety and stress Over time, meditation can make you calmer It can give you clarity on issues, answers or ideas     For me, many ideas or answers come after meditation either in the shower or while driving. Sometimes it is an AHA moment, an idea on how to create something or a ridiculously simplistic answer to a problem. I have even written complete programs after meditation. Clearing the mind removes the clutter and allows subconscious “knowing” to surface. Meditation is amazing
Why consistency?

I look forward to meditating every morning. I found two songs that suit my vision in life. The 1st song I spend with a blank mind. I focus on my third eye (middle of eyebrows) and pay attention to any colors or patterns I see. I can do this successfully now without the interference of thought most days. The song goes for 12 minutes. I then progress to the second song, which has 3 different tempos. The first tempo is perfect for visualizing my ideal personal life. The style of the house, my family, my partner, my pets, my experiences. Then with the second tempo, I visualize my business, incorporating all the different areas. I can see the venue and all the people I work with, improving the lives of others. The third tempo involves traveling for both personal and work situations. I allow myself this time every morning and most nights because it makes me feel good. I FEEL the emotion, love, excitement, joy, and magic life. The kicker here is that if you can visualize and FEEL what you are wanting, you will manifest it into your life in some form. It is best to be patient, but in the interim, It is as though I am already living my ideal life in another parallel universe. It is the best of both worlds.