Meditation- 10 Tips To Get That Party Started
If you don’t meditate yet, I would like to demand, but instead because I meditate I will gently suggest, that you start. From lowering blood pressure, to reducing depression and anxiety, to weight loss and other significant physical benefits, meditation is linked to greater well-being in thousands of scientific studies. It may seem intimidating, or even weird, but if that’s your excuse, it’s time to EMBRACE YOUR INNER WEIRD, because meditation is the best thing you can do to improve any aspect of your life that is clamoring for attention.
Here are a few quick tips to get you out of the gates:
- Lotus position not required! You know when you see pictures of people meditating and they are sitting criss-cross applesauce with their palms open on their knees and fingers lightly touching? You totally don’t have to do that. That position is not my happy place. Why would I get awkward when I can get comfortable? My most comfortable position is lying down. So lying down is how I meditate. Which leads me to,
- Meditate right when you wake up, when you are still lying down, so no one suspects anything. In my house, I need to look nearly pulseless to not attract attention. And surprisingly, the humans I live with have not caught on. The issue is my high maintenance cat. If she suspects I am awake, my me time is DONE. If I have to go to the bathroom, I do so as quietly as possible and then tiptoe back under the sheets. Then, I start my,
- Insight Timer. This is a free app that lets you time your meditation and starts and ends it with a lovely sound that signifies, It’s time to bring da peace! Once my start bell has rung, I,
- Make a short mental list of things I am grateful for. Immediately after that, I THINK OF NOTHING. I use Primordial Sound Meditation, because Chopra’s Theme Park is 20 minutes from my house so I can do things like rock up to that island of serenity and say Yo! Somebody puh-lease slide over my very own personal mantra! However, if a meditation center is not in your back yard, focus on something easy, like your breath. When you inhale, think only of inhaling, when you exhale, think only of exhaling. When you find yourself thinking about that PTA bitch that stole my parking spot and WTF I even had my blinker on! And then you worry that oh crud, I’m supposed to be meditating and I just ruined the whole thing, I should start the timer over but I don’t have time.. NO, you don’t need to start over. Just redirect, back to the breathing. You can also visualize clean, white energy coming into your body through the top of your head with every inhale, and black, heavy energy leaving your body from the bottom of your feet with every exhale. And when you realize I forgot to ask my sister in law for that ceviche recipe and I am supposed to bring it to my friend’s birthday dinner tonight! And then, oh darn it all, there I go again, I seriously CANNOT meditate. Yes, you can. Go back to the breathing. If you spend 95% of your meditation time redirecting yourself back to meditating, that’s normal. Don’t judge yourself. But if you find yourself judging that jerk who walked by my house this morning and had the nerve to wave hello after not picking up his dog squeeze! Redirect, and go back to breathing.
- 10 minutes! That’s all it takes! Preferably 30 minutes, twice a day. But if you’re like me, that’s a stretch. To start, 10 minutes once a day works. If you like the effects, you can add more time later, when you’re ready.
- Six months! Let’s say you start meditating and you seriously cannot think of nothing and your mind swirls and swirls and sitting still for lengths of time aggravates your sciatica. I feel your pain. But if you started meditating, it’s probably because you were looking for some type of shift in perspective or relief of stress. So persevere for six months. You will need stamina and stick-to-it-iveness, because it might feel like absolutely nothing is happening for the entire six months. And then, I do not exaggerate, something magical will occur. A resolution. A sense of clarity. A closure. A feeling of inner peace. Whatever you are looking for, it will be there.
- MYTH- If you miss a week of meditation, you have to start the 6 month clock from the beginning. No you don’t! You miss a week because you are human and you get sick or you travel and you can’t make it happen. That’s okay. Just start it back up as soon as you are able. You can still look for the results in 6 months. This whole meditation thing is very forgiving if you get out of its way.
- EXCUSE- I already don’t get enough sleep. Great news! Meditation offers the same benefits as sleep, so if you are cutting into your precious zzzs, which are already in short supply, this is fine. You will still feel rested if you rob your morning sleep time to meditate.
- EXCUSE #2- But when I meditate lying down, I always fall back asleep. Also fine! When I first started meditating, I regularly fell back asleep. The ending bell on my timer would startle me, mid-drool, and I would think, well that was useless. But it wasn’t. Trust me, you can fall back asleep during meditation. I fall back asleep less often now because once I started to notice results, I became excited about feeling better and I wanted to experience more benefits.
- “Conference call” meditation. This is a trick I employ when I try to squeak in an afternoon meditation at a child’s sports practice. It can also work during a lunch hour. First, I act like I need to make an urgent call. Then, I get into my car, don sunglasses, and insert headphones. I place my phone on the dashboard so people think I’m on with a bigwig in NYC. I might roll down my window and bark, I told you to SELL! just to solidify the facade. Then, I start my timer and close my eyes. I don’t get in much afternoon meditation, but when I do, it is great for the reduction of night time frazzles.
If this inspires you to start a meditation practice, please let me know in the comments or contact section on my website. I also want to hear about your results in six months. I wouldn’t evangelize on this if I didn’t feel so strongly that we all can benefit from this simple, easy tool. Plus, I like to get thanked. So go for it, Tigers! Bring da peace!