Meditation is one practice that I’ve always had an on, off love affair with. Sometimes I’ll be on it, meditating in the am and the pm. Then, at other times, I’ll find myself slacking.
I used to get annoyed with myself for not wanting to meditate. Going into this space of, almost forcing myself to meditate. After all, meditation is what us spiritual types are meant to do, right?
These days I do find myself meditating every day and that’s because I want to. That’s because I’ve have created a ‘no pressure’ practice that fits in with my lifestyle. As a result of this, I’ve found that I actually enjoy it.
I’ve also made a few discoveries along the way that hopefully will inspire you to start and create your own meditation practice that works for you.
Before we delve in I want to ask you to drop any preconceptions that you have about meditation, such as is too hard, that you can’t switch off your monkey mind or that you’ll never be able to master it. I ask you to do this so that you can approach your new meditation practice from a fresh perspective and an open heart. Something that will hopefully open you up to receiving what you need from this post and use it to develop a meditation practice that works for you.
WHY I STARTED MEDITATING
Meditation found me whilst I was in the sixth form. It was a practice that our chaplain and RE teacher (yes, I went to Catholic sixth form) would use at the start of each lesson. A very short meditation, where we connected to the silence within.
This practice of connecting to the silence within was reinforced in my weekly yoga class where we’d end each session with a silent meditation.
Back then I didn’t know anything about meditation. It wasn’t the ‘thing’ that it is now. All I knew was based on what I felt and had experienced from participating in those sessions. Those feelings and experiences being peace, relaxation, calm and wholeness. Which leads us nicely to my first discovery…..
DISCOVERY #1: HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL + WHAT DO YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE?
I meditate for different reasons and won’t use the same meditation day in, day out. Each day is different. Each morning I feel different. Which means what I want to experience isn’t necessarily the same as what I wanted to experience yesterday or the day before that. Therefore, I choose a meditation based on what I need, what I want to experience more or what I am working on bringing more of into my life.
For example, in my NQT year (newly qualified teacher), I got really into meditation for healing. At this point in my life, I was stressed, drained and ready to quit before I had even begun. So my meditation practice was really about feeling lighter, less stressed about the day ahead and letting go of hurt, worries and fears. This in contrast to my psychic development workshop meditation. Here the focus was on raising my vibration to connect with spirit so that I could give readings. Followed by lowering that vibration and clearing energy so that I could switch off, as it were, from being a spirit channel.
What I discovered was that when I knew how I wanted to feel and what I wanted to experience I’d choose a meditation that compliments this. Then my practice wouldn’t feel forced or like some kind of a chore because I will be experiencing what I need during that time. This brought and continues to bring a sense of intention and purpose to the practice that I aim to carry throughout the day.
DISCOVERY #2: MEDITATING ON THE GO
Some people may turn up their nose to this one and that’s fine, yet I quite like a bit of meditation on the go. I’m not saying swap your 6am meditation practice with your crystals for meditating on the train. However, I’ve found it helpful to spend my train journey doing something mindful rather than stressing about my day ahead or something that triggered me from the day before.
On those days when I’m running late and don’t meditate first thing or when someone has fucked me right off during the day, meditating on the go can and has been my saving grace.
I find that just by taking those 5 or 10 minutes to myself on the bus, train or tube helps to chill me out, relax, reconnect and ground, if only just for a while. That short while can really make a difference to how you feel on the inside and how you show up on the outside. Whilst also bringing a sense of perspective and balance that you may have missed had you not given yourself permission to experience a moment or two of stillness.
It’s for this reason that I have one or two meditation apps downloaded and a few more saved in the music player on my mobile. I tend to have one for each of my preferred types of meditating, eg: healing, visualizing, mantra and music (music for me includes meditating Stormzy – Blinded by your Grace). By doing this I help to ensure that I have the right meditation for me at the right time.
DISCOVERY #3: DON’T LET IT GET BORING + DON’T FEEL BAD
When meditation felt like a chore or routine that’s when I’d skip my practice. So, I’m happy to mix things up and do what works for me. As long as I arrive at my desired experience or feeling outcome that’s the most important thing.
Mixing it up may look different for each person. It could be that you do a 10-minute meditation rather than 50 minutes. Maybe you meditate to your favourite songs, like I have been known to. Perhaps you do a 30-day chakra meditation to balance your chakras and restore balance from within.
The point is that you have to do what works for you. Listen to your body and connect with your soul, allowing them to be the guide that leads you to what they need and what will fill you up. This is especially true in the early stages of starting your practice where you are most likely to feel bad if you miss your practice that day.
One way around this is to commit to 5 days of meditating each morning, afternoon, evening, day or whatever works for you. At the end of the week reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Make adjustments and tweaks here there, whilst keeping what worked before committing to another 5 or 10 days of meditation. Over time, you’ll build up a meditation practice that works for you at that phase in your life. I say “at that phase in your life” because things change. Life changes. You change. So, you have to adapt to these changes and that may also involve making changes to your meditation practice.
ARE YOU READY TO MEDITATE?
Even if you begin with just 2 minutes of meditation then start there and build up over time because this is how you cultivate a practice that works for you.
To get you started I highly recommend the Rituals app which is my new favourite meditation app and you can also shop for Rituals goodies too, which are absolutely divine. Download the Rituals app here, you won’t regret it.
Do you have a meditation practice that is working wonders for you? Would you like to start meditating and if so, what’s holding you back?
I love hearing from you, so feel free to share in the comments space below.