Have you tried meditation? Even if you’re not sure about it, now is the perfect time.
Even if you're a non believer, don't think you can sit still, do it right or that it's even beneficial, I highly recommend you give it a try.
All of the research out there says it works. It's the single easiest and best way to manage everyday stress, anxiety, overwhelm and sleep issues. I started meditating shortly after my separation process started and it was a lifesaver. I had insomnia, incredible stress and shock to manage as well as needing to focus and make major life altering decisions for me and my family all while continuing to keep my day job and family running. It is through meditation that I was able to calm my nerves enough to function and allow the answers and guidance to my biggest questions to surface.
Mediation allows us to settle the busy thoughts in our minds and tap into that inner calm and wisdom that makes us feel centered and at peace. It’s a source of strength, release and where answers to our biggest challenges can be found.
All you have to do is tap in and let go.
Below is a simple guide I follow every night to lead me through my meditation:
Step 1 - Find Your Quiet Space:
Find a quiet, dark place where you won’t be disturbed. For me, it’s in my closet. You can do things like light candles, sit on a pillow, play soft music. For me, I keep it simple. I turn out the lights and sit on the floor. No whistles and bells, just me.
Step 2 - Get Comfortable and Open Up:
Close your eyes, sit comfortably and rest your hands on you knees in an open, receiving position for guidance or at your heart in prayer for gratitude.
Step 3 - Let go and Dive In:
Close your eyes and release your mind. Let go of all thoughts and go blank. Breathe easily and calmly and stay here. Keep breathing, keep letting go of your thoughts. That's it.
This step can be difficult to many starting out. Don't get frustrated if your thoughts wander a bit. This is totally natural and not something to fight. Just try to go to blankness and dark (let go) every time you notice any thoughts coming through and keep breathing. This step takes practice and will feel difficult in the beginning. But like anything that you practice, you will get better over time - just keep trying!
If you are a beginner, you can stay here and work on your skills in this stage. Start with 5 minutes and you can build up to 30. You will feel the benefits almost immediately! You should feel a greater sense of calm, clarity and acceptance. It often helps with focus and you may even experience answers surface to questions you are struggling with.
Know that there is no wrong way to meditate - this isn't a test and no one is keeping score. This is for you and about you and what works and feels good is good! I know a lot of people who meditate and everyone has their own way. And your way is the best way for you.
Below are some additional stages I go into. Sometimes I do them all, sometimes just some of them. You may have some of your own that you create that work.
"Take what you need and ditch what you don't" as my yoga instructor and friend, Charles Dickens IV would say.
Step 4: Focus on Feeling Good:
After you have settled into a calm place where you feel disconnected from your daily world, guide yourself into the next phase which focuses on YOU feeling good. Envision and feel a warm, gentle light beaming down onto your head and shining right through your body to your heart, lighting you up from within and filling you with love. Stay here for a little while and feel the warm, supportive light filling you up and making you feel whole. Know that you are loved, you are worthy of love, that you love yourself, that you are loved by others and that you actually ARE love.
Step 5: Acknowledging the Good:
Next focus on all the things in your life that are going well. Picture them one at a time and think of how good they make you feel. It could be people you love and have good relationships with, it could be loving where you live, or that you had a good morning, or that you met a goal you were working on. Whatever it is that is working, thriving and feeling good within you, focus on it, celebrate it and embrace the good like waves washing over you. Tap into that appreciation and feel the things that are right.
Step 6: Releasing Negativity with Forgiveness:
Think of a problem you are having, like a person you are struggling with. Picture them or the issue. Then imagine forgiving instead of any negative feelings like resentment, anger or frustration; project love towards them. Imagine your love is a light that can be beamed out from your heart and can project healing and light right into this issue or person making all the negativity and conflict dissipate like smoke. Let all the bad feelings go. It's only the light.
Breathe deep and shine that light of forgiveness and feel the relief and calm that comes with it.
Step 7: Attracting Abundance and Getting Clear about What you Want: Finally, imagine your perfect abundant life 2 years from now. Imagine what you look like, how you feel, every detail down to the smells in the air, what you are wearing and who is with you. Feel the love, happiness and peace you feel being exactly where you are and with everything that is important and beautiful to you. Notice what this is, what it looks like, who you are with.
Allow yourself to feel the comfort in knowing that this is where you are headed. That this is your future and you are worthy and deserving of this life that lives in your heart.
Step 8: Asking for Help: Sometimes, we have an issue we are struggling with. You might have spent hours analyzing, debating, stressing about this problem. Sometimes we have to get out of our heads and into our selves to find the answers. This may mean surrendering finding a solution this moment.
When I am in this place, while I am in meditation I ask for help and guidance. At any stage in your meditation you can do the following: First, release the need to control and know now. Imagine actually releasing what you have been struggling with into the air like opening your hands and letting it go. Tell yourself that the universe has the answer already figured out, you just need to have patience that the answers are on their way to you. Then you can quietly ask the universe for help. What should you do? Should you do this or that? Then stay quiet, still and breathe. If thoughts arise, make note of what they are, be aware of them, and then let them go. If answers don't become clear right away, that's ok. This may take time. You can continue to do this on a regular basis until the answer becomes clear to you.
Over time, they usually do.
Step 9: Wrap it up: I am not the best at graciously ending my meditation. I usually keep it simple: A quick prayer of gratitude and any final items of focus, and I take a few deep breathes.
Remember to breathe deep and try to be consistent. I am at the point where I feel like my day is unfinished if I don't end with meditation time in the evenings.
You will find your own practice that works for you. Would love to hear about it!