My brain was like a monkey flying on the high trapeze and tauntingly giggling at me with each swing.
Back and forth. Here and there. Laughing at me the entire way.
Or, so it seemed as I sat awkwardly in the OM-iest of ways. Fighting the movie of monkey thoughts streaming across the screen of my brain — My neck hurts. My hips hurt. Surely it has been at least 10 minutes of this mind calming stuff that I know is supposed to be good for me. I can’t believe she called me that today!
Don’t look at the clock…Don’t look at the clock!
(*Looks at the clock*) Only 3 minutes?!?!?! This is stupid….I can’t do this. I am so bored…My mind is not made for meditation.
When I first started meditating, this was what happened to me. I could not focus. My brain was not trained to focus. My brain was trained for distraction. And the monkey swinging wildly was out of control. Not only in my meditations, but also in my everyday moments. My mind was running amok and I convinced myself that I was no good at the meditation thing — it was a waste of my time.
How many times have you told yourself that meditation is “not for you?” Or that you were no good at it. Or that you don’t have time to sit and meditate.
What I learned is that meditation is for everyone — at least one of it’s forms. Meditation doesn’t mean that you have to sit crossed-legged, palms up, and chanting wildly. It simply means that you are engaging in an act that calms the mind and brings you to a place of mindfulness that pulls you away from the chaos of your world.
Mindfulness and meditation are not just trendy terms that the Yogi down the street is raving about or that all the celebrities are doing to be noticed. There are real reasons you might just want to try it out. Here are just a few nuggets of benefits —
- Restores blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol
- Increases blood flow
- Slows your heart rate
- Increases deeper levels of relaxation
- Decreases headaches and muscle tension
- Increases exercise tolerance
- Builds self-esteem
- Reduces anxiety attacks and depression
- Increases mood and behavior
- Promotes weight loss
- Increases immunity
- Stabilizes pre-menstrual syndrome
- Helps with healing following a trauma or surgery
Meditation is medicine outside of a bottle!
But what if I tried it before and I failed? I got 3 main tips for you to get started that can help to get you in a solid routine, turning off the monkey movie, and finally feeling successful in mastering your own meditation!
Same Time, Same Place
Practice time is sacred. Even if you are walking down the hallway to work while eating an apple as you march towards your next meeting, that time is sacred if you are using it to center yourself and calm your mind. Is that optimal meditating skills? Probably not, but it is one way to own your space and reclaim your brain.
What I am trying to emphasis is that practice time is sacred and set boundaries make it even more sacred. To deepen the sacredness of your OM-iness, take it one step further and try to stick to the same time and same place everyday. It creates some solid consistency and cueing to the brain. For example, meditation time could be at 6 am, after you wake from your deep sleep, retrieve your steaming cup of Joe, nestle into the couch with your headphones and a zen-like tune, and set aside 10 minutes to enter a quiet reflective mind. Deep breathe…and you are off.
When you step into that space at the time you are keeping sacred, your brain turns on to tune into meditation (think Pavlov’s dog, without the drooling).
Create A Ritual
We humans love some easy rituals. Even the most spontaneous and impulsive folks gravitate towards rituals. Why? Because it creates repetition and repetition easy. We don’t have to think too hard about it. Fortunately for us, repetition leads to habit and habit leads to stickability. It’s like a respite for the brain and a trigger that says, “It’s ok to relax.” What do I mean by rituals?
- Put some soothing music on or a guided meditation. One of my favorites is Chakra Healing Zone.
- Perform 3-5 deep belly breaths, relaxing more into your seat or couch with each exhale.
- Visualize connecting to your higher power (or something bigger than yourself) by imagining a bright white beam of light laser beaming from the center of the sky and entering through the crown of your head, traveling down your body. Let it fill every nook and cranny with a glowing white healing light.
- Take a deep belly breath in and begin counting down from 10 to 1, relaxing every part of your body and sinking even further into your seat or couch with each descending number.
- Bring your attention to your breathing and allow your mind to be free to anything that passes through it. Observe whatever thoughts enter and, without judgment, give yourself permission to let it go.
Let Go Of Judgement
Thoughts of what Lucy said about you today. That annoying thing that your significant other did this morning. The utter embarrassment of tripping over your foot and almost falling in front of everybody. These are going to run through your head. At least at first! And that is ok.
Day’s events and judgey thoughts are going to try to consume your mind. That is totally normal (even for experts who have been doing this forever). And even though this is normal, fearing and worrying only prompts the monkey mind to become frustrated and more likely to quit. Here is the key — remain judgement-free and just observe it. Try this little exercise:
Pretend you are at the movies. When thoughts pop in, gently observe them like you are watching a movie on a big movie screen while you are sitting comfortable in your movie chair. Allow them to flicker by as you tune in and observe. Rather than getting consumed in the movie, keep judgment-free and think to yourself “Hmmm, there that is.” Gently bring your focus back to your breath. Rinse and repeat as thoughts enter.
The more you practice, the more your mind becomes disciplined to hone in faster and stronger.
Did you know that mindfulness and calming the mind are one form of detoxing the body? It helps to decrease stress and inflammation so that your body can operate optimally. Want more detoxing power? Scroll below…
If you liked this article, then you will love my other blogs.
Click here to get my Free body reset detox guide. You will become part of my tribe and get weekly blogs delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift and other insider tips that only my tribe will get)!