Unbelievable. How many times have you heard someone say, “This is unbelievable!!”…. For me, every time before this current global pandemic feels like hyperbole in comparison. It’s as though we are living amidst a Hollywood movie plot that has too many far-fetched plot twists to feel like real life.
And yet – here we are. Confined to our homes. Uncertain about the future of basic living, like going to a restaurant, a movie theater, a baseball game…..visiting loved ones in the hospital, attending graduations, weddings and funerals.
As life becomes more and more surreal, I have become more and more enticed by the need to feel centered – to feel as though I am tethered to SOMETHING. Enter the beauty of meditation….a practice that had always called to me in spurts, but now feels like a necessity. I would love to share this little bit of inner peace with you in the form of a few tips for learning to meditate.
The challenge, as always, is to initially make the time in your schedule to give yourself this space and room to breathe. Though I can’t claim to be an expert at juggling any schedule, I’m certainly a prime candidate for needing to create this physical and mental space. Work, home and family life can easily clutter your mind, leaving you feeling as though a weight has settled in permanently on the center of your chest….especially now that we are doing it all from home and many of us are on top of each other AND nervous about the future.
Let’s start by simply starting….one foot in front of the other. Seek out 15-20 minutes of quiet in your day. One of the most beautiful ways to lift the weight we are feeling is by mastering meditation – Let’s begin like this:
Breathe Like a Yogi: Tips for Learning to Meditate
Dedicate Time – Whether you choose to get up a half hour before your family rises in the morning, you carve out a slice of time in the middle of your day, or you wait for the calm that settles in after your family has gone to bed – promise yourself a specific time and stick to it.
Choose a Quiet Space – Find a place in your home where you can be breathe in peace – without the distraction of the dog, your children calling to you, your email dinging or someone needing your attention. This space is for you and quiet.
Turn Off Your Devices – As hard as it may be, turn off your phone, your iPad, the TV and your music. Don’t keep your phone near by ‘just in case’. The world can live without you for this short period of time.
Sit Tall – While you don’t need to sit in a traditional ‘yoga’ pose – with your ankles on your knees – you do need to sit up straight to maximize your breathing. This isn’t nap time – you are focused and breathing. I know you may be tempted by exhaustion, but I want to repeat – no napping.
Focus on Your Breathing
– Ahhh yes. Focus. on. your. breathing. If it helps, include a favorite scent in the room – for me, this is lavender. This isn’t heavy breathing – this is your normal breathing – in and out through your nose. It will be easy for other thoughts to enter your mind, but each time they do, allow it to happen, gently picture pushing them to the side and return to the calm in-and-out of your breathing until most thoughts have left your mind. This will take time and practice. If you need, find a phrase that brings you peace and say it over as you rely on your breathing to bring you calm.
Enjoy the Benefits – Your goal is a clearer mind. Your goal is mental peace. When you have mastered the ability to focus on your breathing, you will find meditation becomes something you WANT to do to secure that sense of inner contentment… just one of the reasons you should meditate every day.
Repeat daily so that you can to see the most change happening in your peace of mind, ability to focus and overall relaxation.