No Time for Meditation?
Meditation quite literally changed my life! To be honest, five years ago, the very concept of sitting in a lotus position, ‘zenned out’ in a serene state, chanting “OM” mystified me. In that previous life, I was conditioned into a state of ‘hurry’. Squeezing an early morning exercise regime, organising children for school, work, shopping, dinner, homework, folding washing all into a daily routine. How could I possibly entertain the notion of sitting for a period of time, empting my mind of the endless ‘to do’ lists and take mindful deep breathes? No way!
A close girlfriend invited me to join a local meditation group. She promised me that I’d love it, so I tagged along. I remember walking into the hall and being struck instantly by the light energy. There were gentle whispers, people shuffling to get comfortable, welcoming nods and then I saw our teacher sitting framed in her beautiful, glowing aura. The guided class transported me. I entered a state of blissful calm. From that very first experience I was hooked. I read everything I could on ‘meditation’ and all the different practises. I attended classes and workshops. The real change for me came from my own dedication to my daily practise.
I write this piece to urge you too to find the time from your extremely busy, time-poor lives to invest 10 minutes a day or every second or third day, to yourself. I have been in this space. I get it, but the self-transformation is worth every dedicated minute.
Regular practise embraces a plethora of benefits, such as:
- Stress management
- Boosts our immune system
- Combats illness
- Slows our rate of ageing
Meditation invites mindfulness into our daily life, where we can cease monitoring the content of our daily thoughts. Flicking off our ‘auto-pilot’ button and being present in the HERE and NOW. Meditation provides time for reflection and planning. Meditation is a powerful and life changing tool.
So here is the simple practise I adopted into my own busy schedule:
- Find a place. Quiet. Uncluttered without distractions.
- Mornings are best straight from sleep. Your body in this state is far easier to discipline (but choose a time that works best in your day).
- Start with 10 minutes (you can build this over time, 10 mins is perfect when starting).
- Sit crossed legged on a cushion with your hands resting gently in your lap. Keep your back straight. Sit in a chair if you cannot comfortably sit on the floor.
- Gently close your eyes and concentrate on the tip of your nose.
- Have a statement prepared. An affirmation that brings meaning to your practise. It could simply be ‘I am happy’ or ‘my day today will flow effortlessly’ or ‘I am grateful’.
- Breathe in gently through your nose. A long, unrushed inhalation. Draw your breathe as far into your belly as you can. Hold it.
- Exhale, slowly with purpose (conscious breathing slows down your metabolic rate). As you exhale count ‘1’.
- Then ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘4’ all the way to ‘22’. I chose ‘22’ as my number; you can choose ‘10’ if that works better. If I was distracted by mind chatter and lost my focused count, I would start over from ‘1’.
- Thoughts will come in and out of your mind. This is part of the process. Let the thoughts enter and leave. Constantly bring your attention back to the breath and the count. Over time this simple practise will become easier and easier.
- You will find the practise profoundly calming. Start to deepen your awareness. Notice the pause between breathes. Embrace the stillness.
- Finish your practise by repeating your intention or affirmation.
I challenge you to try it. Take just 10 minutes each day for YOU. Find that inner peace that we are all seeking. Once you’ve started, the changes in your life will become abundant.
With love Sarah xx