Sometimes the fast pace of our lives, the demands of jobs and family can make us feel that there’s no time to take care of ourselves.
Meditation is a gift we can give ourselves. Allowing ourselves to imagine positive things can be so life changing just as imagining the worst can limit our happiness.
Mediation can help us get in touch with our imagination and can teach us to use our imagination for good, for focusing on thoughts that bring love to us and encourage us to give love to the world.
While longer meditations are wonderful, short meditations can be just as powerful. Perhaps your workplace is stressful and perhaps you find yourself feeling depleted by mid-day. Why not take 5 minutes to rejuvenate? Give yourself the gift of meditation. Sit in your car, find a quiet room – surely you can find five minutes in your day to imagine positivity!
One of the first meditations I tried after I became more comfortable was a Metta Meditation. I found this time of mediation to be empowering. It made me feel like my meditation had significance and meaning. A metta meditation is also known as a loving kindness meditation. For me, it helps to feel connected to a positive purpose. If you’d like to learn more about this type of meditation, visit Metta Institute.
While I admit some of the guided meditations seem a bit airy-fairy, a bit – out there, I assure you that if you can put your skepticism on a shelf, and allow yourself to participate, I think you’ll experience the calm peaceful kindness that enters your core – your soul.
I really enjoy metta meditations that promote sending kindness to others. Here’s a blog post that describes my experience with this in the past. The words of this meditation really resonated with me:
May I be Safe
May I be Healthy
May I be Happy
May I live with Ease
It almost seemed to have the feel of a prayer and it brought me peace.
I found an example of this meditation that you might also enjoy by Kirsten Johnson (@richerXperience) called Metta Loving Kindness Guided Meditation. Kirsten adds a few extra words and extends the thoughts somewhat. With wonderful calming background music, Kirsten guides with ease in this beautiful meditation. I encourage you to give yourself the gift of experiencing this relatively short meditation. Enjoy; find peace!
It can be intimidating beginning something new or trying to create a new habit. Sometimes it’s best to just jump in and other times it’s best to ease yourself into a new experience. What’s best for you depends on your comfort level. Here are 20 Practical Tips for Understanding the Mind and easing into meditation. The tips, provided by Leo Babuta are simple steps that can be experimented with over time.
Psychology Today simplifies things further with their 5 Meditation Tips for Beginners. Among their tips, the one that especially resonated with me was number 4 – Do meditation your own way. Like so many things in life, it really is important to make meditation your own. For it to truly benefit you, it’s important to make it fit for you. Trying to emulate another’s experience just adds pressure. Allowing yourself to experience and appreciate mediation in your own way will open the door to peace.
Finding a physically comfortable position for meditating is so important. While others may sit cross-legged on the floor, you may find this causes you discomfort or even pain. It is far more important to sit comfortably than to position yourself as described in a mediation illustration.
Because mediation can be simple, as described in the articles linked above you can start as simply as setting aside two minutes of quiet time. Give yourself the gift of silence. It can really help centre you and alleviate some of the stress we put on ourselves by rushing from one activity to another.
It is on my heart today to share with you another meditation tip that was a powerful technique for settling myself into meditation gently, allowing myself to experience it without self-judgment. That technique is to create an intention for yourself before you begin. Perhaps you already have something in mind to focus on. But if not, something that consistently works for me is selecting a card from a deck of Angel cards. My favourite cards to use are Doreen Virtue’sAngel Astrology Cards.
Using Angel Cards
It’s important to create an area for meditation that is comfortable and quiet. Many people find lighting candles helps create a relaxing mood. Others like incense. Whatever appeals to you, ensure you are comfortable to promote relaxation. Once you are comfortable, you might choose to open the cards and shuffle them through your hands. When a card pops out of the deck or falls from it, take that card and read it. Absorb the main thought of the card and then use that thought or word from the card as your intention for meditation.
Breath in deeply, filling your lungs, pausing and slowly breathing out. Repeat this thought and allow your mind to relax. Think about your intention. It is okay if your mind wanders but when you notice that happening, you can bring gently guide your thoughts back to your meditation. A previous meditation guide told me, “Focus on your breathing, if your thoughts wander acknowledge them and bring yourself back to your word.” I share with you one of my first meditation experiences and how the angel card worked as an effective meditation technique. This post appears on another blog and is linked here for illustration.
You don’t have to purchase Angel cards; you can do a free reading on Doreen Virtue’s website to use as your intention. Alternatively you may have found a quote, a word, a bible passage, nature, or even an image or photograph that inspires you.
meditation quote from Mystic Mermaid
Meditating with an intention will help you make the most of the moments you gift to yourself, enriching your calmness and centering yourself in meditation. A guided meditation that illustrates meditating with intention is A Meditation – Intention of the Heart – by Dr. David Simon. A little more than ten minutes, this calming meditation by the Chopra Centre co-founder gently guides the listener/viewer to focus on the heart and nature and absorb wisdom and calmness.
Meditating invites beauty into your heart and soul and I hope your experience with meditation brings that to you, intentionally.
Forget your preconceived expectations about meditation
Pixabay Yoga Meditation Pose
Meditation has been characterized by a cross-legged person, in perfect harmony, transcended into some altered state. If you expect to achieve that on your first try, you are going to be disappointed. Perhaps mastering meditation will get you there, but rest assured it won’t happen on a first try.
It’s important to manage your expectations. Putting pressure on yourself that meditation must be a certain way goes against the whole idea of meditating. Accept what is and what is not.
Meditation is allowing what is
Allow yourself to feel, to think to experience and don’t try to force any particular outcome.
Meditation can be nothing more than a few quiet moments of deep breathing.
Don’t expect your mind to be free of thought
I had read that authors or inventors were enlightened with their best ideas while meditating and that these ideas came in visions. Perhaps like me, you have also assumed that your mind would become a blank slate in meditation. The truth is, thoughts will come and go during meditation and fighting them will actually close you off. It is better to acknowledge the thoughts that enter your mind and then find a way to go back to the intention of your meditation. We’ll look at this in more depth in future posts.
Guided meditations are a great place to start
There are numerous resources to help you get started meditating. Classes are often offered free of charge in many communities; books, DVDs and CDs are wonderful sources of education. If you are just dipping your toes into the waters of meditation, a great way to introduce yourself to the idea is through guided meditations. Guided meditations help you to breathe deliberately and freely, to let go of needing to control the outcome; they help you to ease into meditation. YouTube is a great resource.
This short video introduces viewers to the importance of breathing and introduced the idea of an I am Mantra. This quick video is a relaxing, brief intro to get you started and it doesn’t require any special positions or equipment. I encourage you to give it a try!