Meditation is the new black.
All the cool kids are doing it. But unlike most trends this one is actually worth taking part in! Not because it's trendy, but because it will profoundly enhance the quality of your life. #winning
The only problem is that meditation sometimes seems hard and scary, or just plain overwhelming for many. How can one simply sit and think of nothing!? Or better yet, hover above the ground while chanting Om?
Today I'm gonna' demystify it all so that you can become a master meditator in no time. Ok, well maybe you won't become a master overnight, but that's why it's called a meditation practice.
The good news is it's actually never been easier to start a meditation practice. There are literally apps for it!
Why meditate in the first place you ask? Well, there's about a billion ways your mind, body, and soul benefit from meditation, but I won't go too in depth about it here because you can find those all over the internet.
I will speak from my experience though, and say that meditation makes me feel a great deal of lovely ways, but the best part is feeling unfuckwithable (a wonderful word I learned from Mr. Vishen Lakhiani, the founder of Mind Valley).
Unfuckwithable; As in no person, place, thing, or situation can shake me from my core because I am cool, calm, and collected. (Yes, it is as badass as it sounds.)
My meditation practice allows me to become the observer (key word here) of my thoughts, feelings and emotions to the point where I am no longer controlled by them. It actually gives me the space and clarity to put things in perspective and choose rather than react. This is the ultimate power position.
Not to mention all the other awesome side effects of meditation like... It makes me a much nicer and more patient person. It helps me focus (Miss ADD over here). It makes me feel whole, powerful, and at peace. I sleep better. I eat better. I feel better. It gives me clarity about my life. My emotional intelligence and manifestational powers go through the roof... I could go on for days, but I'd rather you see for yourself.
How to Meditate
I'm not here to confuse you and show you some weird past life stuff. I like to keep things simple and applicable to real life. So here is a super simple meditation where you focus on the breath. Trust me, if you can breathe, you can meditate.
Step 1: Sit
Find a relatively quite space in your home where you can spend 5-15 minutes undisturbed. Sit comfortably (on a chair or pillow) with your eyes closed and your hands resting on your lap. You can also lay, but you will probably fall asleep if you do.
Step 2: Breathe
Breathe deeply and focus on your breath. How does your breath feel moving in and out through your body? Imagine what it would look like if you could see it. Notice your lungs, chest, and stomach expanding and contracting. Feel the rhythm of your inhales and exhales. Engage your senses.
Simply stated, give all your attention to your breathing. Focus on it so intently that there is no space left in the mind for other thoughts to occupy.
Step 3: Refocus
When thoughts arise (because they will) do not worry. This is totally normal. Simply observe the thought, without engaging in it or judging it. Then let it go just as swiftly as it came.
Imagine your thoughts are like clouds floating by. You notice them come and go, but you are unphased by them. In meditation, you are no longer the thinker. You are the observer of the thinking.
Once you realize that you have lost sight of your breath simply refocus on it and begin again.
Step 4: Repeat Steps Two and Three
The most important step is to keep repeating steps two and three. Focus on the breath, notice when you get distracted from the breath, and start again. It's that simple.
And there you have it! A simple meditation you can play with to get you started.
One final pep talk
My best advice to you is to just be patient and consistent with your practice. Try to meditate every morning when you are fresh and alert. This way it will be easier to focus and you can reap the benefits all day long. Start with just a few minutes at first and then work your way up to more each day. Don't get overwhelmed or feel like you are doing it wrong because there is no right or wrong way to meditate. You got this!