You are sitting on the floor or outside on the ground (criss cross applesauce), your hands are resting on your knees, your eyes are closed.
You are doing it. You are meditating. Or as my youngest calls it, humitating! This is easy. Why did you ever think this would be hard? Then the phone rings, you hear the garbage truck outside, the kids start talking or your thoughts start to drift. Did I put out the garbage, did I flip up the flag on the mailbox (how will the mailman know I have mail going out), what are we having for dinner?
And you remember exactly why you know this is hard. You are just too busy to sit down and meditate for a half hour. Honestly, you do not even have 15 minutes.
All of this is me! I have a hard time sitting still. I have a hard time stopping my thoughts. I thought meditating was sitting in the above-mentioned position for a half hour or longer and upon opening my eyes I would feel like a new person…centered and grounded. What I discovered is that I could not even make it 2 minutes and if I did make it longer than that I would fall asleep (yes that has happened on more than one occasion).
I started digging a little deeper and since I cannot realistically become a monk. I found out that you do not have to meditate for long periods of time. What?! Then how will it work. Yes, meditation is about focusing and centering yourself, but you can do that with just a few moments of time. Just like anything, you must practice and build up to the longer periods. But let us take a moment and talk about the benefits of meditation before we talk about how to meditate.
Just like intentional movement and good nutrition are good for all parts of your body, meditation is as well. Imagine taking all 3 of these things and incorporating them into your daily life. Trifecta! Meditation can help to:
- Reduce anxiety
- Lower your blood pressure
- Decrease pain
- Improve sleep
- Improve rapid memory recall
- Boost creativity and new ideas
- Process emotions
- Reduce stress
These are just a few of the benefits. If you really look at this list all of it can be linked to being focused. Learning how to calm all the thoughts swirling in your head and instead of multi-tasking, focusing on single tasking. Focusing on and giving 100% of your attention to a single task instead of a 50/50 split or 25/25/25/25 split or even lower than that to so many things at the same time that nothing gets done or if it does it is not your best work.
But how do you start? Like most things that you learned, you learned them from someone else. Most of us did not hop on a 2-wheel bike, kick off, balance, and start pedaling all on our own. We did not get in a car, start to drive, and know what we were doing on the road. We had to learn from someone who had been through the trenches and learned enough to make it a bit easier for the next person. This is the same thing that we need to do in meditation. There are so many people out there that are experts in this field. There are so many platforms that we can learn from. There are books, podcasts, videos, blogs, and vlogs. I have 2 platforms that I use to do sessions, Spotify, and Beachbody on Demand.
And just like anything else you are going to have to do a little bit of work. Right now, I use guided and mantra meditation, because I (at this moment) cannot rely on my own brain to guide my thoughts. I listen to a person speak to me in a calm, soothing voice telling me what to do (breathe in and out, listen to your breath, focus on one thought). And because I am just starting the sessions last for 5-10 minutes sometimes shorter. The great thing, when I open my eyes, I do feel like a new person. I have even started to hear the mantras they use when I am in a disagreement with my kids (or when they are driving me nuts with their amazing persistence). I can focus on the words of the mediator and it helps to slow my breathing and heart rate and it guides me back into focus. It takes me from reacting to the situation to responding. Please note that I am a work in progress, and this does not happen every time, but I am getting better!
In doing research I have learned that they are different types of meditation. There is mindfulness meditation, focused meditation, spiritual meditation, and mantra meditation just to name a few. There is a practice right for you. You may also come across a mediator with a voice you do not like, and you will not be able to get past that and truly focus. Do not continue to listen/use that person. Meditation is not to be forced. When it is, it will start to feel like a chore and then you will not want to do it. These few minutes are supposed to help you, not make you feel irritated or angry. Remember there are so many people to choose from that not liking a few is no big deal. Once you do find a mediator you like, do not be afraid to find another and another. It is good to have a few different people who do sessions differently because you may end up discovering you like one method better than another. It could also depend on what you are meditating for.
The world of meditation is massive, and this is literally just scratching the surface. But I believe this is enough to get you started on your path to a centered and focused life! In fact, this is a perfect time to start, take 2 minutes and focus on your breathing.
Ommmmm. Ommmmm. You don’t really have to say this.
Jilisa Ghareeb has been a Beachbody coach for 5 years. Her favorite part of being involved with fitness and nutrition is watching her clients change and open up a whole new world. As a coach she, is able to help others by introducing them to a change that is often scary, intimidating, and full of “what ifs” to an encouraging and inspirational lifestyle full of “I cans”. She uses her own story to show others that everything is possible with hard work and determination. If you’re interested in reaching out to Jilisa for more information you can contact her via email ([email protected]),on Instagram or Facebook.