When I stopped working full time as a PR executive to stay home with my family, I had a bit of an identity crisis. Who was I without my crazy schedule and insane deadlines? It was during that time that I read A New Earth by Ekhart Tolle and it rocked my world. I began to realize that I am simply who I am at any given time and I started to journey into wellness. It lead me here - as a wellness entrepreneur, family carpool karaoke aficionado, and amateur meditator. I'm the happiest and most fulfilled I've ever been and so I want to take a moment to dig deeper into meditation, go through some of the objections people have, and give you some simple ways to get started. So let's dig in.
This video from Oprah's Super Soul series is one of my favorite explanations.
A teacher of mine once said simply, "There's a part of each one of us that is always meditating. A place inside us that is quiet, mindful and at peace. When we practice meditating, we are creating space to allow that part to come forward."
Meditation is NOT about clearing your mind.
Meditation is simply about sitting and acknowledging thoughts and emotions with some detachment. And the first part of this is mindfulness.
1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So why meditate?
The science is firmly behind us on this one. Here's a great article from Psychology Today on some of the key benefits, including:
Meditation also unearths and gets rid of stress from the past. This is what my guru Emily Fletcher of Ziva meditation calls "unstressing" and is a powerful tool. Since you've likely been hanging on to that stuff for a while, I'd way it's an excellent time to get that stuff up and out.
Now that we've explained why you should meditate, let's move on to objections:
I suck at meditating.
To quote Emily Fletcher, "We meditate to get good at life, not to get good at meditation." So getting good at it should not be your goal. Getting good a committing to do it should be the goal.
I don't have time.
I get it. Meditating is an extra activity in your day. But the options that I'm going to give you below start at a 3 minute meditation up to a 2x/day 20-minute meditation. You just need to decide that you want to do it. I wake up 20 minutes earlier in the morning and immediately meditate. I set my second meditation in my calendar. Sometimes it's on the subway or a bus. Sometimes it's only 10 minutes. But I'm committed.
I can't meditate.
You can't sit still for 5 minutes? As we discussed above, the only goal of meditation is to sit an acknowledge thoughts and emotions with some detachment. So...I bet you can.
There are many meditation programs and apps to use and I'd love to hear from you which ones have worked. I started with guided meditations/mindfulness exercises and loved them, but decided about six months ago to take off the training wheels and took an advanced program and now I meditate all by myself 2x/day. So there's a full range of options and here are some popular favorites:
- Headspace. Guided meditations starting a 3 minutes. The meditations are guided by creator Andy who has a fabulous British accent, making the whole experience really enjoyable.
- Calm. Guided by the lovely Tamara Levitt, Calm has all types of meditation including some bedtime stories for both kids and adults.
- Ziva Meditation. Emily Fletcher has developed a meditation training that is specifically designed for busy people. She blends mindfulness, meditation and manifestation to really target all areas of your brain. I stated with her online training program and then went and spent a few days with her here in NYC to deepen my practice. I love her.
- Go to a meditation class. Many yoga studios have them and in NYC we have a fabulous meditation space called MNDFL with locations throughout the city.
Other popular options that I haven't personally tried include 10 Percent Happier with Dan Harris and Trascendental Meditation (TM).
And now I'd like to hear from you! Tell me what's worked, what else you'd like to share!