ZEN TIP TUESDAY #7
For ZTT #7 I welcome Josee Perron. Josee is a nature loving adventurer with a passion for words (both writing and reading them) and she enjoys encouraging others to see the beauty in getting off the beaten path and finding their own authentic trail. Today she shares her tips on ‘Meditation & making it a daily practice’. You can learn more about Josee at her Bio at the end of this post.
If you’re linking up for ZTT Link-Up #005 – thank you and welcome!
I get it. The idea of sitting quietly with your thoughts is pretty daunting. Having to consciously pay attention to all the ridiculous things that float through your mind can seem like torture. And I won’t deny it, meditation is tough. But I assure you that the benefits you get from spending quality time in stillness with yourself make the whole experience worthwhile.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
If you’re not completely sure what meditation is, let me break it down for you.
Meditation is a practice that helps you become better acquainted with your mind’s thoughts. By resting your attention of a specific point of focus, the breath for example, you learn to cultivate awareness of what’s going on inside you. You notice more consciously where your mind tends to impulsively go when you let it run wild.
It might obsessively plan for the future, anxiously recount stories and conversation from the past, or it might just really like to tell you how useless you are.
By sitting for even only a few sessions, you realize how dramatically wild and unbeneficial most of your thoughts are. They just keep coming up without reason or necessity.
Luckily, meditation is just the antidote to tame this wild mind of yours. By teaching your mind to regularly go back to its point of focus once it’s gone off course, it gets reprogrammed to start doing this more naturally even off the meditation cushion.
Then, as you become more accustomed to saving time and space for meditation in your life, your appreciation for this quiet and inward connection time, inevitably ends up growing exponentially.
MAKING MEDITATION A DAILY PRACTICE
Slowly, you notice new mental habits developing and a greater sense of wellbeing taking hold.
In order to achieve this, ideally, meditation needs to become something you practice regularly. As I know how difficult it can be to add yet another activity into an already jam-packed day, I’ve compiled a list of some of the best tactics to help you incorporate it effortlessly.
- Start small. When you first start practicing, 5-10 minute sessions is a good place start. Then, as you become more comfortable, you can extend to 20, 30 or even 45 minutes.
- If one day you can’t manage to find 10 minutes to sit down to practice, try to be mindful throughout the day. As often as you can (while brushing your teeth, doing the dishes or waiting for the metro), bring your attention to the present moment.
- Make it a habit. To help you make this a regular practice, meditate every day. Choose a time in the day that best works for you and make it happen daily. By doing it every day, you become more accustomed to it being part of your routine.
- Create a space. I have a very small apartment, but have still managed to reserve a very small area for my daily meditations. I have a yoga mat and a meditation cushion all set up. By having my stuff already laid out, it makes sitting down to practice every day just that much easier.
- Find a position that you are comfortable in. However you decide to sit, make sure your posture is alert yet relaxed. Find the line between these two extremes to make sure you don’t fall asleep or become too over agitated.
- You can sit on a cushion. If you do, try to bring your knees down towards the ground. If they don’t reach, put small pillows or rolled up blankets beneath them.
- You can sit on a chair. If you do, try not to lazily sit on it as you would throughout the workday. Bring yourself forward so that your back isn’t on the back of the chair. Place your both feet on the ground.
- If you’ve never meditated before, use guided meditations to help you. Insight Timer is an app that has plenty of options.
- Find a meditation group that you can be a part of. Although meditation is quite solitary, sharing the experience in a group can be extremely enriching. These are awesome contexts in which to talk about our experiences, your struggles and your victories.
See what works for you, and ditch the tips that don’t benefit you. Make this practice yours. These are guidelines to help you get started, but once you’re up and running (and by running I of course mean meditating regularly) feel free to adjust and adapt based on what’s best for you.
Josie is a yoga teacher, blogger and entrepreneur who lives to encourage others to ditch the beaten path and find their own true life trail. You can connect with Josee here:
ZTT LINK-UP #005