How To Create More Space In Your Life For What Matters
Meditation has the power to change your life if you do it consistently
Do you feel like you’re running on a treadmill that never stops?
Do you wish there were more hours in a day?
Have you found yourself procrastinating on your most heartfelt desires?
Maybe you waste too much time on social media?
You aren’t alone!
The good news is meditation can help.
Whether you’re new to meditating or a veteran, I hope this article inspires you to make meditation your habit.
Back-to-school came quickly this year. I’m feeling more frazzled knowing my oldest son is graduating from high school in the spring. If you’ve recently gone through the college application process you know why! I felt like I was juggling so many balls, one was bound to fall.
I decided to press pause. I’m reflecting on what I can do to feel better, enjoy the journey more and slow down to make the most of what is left of 2017. Meditation is helping me to do just that.
The question is, does time ever slow down?
I’ve been dabbling in meditation for decades. My earliest memory of experimenting with it was with Louise Hay cassette tapes (yes, I’m that old) in my early twenties attending college. I loved the idea of using my mind to embrace my less than perfect body. “The freshman fifteen” may have been closer to “the freshman twenty” in my case.
After my kids were born, I tried again to make meditation my habit. It helped me feel less overwhelmed and manage the hormonal changes in my body. The problem was I didn’t do it consistently enough to receive the full benefits. I planted the seeds, but didn’t water them enough.
These days, in my forties, after releasing over sixty pounds in 2013, I’m re-committing myself to meditation. It’s been my new year’s resolution past two years. I’m not giving up until it’s like brushing my teeth.
If you haven’t read any articles on the scientific benefits of meditation; I highly recommend researching Sara Lazar. She’s a Harvard neuroscientist and her tests of anectodal claims with brain scans are fascinating. Her work convinced me that meditation is the fountain of youth!
I’m already loving the more peaceful, patient, and loving feelings I’ve noticed in the past week since adding in short, ten minute morning meditations.
I’ve checked more things off my to-do list in the past week than I have in a month. It sure beats mindlessly scrolling on social media. In fact, meditation has helped me take control of technology.
I had the opportunity to see Simon Sinek, author of Start With Why, he spoke about the “hit” you get when you receive text messages and notifications. He shared you can get the same “hit” from checking off things your to-do list. Guess which one feels better at the end of the day?
Wayne Dyer calls it the “gap” or the space in between thoughts. I sink into a deep sense of presence. Peace. Calm. Connection. This feeling keeps me coming back for more. In fact, I’ve recently added a second meditation to my day after dinner when I can. Meditation reminds you stop and breathe rather than react and regret. If you struggle with getting “hangry” or “grumpy” as the day turns to night. Night time meditation might be right for you! Give yourself a five minute meditation time out and see if you don’t feel better.
If you are new to meditation, one of my favorite apps is the Insight Timer App. There are so many different types and lengths of meditations in this app. I love that you can bookmark your favorites. I think it’s best to start small and work your way up to longer, but experiment, see what works for you. I try and meditate for 20 minutes when I can, but even a few minutes can be beneficial for me.
My go to meditation after I wake up right now is called “Morning Ritual.” You can get it free from Insight Timer App. What I love most about this ten-minute guided meditation is it’s perfect balance between setting your intentions for the day, and surrendering to a higher power. It sets the tone for a serene and productive day. You can download his cleverly titled series of meditations by Jason McGrice called “Meds” from his website at www.themeditationhouse.com.au.
You might also check out local meditations classes in your area. Community centers are a good resource, they’re usually reasonably priced. Or you might find a local meetup group. It’s a great way to learn some different techniques that might appeal to you from an experienced teacher. In today’s social media addicted world, it’s nice to have a face to face connection.
I’m so excited about making meditation my new habit, because it’s helping me kick self -sabotaging thoughts and behaviors to the side more quickly. Especially when it comes to my writing, where I can be my own worst enemy. After you begin a regular meditation practice you naturally bring more mindfulness to your day. You tend to focus on what is truly important to you. Not the shiny new distraction in front of you.
I’ve embraced the mantra “don’t sweat the small stuff” which creates more mental energy to focus on the big stuff! Family, nature, fulfilling work, nourishing food and writing! I’m finally back to my writing project I began the beginning of this year and it feels great!
The biggest paradox with meditation is the busier the mind is, the longer it takes to get into a meditative state. The more we need it, the more we want to talk ourselves out of it. Think of your mind like a lake, the more rocks (thoughts) that are being thrown in, the longer it takes for stillness.
The ripples subside.
The stillness comes.
It’s also hard to put into words, so I hope you’ll give meditation a try.
Time doesn’t slow down until you do.
You’ll have more time to enjoy life.