I sat down to meditate yesterday and I wasn’t very good at it. I used to be. I used to have a strong and dedicated meditation practice. Then I became a wife, and a mom of three, and an entrepreneur and everything got in the way.
I quit making my meditation practice a priority and eventually stopped practicing altogether. And, you know what? I wish I hadn’t.
Meditation is my medicine. It helps me manage my anxiety, helps me to have more energy, and helps me be a better mother, wife… a better person.
So yesterday I decided I was going to revive my practice. It’s been far too long.
I assumed that I would sit, tune in, connect, and be “in the zone” instantly. I wasn’t.
My mind raced, all the normal inner drama was still there, and I realized that I wasn’t any “good at” sitting still anymore. I was too used to being on-the-go to stop and be still.
Luckily, I’m a trained yoga and meditation teacher and I had some tools that could help me remember how to be still and turn inward quickly and effectively. I was able to put those tools to use and have one of the best meditation experiences of my life. I feel like a new woman! I’m going to share those with you right now.
Here are my top three tools for being “good at” meditating …even if you’re not.
1. Make Sure You Have A Distraction Free Zone. This means no kids, or pets, or TV playing in the background. Turn off the notifications on your phone. And, truly, if you really want to tune in, turn off the music too.
Music is a great way to raise your vibes and feel good, but if you’re listening to music you’re not meditating. Meditation is observing the still space between your thoughts. You can’t do that if your thoughts are constantly being pulled towards distractions outside of yourself.
2. Consistency Is Key. Meditate at the same time, and in the same place, and in the same way, every day. Find a way to practice that you like and stick to it. Put it on the calendar and make it non-negotiable. It’s a muscle that you need to build up every single day.
And you can make that easier for yourself by giving your brain some anchor points to trigger your meditative state like, sitting on the same cushion every day at the same time. You’ll start to create new neuropathways that signal to your brain that it’s time to tune out the outer noise and tune into your meditation practice each time you sit.
3. K.I.S.S Keep It Simple, Sweetheart! You don’t have to do a lengthy guided meditation, or some intense visualization practice to have a great meditation. In fact, I find the simpler my meditation, the better my results. My go to practice is to simply “watch” my breath.
I hold all of my awareness on the sensation of breathing in, and out. The movement of air at my nostrils, the rise and fall of my chest and belly with each breath. And I allow my thoughts to slow, and hold my awareness on the small space between them. That’s it. It’s as simple as it sounds and it’s my absolute favorite way to meditate.
This is the actual practice I put to use when I revived my not so good meditation, and let me tell you… it works! So give it a try! There’s no time like the present to start or restart your meditation practice!