Why meditation? And how can we get started?
For months now I’ve been successfully maintaining my yoga routine. I contort myself into various poses, and follow the breathing. Easy once you get into it. Meditation, however, is a different story.
I’ve never been able to get into meditation the way my fellow wellness pals appear to be. Much like my guest this week, I’ve struggled with shutting my mind off and understanding exactly what it is those gurus are doing.
Getting Started With Meditation For Healing.
Meditation is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. It’s highly recommended by mostly all of the coaches, gurus, and motivational people we come across online. They all claim it to be THE most important part of their daily schedule and contribute it to their success and balance in life.
I did yoga for years before I gave meditation any thought. It wasn’t until I first started getting into the personal development world, some years later, that I began looking at meditation at all. I had some difficulties figuring it out in the beginning, though. Everyone was citing its importance and all of the benefits such as improved mental clarity, emotional state, and even physical healing but no one was really giving me any tips on how to meditate or what it actually was.
For many of us, when we think of meditation, we picture someone sitting cross-legged on the floor. Their eyes closed, back straight in peace and stillness. Okay, great, but what are they actually DOING? I needed details and elaboration on the processes and couldn’t seem to find them anywhere.
I could follow the guided meditations on YouTube. Lay still and quiet, but I needed more information. I didn’t feel as though I was getting the benefits that I had been promised in the seminars and books. I needed to understand the inner workings so that I could get all of these improvements people were talking about. It took me years to figure out that these people sitting quietly are, in fact, doing both nothing and everything all at the same time.
The Inner Workings of Meditation.
Actively doing nothing is a little more challenging than it sounds. To be successful at it, one must quiet the mind and simply “be”. If you’ve ever tried to quiet the nonstop flow of thoughts within your mind, though, especially if you’re a worrier or sufferer of anxiety, you’ll understand the difficulties of it.
To do lists a mile long, appointments to remember, obsessions over past experiences and conversations all keep our minds very busy and impose themselves with a loudness that’s hard to shush. My perfectionism made it extra hard for me to meditate in the beginning because I felt as though to do it properly, I had to keep my thoughts completely at bay.
It’s a practice, though, just like any other. When you’re first starting out, you may not silence your mind at all. The point is; you’re trying. Keep doing that. Soon, you’ll find a little break in the thoughts here and there. Practice shutting them down as soon as you notice them instead of allowing them to carry on a life of their own into a thought train. As time goes on, your little breaks in between thoughts will expand and grow. And so will you.
I found it easy to start by, instead of trying to force the silencing of my mind, focusing on a part of my body. In my case, I chose the crown of my head. This way, I’m barely away from my thoughts, since awareness is still in my head, but we’re not thinking about the thoughts. It was a helpful stepping stone for me until I could master clearing my mind without it.
The Outer Workings of Meditation.
In addition to learning how to silence your mind, you’ll want to learn how to control your body. When we meditate, we are essentially learning to be masters of ourselves. This study carries over into our everyday lives and benefits us in between meditation sessions. Even when we’re unaware of it.
We naturally hold tension, stress, and emotions within the muscles of our bodies. These energies can cause negative manifestations in our minds and bodies in various forms including headaches, anxiety, depression, physical sickness and so much more. The list can really go on for ages and encompass every ailment.
In meditation, we can become aware of these energies and release them. You’ll widely find this among guided meditations although one can craft a guided meditation to help anything in life. Routinely, you’ll start by scanning your body and pinpointing any tension you’re holding onto. As you exhale, release and relax every muscle in your body one by one.
Focusing on your breathing can help you relax and quiet your mind by giving you something to focus on. Inhale through your nose and into your belly (not your chest) until you can’t possibly take in any more air. Release it evenly, back out through your nose. Imagine that as you inhale, you’re gathering up all of the tension in a specific part of your body and as you exhale, you’re blowing that tension out of yourself and into the world around you to be dispersed.
Creating Space with Meditation.
Meditation is how we create space in our lives. Creating space is how we calm our minds and nervous systems. It’s how we learn to grow and improve. It helps us in self-reflection and healing. It helps us to invite creativity and inspiration into our lives in every way and helps us answer questions we may have about ourselves, life and the world around us.
When we can learn to create this space for ourselves we learn to enjoy our own company and this leads to the self-love that we all deeply need to thrive.
Too often, we are afraid of blank space. Filling our lives with business, with noise, distraction, entertainment and screens overflowing to the brim so as to avoid the silence where our demons creep in. Facing this though, going through it rather than hiding from it, is how we heal and grow past it to where our demons no longer have control over us.
When we’re “Too busy” is when we need meditation and the space it creates the most. With the reflection it provides, we can prioritize our energy and take note of that which is siphoning our resources and needs to be let go of. It also allows for source energy and our spirit to speak to us and tell us where we should be focusing on our lives. As creatives, our “writer’s block” may often be too much busy-ness and noise and not enough space.
When we are quiet, still and receptive, we are open to being filled with that which benefits and heals us. The energy of the universe is ours to tap into. An ocean of possibilities and knowledge at our disposal and meditation is our means of utilizing it.
Savannah Shea Blake is a Confidence Coach and Birth Doula at EarthandWater.co who helps women unleash their inner warrior goddesses through chakras and mindset so that they can conquer the battles of life, feel more supported in their ventures and love who they are.Facebook Twitter Instagram Wordpress Pinterest Youtube