I must disclaim this post by saying that I am not a meditation teacher and I currently do not have a laptop at home. These two facts, although unrelated, are related inside of my head. First, this post is based off of my experiences with meditation and ways I think would be good to start if you’ve never done it before or find it boring. Second, my new laptop should be coming in today, but that means there will be a small delay in posts as I adjust to the new settings. Thank you.
Happy Monday everyone! What a day to be bright and happy, just kidding, its foggy and cold outside, but that’s fine because I did meditation this morning (and have a bright and happy coffee sitting at my side!). Meditation? You may be asking why I get up fifteen minutes earlier than my alarm every morning to meditate, the answer is BECAUSE MEDITATING IS AWESOME! Wel, its alright, and admittedly I don’t wake up every single day to do it, but it has definitely changed the way that I am in the morning, and that is a great thing.
So where do you start? I was taught mindfulness before dedicated meditation, and I think that you can do mindfulness on your own, without a “guide” as some people are more comfortable meditating with a guided purpose. Here’s how I started practicing mindfulness in my daily routine!
The first step is to make time for your practice. This can be as easy as committing yourself to practice on your walk to school. Mindfulness is as easy as that–it can take as long or as short as you’d like, it works with your schedule. So find a time that works for you, when you’d otherwise be worrying or distracted by other things. I usually used walking to school or work and then in the shower at night, because those are two mind-crazy times for me.
Next, I would focus your breathing on a body part. This is probably the strangest sentence you’ve ever read, trust me, I know. It is a totally worth it thing to do if you ask me. When it comes to meditation part of the issue is focusing on something, and a lot of people assume it is a “blank mind” that you are going for. Mindfulness is, like yoga, noticing the fluctuations of the mind, so focusing your breath, the in and out, on a body part (I always use my nose, focusing on how it passed through it, some people use their heart, chest, etc.) and then allowing that to be your anchor.
So, once you have an anchor you can begin to focus on your breathing other than your thoughts. This is a huge and hard step. This does not mean SILENCE YOUR MIND as some people assume meditation and mindfulness to be, this means that when you find yourself off in your thoughts after focusing for a minute, as is natural, you gently pull yourself back to your anchor. In my case I start thinkin’ about my nose again. This “gentle pulling back” was explained to me as a “non judgemental” action, but a gentle nudge to re-assert mindfulness back into my day.
So, for example, I used to walk to school listening to Eric Clapton, and along with the bass line I would match my breathing and focus on the air passing through my nose. After about a minute it was normal (and still is normal after I’ve been doing this for four years) to start thinking about the class that I was about to have, or the lunch I had brought and which microwave I was going to heat it up in, and once I would remember that this was “Mindfulness Time” then I would revert my attention back to my breathing, back to my anchor and after doing this a few times the stress of the day would melt away slowly.
That would be my best DIY Mindfulness Meditation practice if you are just starting out, because it can be short, and it can be useful, and it can be what you make it. The best tip to know about meditation is that it does take time to get used to, and it takes effort, you can’t half ass meditation, you’re in or you’re out, but I promise you that if you start you’ll never go back, it is that beneficial.
Let me know what you think of Mindfulness and if you have any meditation tips for me!