I don’t use the word “magic” very often. If something’s magical to me, it has to have an almost surreal and absolutely transformative element to it – an almost “I can’t believe it!”, feeling. So, when I decided on the title for this blog, I thought long and hard before using the “magic” word. I’ve been meditating for close to thirty years at this point, and I truly believe in the magic of meditation.
Unlike any other thing we do for our wellness, meditation can have a profound effect on our overall mental, physical, and spiritual health. We all come to “wellness” for varying reasons. Some of us need to heal serious health issues, some of us are curious about how to live healthier, and others have been prompted for one reason or another to make a big life change. Whatever your reason, I’m going to take a guess that there is a certain amount of stress/unrest in your life, and that you know in your heart that you’d be better off without it. Most good doctors now tell their patients that they need to meditate. This is because they know the connection between stress and disease. This is a new paradigm in medicine, but I think it’s one that can no longer be ignored. Mindfulness meditation is now being taught in many of the most progressive hospitals, and it’s not a minute too late.
But even if you’re not worried about your health, you’ll find that practicing meditation could give you:
- The ability to concentrate and focus
- Insights into emotional distress
- Control of anger and fear
- Creative fire
- Connection to your intuition
- Connection to the divine
- A peace beyond all understanding
These are just some of the gifts that I have received, and I am thus so grateful that I learned to meditate in my early twenties.
But, the reason why many of my friends don’t meditate is because they find it really hard. I’m not going to lie, if you are the kind of person who runs of adrenaline and is in constant forward motion, then meditation may be a challenge. However, I strongly believe that if you find the right meditation for you, it can be as easy as breathing!
There are as many different kinds of meditation as there are spices in your cabinet! While some of you love Cayenne pepper, others cannot tolerate it. I have a taste for cinnamon, and I know others who detest it. It’s the same with meditation. Some people could no sooner sit doing Transcendental Meditation in 20 minute increments, as they could fly. Others may find a silent retreat to be right up their street. The key is to find the flavor that you like, and this way you’ll actually look forward to doing it everyday.
I’m encouraging my Facebook community to join a special facebook meditation group (yes, you are invited), which we are kicking off January 1st 2018). This is a special place that you can check into everyday to share your experience, struggles, insights, and support. The idea is that we are all going to commit to meditating everyday of the year. If you have one or two days that you miss, it’s not a biggie – you can just righ back on the wagon.
I invite you to either pick up a meditation practice that you already know, or you can download one of the many excellent Apps (some of my favorites are listed below).
You can choose any length of time to meditate from 5 minutes to 40 minutes. So what’s comfortable for you.
- Don’t try to stop your thoughts. This is physically impossible and will lead to a stressful and unpleasant meditation. Meditation is more about observing your thoughts.
- Don’t judge! The key is never to label any thought, feeling or emotion as “right” or “wrong”. Everything is RIGHT. Watch my meditation on “The Hand Mediation” to see how easily you can let go of judgement.
- Sit somewhere quiet and undisturbed.
- Create a ritual or routine where you practice at the same time and in the same place daily.
- Make sure you are very comfortable. Find a chair or meditation cushion that is supremely supportive.
- Practice conscious breathing at all times.
If you are a newbie, and don’t know where to start (and don’t want to use an App), watch my Simple Meditation for beginners practice here.
If you are in physical pain, and/or sitting to meditate is not an option for you, you can always lie down on your bed with a support under your knees. You also might want to consider a walking meditation. There are many useful videos to instruct you in this beautiful practice too. Oh and head’s up! If you come to my Spring Wellness Retreat in Lake Louise, you will learn about walking meditation, and then get to practice it along the shores of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Email Katharine@gorgeouslygreen.com to find out details.
Apps I like:
Stop, Breath, Think