I don’t think this is a secret anymore but I really struggle to turn my brain off! It is always ticking over usually work-related or ostomy related and I struggle switching this off. Sometimes, this can impact my relationships and make me not present in the moment which can be tough for family and friends!
I have been meditating now on and off for the last 3 years but ironically the times I really need to practice this I can be resistant. At first, when I tried to mediate it felt very odd and uncomfortable sitting with myself but over time this got easier and I enjoyed this peaceful time where I am just 'being'. Another reason I started meditating was because nearly 3 years ago I started attending Quakers on a Sunday for spiritual support through my illness. I have yet to talk about this openly on my blog yet but I am planning to do a post on this in a few weeks. The meetings are an hour long in silence apart from a quote being read out and at the end, you can stand and talk about what has come to you in the hour. It has been extremely healing, they have taught me to meditate and the importance of having silence in your life to connect.
So, what is meditation?
Meditation is not about becoming a new or different person. It is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings but learning to observe them without judgment.
Where do you even begin?
There are many different ways to start and here are a few suggestions:
- Find a quiet spot and get comfortable. Close your eyes and perhaps start meditating for 5 minutes to start with. Concentrate on your breathing. If you find your mind wandering go back to your breathing and you could count each breath if you find you can’t focus on the breathing.
- Headspace App is really great to help be a guide and give some encouragement. There are also other meditation apps available as well.
- Try a guided meditation on YouTube or other videos available. I particularly like this one which is an American Indian based guided meditation that speaks to me. Have a look and see what you feel works for you.
- You can also meditate or be mindful when walking or eating. I guess being present in the moment. Other meditations could involve concentrating on an object like a flame, a mantra or music where open focus is maintained.
- There is a meditation which I find helpful called 'body scan'. I tend to not honour my body so scanning this meditation can be really help tune into it.
- There are many meditation groups available where you meet up and meditate in a group. There are a few in my area which I have attended over the years and it is a really great feeling with the leader guiding you through the process.
Meditation is a skill and takes practice! At first, it will feel uncomfortable but the more you do it the easier it will become and you will find in those minutes you give to yourself you will find calmness, peace and personally I feel like my soul finally breaths when I meditate.
As more opportunities keep coming I am adding meditation into my daily routine in the morning for 5-10 minutes. Then every Sunday at Quakers I get an hour but this space where I am just ‘being’ is needed for healing on all levels.
I would love to hear from you if you meditate or you want to mediate but are unsure where to start?