For years I longed for the "ability" to sit peacefully and meditate thinking those who had "mastered" this existed in a blissful state all the time. How could I do this when on certain days mastering the basic needs of child rearing didn't leave time for brushing my teeth, showering, or using the bathroom alone. Not only that, but sitting quietly trying to keep my focus on my breath was laughable when the uncertainty and management of family kept my mind in a state of constant "to do" lists or worrying about if my daughters ate enough, hydrated enough, or if they were getting enough sleep, getting enough "fulfilling experiences", meeting "normal" milestones; was I supporting my husband enough, or fostering female friendships, and wait...did I eat too much today, or not enough, and did I pay the electric bill?... You feel me right? I tried though. I stayed up late (worrying about being too tired tomorrow) setting my timer for 4 MINUTES trying to JUST BREATH. Sometimes I made it a full 60 seconds. I would get frustrated and repeat in my mind that "I just was not good at meditating". My mind was trained too well for multitasking so I could manage the family and stay employed!
Clearly, I needed help if I was going to begin, much less master meditation and be the blissful BOSS I wanted to be. Before I give you the cliff notes on how I finally created an amazing practice, let me revisit WHY this is so important- especially if your feeling depleted. Most of our ideology drives us to be in adrenal overload. Whether you are dealing with stress from normal mommy worries, your employer, your finances, your body image, or your spouse, this creates cortisol and adrenaline. Add to that interrupted sleep patterns from nursing, children who are not sleeping through the night yet, or even sleep apnea, which will all make your body secrete these stress hormones, which result in water retention! NOT Fair! Stress is helpful in small doses some of the time, but when we are secreting this the majority of the time we are in adrenal overload. This can cause our serotonin (feel good chemicals) levels to drop which makes your body crave shots of Dopamine (eating chocolate does this) which can trigger overeating on sugar and ultimately if not corrected depression will start to set in. Not to mention, chronic stress will compromise your immunity, and is the culprit for many chronic illnesses, autoimmune diseases, and heart disease (#1 killer in America). No wonder you are feeling depleted! Don't stress! There is a solution...and the practice of various types of meditation is of the most effective and natural cures for prevention and reversal of all DIS-ease.
Not only will a meditation practice neutralize cortisol and adrenaline, but eventually you increase your serotonin levels and encourage the release of Dopamine, Oxytocin (this is also released when you are nursing which is why we sometimes feel a blissful peaceful connection during this time) and endorphins. These chemicals reverse the effects of stress, increase immunity, decrease cravings, and make you feel less pain and more happy!! Who doesn't want a daily dose of that!
So how CAN you get a little dose?! If you’re like me and feel like there is little to no time to practice this, I would commit to 5-10 minutes a day and work up from there. My best suggestion is to start with guided meditations that you can easily find on on my meditation page, YouTube, or on Apps like Headspace or Meditation Studio. While using these they explained how wandering thoughts are normal and they offered a mechanism to return to the focused breath or visualization. These make it easy since you can choose the amount of time you wish to start with and it's like having a personal coach guide you through the visualization and breath work. I began by spending a few minutes searching YouTube and then experimented with the voice and music that vibed best with me. I also began using guided meditations that focused on our 7 Chakra’s.
I was amazed how quickly I started to feel more centered, calm, and focused even after only 7-10 minutes. As I explored more, I realized how meditation and visualization could be used for healing illness ( this winter I used this along with elderberry and GSE to fight off influenza), opening up energy meridians to heal pain, and fend off anxiety and depression. In fact, this started to work SO well, that I literally started to feel these doses of delicious good mood neurotransmitters and they became a natural drug for me. I craved my meditation time. I spent more and more time in meditation and I could finally understand how meditation masters might spend hours in a day in meditation. This blissful feeling translated to my experience in life outside of meditation which resulted in simply more happiness along with the empowered feeling that I was CERTAIN I could handle anything that came my way. Here is where it gets crazy. It’s like a snowball effect for positivity. As my feelings of happiness, bliss, and empowerment increased this attracted more events validating this experience, which led to profound GRATITUDE, resulting in more good vibes. Einstein taught the Law of Attraction and said, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy.This is physics.”
This idea coupled with the notion that thoughts are energy (this is also been proven with quantum physics and finite neurological imaging- another blog) and we can choose our thoughts, solidified the certainty that we are all creators of our own reality. This is an enormous awakening and it is the foundation of my evolution as a person and my coaching practice.
I am now able to meditate on my own anytime and anyplace. While I am not at the enlightened level and still have a ways to go in this practice, I have developed enough habit (craving) that I may have graduated to Meditation Junkie. Considering this took decades of struggle I offer this quick recap to simplify the process:
Understand the profound benefits
Start with guided meditations from an App or YouTube
Consider Chakra meditations
Branch out to other styles such as Kundalini, Transcendental, Qi Gong, and Yoga
Commit to 5-10 minutes once or twice daily
Once your hooked increase time as needed
Meditation practice combined with other strategies can profoundly change your level of happiness, peace, serenity in life no matter your current situation. If you would like more information on how to make this happen contact me for ideas, a free consultation, or book a personal session.