Meditation: sitting pretzel leg in a quiet, candle lit room…sitting on a mossy rock in the middle of a calm lake with a dancing waterfall behind you… how about sitting in the sand with the gentle sunshine creating a halo as the fingers of the water curl gently with every wave, oh and of course there’s a small stack of gray pebbles balancing next to you…No?
You mean that’s not what it always looks like when people meditate?!
Almost nothing looks the way it is depicted in the media. In fact depicting it that way can be discouraging. People want to practice meditation, or are told to practice meditation to counteract the effects of stress and improve their health, but they are are almost never given a realistic method to incorporate it into their lifestyle. If you’re told to meditate and you have an unrealistic expectation of what that is, you will be more stressed. It’s the American way; we’re stressed about being stressed.
Well, here are three things you need to know.
- Meditation does have many health benefits for the average person.
- Meditation doesn’t have to look a certain way
- Meditation doesn’t have to take a lot of time for you to start to see the benefits.
To find out about some of the benefits of meditation, I spoke with Sue Simon, owner of Peaceful Moon Energy (peacefulmoonenergy.com). Sue started her holistic journey over 20 years ago and now practices Reiki, Reflexology, Emotion Code, and Hypnotherapy. She is very passionate about helping people reach their full potential mentally, spiritually, and physically. When I asked Sue about getting started with meditation for someone who is struggling with finding time, she said, “Any amount of time you meditate is beneficial, and the more you meditate, the more you will want to because you will feel so much calmer and at peace.”
I asked Sue to list the top benefits of meditation for the average person. She listed…
- Calms the central nervous system
- Lessens anxiety
- Increases self awareness
- Increases patience
- Increases creativity
- Lowers blood pressure
Who doesn’t want that?! If you’re thinking, “Well Maria, yeah sure, I want that, but I also want a personal cloud that rains money…who has the time?”
When we talk about how stuck we are in finding time to take care of ourselves, I get very sad and frustrated. So many of my friends, including myself, are parents who are drowning in the everyday care of their families. Whether working outside of the home, staying at home parenting, or a combination of the the two, like me, it is a constant struggle to find time for fun family nights, time as a couple, and we have absolutely nothing left for ourselves. So where do we even begin to incorporate this into your life?
Let’s start by changing our idea of what meditation is. When Deepak Chopra, author of many books on spirituality and health, was asked for advice on how to get started when you are struggling with meditation, he replied
“If you are struggling with meditation, then my advice to you would be to let go of all your expectations of what you think meditation should be. Your ideals of it being something that gives you instant peace and happiness can make you feel frustrated and lead you to think you are doing something wrong if you don’t feel those things in your meditation. Understand that when you are doing meditation correctly, you are in the hands of your highest intelligence and guidance and everything that happens leads you to greater healing and self-awareness. And that is really what meditation is for.”
There isn’t a rule about how long you have to meditate. In fact, if you find 30 seconds to take 3 deep breaths, you’re starting your practice. Maybe, once you drop that last kid off at school, you sit in the car for a few minutes and just relax your body, and practice deep breathing for 60 seconds before you take off into the house to get all of those tasks done. Maybe when you’re sitting at your desk, you take a few seconds every hour to just take a few deep breaths. You may not feel the peace right away, but one day, you will. Once you have that feeling in your muscle memory, you will know that you can activate it whenever you need to. Deeps breaths in the shower, clearing your mind as you’re washing the dishes, watching the squirrels run through the trees, there are so many ways to slow down your mind and slow down your body. Experiment and find your own ways. Attach a small meditation to something you already do everyday. Chug a big glass of water in the morning and take 3 slow breaths. Meditate on a mantra every night or every morning as you lay in bed. Make it something that you do everyday, not necessarily for a huge chunk of time but small, intentional moments throughout the day. One day you will find something that just feels right, and one day you’ll have more than a few minutes.
Whether it is a spiritual practice or a healing practice for you, either way it is beneficial. Remember that it’s a practice; you do it, and you get better. You may find that your chaotic household doesn’t bother you so much, maybe your child, or your partner will learn from you, maybe you’ll learn that you just need less and that’s all we can hope for.
#meditation #holistic #stress #peace #calm #healing #highbloodpressure #goals