Word association time.  When I say “Meditate” what are the first words that come to mind?

New-age
Chanting
Incense
Mantras
White clothing
Candles
Spirituality

A year ago I was right there with you.  Me, meditate?  Om, no.  Friends, coworkers, and doctors had suggested meditation to me as a way to manage migraines for years.  I wasn’t buying it, though.  I was afraid of the unknown and, truthfully, concerned about what other people would think.  There seemed to be such a stigma around meditation.

In January I was reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s book, May Cause Miracles, which includes guided meditations as part of the process.  Being a good student, I decided that I was going to give meditation a try.  And if I was going to go for it, I was going to go all the way.  I set up my meditation space, created a vision board, had my mala beads, and settled in to find my inner peace.

And…

…I didn’t find nirvana.  My mind was racing.  “I need to stop thinking.”  “How long has it been?”  “The dog probably needs to be walked.”  “Am I doing this right?”  I couldn’t keep my eyes closed and was fidgeting all around the pillow.  My chest was tight and I was holding my breath.  I listened to Gabby’s guidance, followed her instructions…but nothing happened.  I got up from the pillow convinced that meditation wasn’t for me.

I was fully committed to getting out of my comfort zone and believed in the May Cause Miracles process so I decided to try again.  I selected a meditation that was more personal to me.  Gabby has free guided meditations on iTunes and the Sleep Meditation was calling my name.  This meditation was six minutes of pure bliss!  The first time I listened to it I had my magical meditation moment: I literally felt my mind and body calm and relax.  That night I fell asleep quickly and soundly.  Since that moment I’ve been a #SpiritJunkie and devoted meditator.

I’ve learned that meditation doesn’t need to be scary, overwhelming, or perfect.  You can meditate anywhere for any amount of time.  Sometimes you will be totally in it and other times your to-do list will dominate your thoughts.  My meditation practice includes everything from spending 20 minutes on the pillow in silence, shutting my office door and breathing for 5 minutes, putting on Gabby’s Spotify playlist and practicing a Kundalini meditation, and listening to short guided meditations before bed.  It’s really about focusing on your breath, calming your mind, and allowing peace to wash over you.

Meditation the Spirited Well-being way

  • Meditation is all about breathing and you can do that anywhere, anytime!
    Sit up straight in your chair
    Close your eyes
    Breathe in deeply and slowly for five counts through your nose
    Hold for one count
    Breathe out slowly for five counts through your nose
    Repeat for 1-3 minutes.  Congratulations, you just completed your first meditation!
  • Peace begins with me – this is one of my favorite meditations and is perfect for beating stress in the moment.  I use it in meetings (reciting the words in my mind!), when I’m stuck in traffic, or standing in line.
    Press your thumb to your pointer finger and say PEACE
    Press your thumb to your middle finger and say BEGINS
    Press your thumb to your ring finger and say WITH
    Press your thumb to you pinkie and day ME
    Breathe deeply as you go and continue to recite PEACE BEGINS WITH ME for 1-3 minutes.
  • Gratitude is the only attitude – this is a great way to start or end your day.
    Sit comfortably in your chair or on a floor pillow
    Close your eyes
    Breathe in and out through your nose
    On each inhale say “I am grateful for”
    On each exhale say one thing that you are grateful for
    Repeat for several minutes

Meditation resources