It’s no secret that I’m pretty addicted to meditating. Actually, I guess I’m more addicted to it’s benefits. And I’m so excited about those benefits, that I want everyone in my world to meditate, too.
However, there are some common roadblocks that seem to keep people from actually starting a meditation practice.
- It sounds a little bit silly. (This is probably why I kept my love of mediating to myself for so many years.)
- Just like anything else worth doing, it ain’t easy.
- It can be difficult to even know where to start.
And here are my suggestions to help move past these road blocks:
- Get over it. The benefits are so great that it’s totally worth other people thinking you’re a crunchy, granola, hippie weirdo. Whatever.
- Just begin and keep practicing. It won’t get easier until you actually start dong it on a regular basis. But once you get going, it’s pretty easy to pick up steam.
- Read below for three tips to help you get started.
Tip #1 Find Your Own Space
Even though I’m so vocal about my love for this practice, I bet if you ask Tyler he can count on one hand how many times he’s seen me meditate. That’s because I usually wait until I’m completely by myself before I get started.
I have a different energy when I’m alone. So does my house. And it’s much more conducive to really getting quiet and getting in tune with myself than when there’s nobody else’s energy to contend with. I know I know. I sound super woo woo, but I’m speaking the truth from my little zen heart, here. Laugh if you want, but not till you try it yourself, okay??
So that’s my first suggestion if you’re just getting started. Wait until you’re alone, if possible. If that’s not possible, close yourself in a room with a very serious warning to any potential intruders that this is your time and they are not to interrupt…OR ELSE. Because obviously…threatening your family is a great way to create the positive vibes you’re trying to cultivate here.
Tip #2 Get Guidance
I can get quiet without guidance, but it’s muuuuuch easier with it. Especially if my life (or just my brain) has been particularly chaotic in the days and moments leading up to my Me Time. Having someone walk me through the process of settling in, giving me cues, and reminding me to focus really helps.
I use two different apps, Headspace and Calm, both of which I love and will review for you someday. While each has a few different pros and cons, the truth is, it doesn’t really matter what type of guidance you choose, just getcha some. It’ll make a huge difference.
Tip #3 Visualize
It helps with the focus. See, when you’re meditating (at least the kind of meditation I do, which I’m sure has a name that I’m not aware of) you try to focus on your breath. Holding that focus helps keep your busy busy mind from wandering to other thoughts. I ALWAYS lost focus on my breath until I started visualizing it.
For a while I visualized my breath like an open window with the curtains blowing in the breeze. I breathe in, curtains blowing in towards the room. I breathe out, curtains start billowing out the window. Now I tend to visualize my breath like a circle that gets smaller as I exhale and larger as I inhale.
Regardless of what I’m picturing, when I give myself something to focus on along with the breath itself, I can sustain that focus for so much longer. The longer I hold my focus, the more I feel like a rockstar meditator, the more I want to meditate. It’s a beautiful cycle.
The bottom line is, if you’re thinking of giving it a try…stop thinking. Just get yourself an app and five minutes in a quiet space. See where it goes. Worst case, it doesn’t help and you gave yourself five minutes of peace. Best case you get to empty your cup and feel a little bit better about life.