It’s no secret that my life was a bit stressful a couple of years ago, with the end of my marriage and the death of my mom occurring in the same year. There were a lot of frantic and anxiety ridden days to get through. I had made the choice to be happy, not bitter, and I needed some tools to achieve that goal. Besides daily affirmations, which were my first and very important tool, I also decided to try meditation. I’ve never really thought about meditating, but my mind was going so fast all the time that I NEEDED something to quiet it. I have many friends that swear by yoga and I did give it a try, but the classes were just a bit too long for my brain to handle. I wanted a break from my thoughts…but not that long of a break. I think a yogi would probably tell me that is exactly why I should practice yoga & take that longer break, but I found meditation to be the perfect alternative.
My friend, Kelly, a yoga teacher, helped me pick out a guided meditation tape by Dana Conley that’s been just the right fit for me. There are seven tracks on the CD, but the first guided meditation, Breath Awareness, is only 11 minutes long and it’s the one I do the most. I’ve tried the Progressive Muscle Relaxation, which is 17 minutes, and the Healing Waterfall Imagery, which is 12 ½ minutes, but that 11 minutes seems to be the perfect amount of time to relax my mind & body and rejuvenate me. There were times back then in the middle of the day when I’d be at my home computer and literally stop what I’m doing, lie down on the floor, plug-in my earphones and just get lost. Eventually, after some practice, you get good enough at quieting your mind by closing your eyes and taking in some deep breaths, wherever and whatever you’re doing (except maybe driving!). Sometimes that’s all it takes to get you through that moment…until you have time to actually lay down and do the guided meditation. At the beginning I tried to do it every day and it helped tremendously in so many ways. I highly recommend it! If you need a little bit more convincing that you should meditate, check out this article at the Huffington Post …. or, for more scientific proof, this one over at Medical News Today.
Last year I slacked off a bit and probably only did it once a month, but I’ve decided that 2015 is the year I get back at it at least 2 or 3 times a week, or more. Why don’t you join me….this weekend is a great time to start!
You cannot direct the wind, but you can adjust the sails!
We did Jewish meditations last night at Kabbalah class that were fabulous. I am going to try to incorporate them into my days as well. If anyone is interested here’s an audio instruction:
Great topic to start the new year!
Yes! I really like Insight Timer for my self-meditation and I just discovered they have guided meditations too (from 5-30 minutes). I find that even if I can find a few minutes in the morning to just SIT and breathe (and I can always find at least 5 minutes, when it comes down to it), I am so much calmer and happier the rest of the day.
thanks for the tip Christine! I’ll check it out.