I’d like to start of this week by sharing an experience I had before diving into the topic of mindfulness and meditation. Its a bit long but I hope you stick around for it 🙂
This past Friday, I went to take a yoga class from a good friend, and as we were centering before the class started, she told us about a conversation that she had had with a co-worker. They were talking about how as we age, time seems to fly by. We can all relate to this I am sure. One moment it’s summer and the next you are hanging up Christmas stockings. Her co-worker said ‘you know why that is right?’ He explained that when we are children we notice everything, and as we age we just stop noticing. Everything flashes by because we miss the details. This was profound for me and I thought about how completely accurate it is. My friend went on to say that they talked about how a child is completely enthralled by how a stapler works and the beauty of a color of a flower. This made me think back to how when my kids were babies, how enamored they were by the way their hand looked in front of their face or by someones smile. Or how as toddlers they genuinely became excited by how a ball bounced, and how in awe they were of how blades of grass felt beneath their feet. And then I thought about how as we age these things lose their shine. We aren’t enamored any longer by the small things. We become occupied with our to do lists, and the busy-ness of the day and our phones and we forget to notice.
While I cannot take credit for this thought, I feel like, and my friend obviously did too, that it is important enough that it be passed forward.
So How does this relate to mindfulness and meditation and why is it important? Because the action of paying attention and being present in my opinion, is so important to happiness. If you google the words mindfulness and meditation, you will find hundreds of articles about the positive effects that being mindful can have on us, and several studies that have been done using meditation and mindfulness to help with pain management and depression. So there’s no question that it is effective in regards to helping us not only become more aware of our surroundings, but to also feeling better emotionally and physically.
How do we practice mindfulness and how do we meditate? I think the key is to start small and easy, and build your way up to longer periods of time. For me personally, this is what has worked best. I’m including resources below that I feel are great beginnings to meditation and mindfulness practice.
This was a long one this week! Thank you for reading. I hope you pass it forward and that it’s of benefit to you!
This is an easy way to start on meditation and mindfulness . You can find a comfortable place to sit and use this breath work to meditate. Start with 5 minutes and build your way up to 10, and then 20. This can be done over a month or several. There is no need to rush yourself just try to stay consistent. Remember as you are breathing, it’s not necessary to push your thoughts away. You are simply going to let them pass through. If you like to visualize, you can imagine that you have two open doors on your head, one in the front and one in the back, and as your thoughts come, let them pass straight through. The more you meditate, the easier this will get and the fewer thoughts you will have of future and past and you’ll be able to focus on what is in the present moment . Pay attention to your breathing. If you’d like, you can add in an affirmation. It could be as simple as saying, ‘I am’, on the inhale, and ‘Present’ on the exhale.
This is a are great ways to start with mindfulness. And because most of us take a shower every day, it can be incorporated into something we already do.
Another mindfulness practice that involves sitting down and drinking tea, you could use coffee too which is my favorite. 🍵 😋
•This is an amazing app that is FREE. It has guided meditations short and long , podcasts, breathing exercises, meditation for kids, a meditation timer and more. It was voted one of Time’s top 50 apps. I personally use this and can’t rave enough about it. You can find the app in the App Store or below on this website.
Insight Timer – http://www.insighttimer.com
•This is a great article on walking meditation. The app above has these as well, but if you are’t interested in the app, this is wonderful for walking you through one (no pun intended, or maybe 😝) and gives great information on meditation in general as well.