How to start a meditation practice
Alright, the question I get asked most as Meditation + Mindfulness Teacher is always "how do I get started?". A valid question, of course.
Starting my own meditation practice was not easy.
It was actually far from it. I wanted to run from myself, my feelings, and anything that had to do with spirituality. I resisted it so much but a part of me also knew, deep down, that I needed meditation. I needed the stillness, the quiet. I was craving the opportunity to listen in and to let myself feel heard.
Meditation is more about working with the mind and training yourself to be aware than it is sitting in complete and utter silence.
Simply sitting and beginning to train and work with the mind leads to an improved sense of presence, calm, attentiveness, and an increase empathy, compassion (for self & others) and patience.
Good stuff, right?
Before I continue, it might be helpful for you to decide which type of meditation to get started on first. You can check out this article here that I wrote on three types of meditation that you can try this week. Choose one and practice it for a few weeks first. Then, explore the others.
To start your meditation practice, I'm offering three tips that helped me.
#1: Carve out the time + schedule it in
Starting your meditation practice WILL most likely be the hardest part. In order to make sure you actually do it, I suggest scheduling it into your day. Add a 15 minute meditation break into your work or personal calendar. Block off the time so that you know it can be dedicated to meditating and you won't be distracted by other people, things, or responsibilities.
#2: Set up your space
Find a quiet, peaceful, and cozy spot in your home to meditate. It can be a few pillows that you spread on the floor in a corner of your bedroom. You could roll out your yoga mat and sit there. Maybe you add candles, incense, palo santo, or any other calming elements to support you in your space.
#3: Set a timer
Knowing that you only have 10, 15, 20 minutes (however long you choose) can help to take away some of the mental resistance. Remind yourself that you are certainly capable of sitting for 10 minutes. If you get uncomfortable, open your eyes, take a deep breath, glance at your alarm and then keep going (I do this all the time!).
Meditation does not have to be perfect.
If you fidget 15 times while your meditating or your mind wanders 45 times - it's all good and it's all a part of the process.
The best part of meditation in my opinion is that it's a space to train your mind. The time you dedicate to meditating is training your mind and body to handle stress when you're not meditating. You will build resilience. You will learn to be kind to yourself. You will learn to sit with uncomfortable situations as they arise. All. good. things.
What's the hardest part of meditating for you?