Have you ever tried to meditate and either the YouTube video you searched up, or the leader your listening to, starts off with, “Just close your eyes. Relax your body, control your breathing and calm your mind…” ?
I’ve got the first three down pat, but the last one…. you want me to calm my mind?!? . DAMN, that can be tricky. And depending on how my day has gone, this could be way too much to ask. Hah.
But really though, What does “calming your mind” even mean?!
After asking multiple meditation “gurus”, if you will, they collectively say calming your mind, is a process of clearing all noise and chatter in the mind… aka any conscious or subconscious thoughts. Like thinking about your never ending to-do lists, or that old conversation that left you feeling off. Oh even, what you’ll be eating later & how much longer you have until this thing is over and you feel better…. don’t make me go on and on… you get the picture. Hahah.
Anyways, that’s what your supposed to do. Stop the mental chit chat. And BANG. The magic is in the last step… that is what makes you feel awesome.
But, HOW DOES ONE CALM their mind?!
Well, this is the annoying part. And so bittersweet. The answer, Practice. Hah.
It’s completely natural and 100% common for every single person to have a million things going on in their mind at all times. That’s how all us humans function. So when we want to calm our mind, it’s not surprising most of us don’t get it on the first, or even twentieth time! It’s almost unnatural for us to “not think” or “be empty, without thoughts”.
Many of us believe that in order to meditate, one needs to start with a clear and connected mind. A mind that can handle three minutes of nothingness. Many of us assume, that we need to be a meditation guru before our first meditation. How dare us try something new, and grow from it, before mastering it.
However, contrary to popular belief, it is the exact opposite. We start with our naive and wandering minds. And every time we meditate, or calm our minds, we are exercising it…contributing to its growth, making it, in turn, much stronger than before.
Now instead of ending things here, making you feel bad about not meditating enough or even knowing how to, I will treat you as I want to be treated haha.
HERE IS SOME HELP! (Or at least, some advice and a peek in on what I do)
1. USE a mediation app.
This one is a “no brainer”. There’s literally SO MUCH information at our fingertips, it’s time to use it to our benefit. There are quite a few meditation apps out there && not all are top quality. There are even a few that made me dread meditation (if you ever feel that way… delete it and move on).
Anyways, I have tried three that I absolutely LOVE!
• Insight Timer – this is my FAVE! I use it (almost) everyday. It has so many teachers and resources available and all for FREE! Yes, I said free. How amazing right?! There are guided meditations, self-guided, talks, musics, chants and mantras, you name it, I’m sure they have it. Download it now!
• Calm – everyone else loves this app. It wasn’t 100% for me because I don’t like when apps ask me to upgrade. Other than that, OBSESSED. It does exactly what it needs to, provides experienced instructors and is extremely user friendly.
• Simple Habit- this is a fairly new meditation app, I actually just saw it in Shark Tank last night haha. Clearly I’m sold, since I haven’t been using it that long. But the variety of meditations they provide for ANY CIRCUMSTANCE is pretty unbelievable. It doesn’t seem like there are a variety of instructors to choose from, but if you want pinpointed meditations, this would be something to check out and incorporate into your life!
2. “I AM”
If the meditation apps aren’t your thing. Maybe start off a bit smaller with a very basic form of meditation. Simply breathe in, and silently say “I” to yourself. On your exhale silently say, “Am”. Continue this do as long as you can. Start for one minute and work your way up! Give it a try and see what works for you.
3. Notice your surroundings
Now if the first two weren’t for you, try looking around your surroundings and simply notice every single thing that’s around you. Do this silently. Name everything. If your still focused, move on to the colors, if your still focused move onto the textures. It may not be your “traditional meditation” technique, but it does teach your mind to be still, present and in the moment with you.
Now I’m no guru. HAH. It would be cool, but I definitely have a lonnnnnnngggg way to go before I’m even close haha.
I wrote this article because I love the way meditation makes me feel and I want to give the opportunity to others to feel that same way.
Backstory: When I approached some friends about meditating with me, a few were intimidated and the others couldn’t care less. I wondered why I was receiving such a response from such an “open minded” crowd. I realized many people see meditating as either some esoteric goddess skill or they don’t understand how healing and powerful meditation really is. ((So don’t go into this thinking meditation is going to heal you, or fix any qualms you may have with yourself. Ask yourself why you want to meditate. If the answer is genuine, and fueled by bettering YOURSELF, go for it girl!))
With this article, I’m hoping someone will open up to the idea of meditation, grow as a person & eventually, transform their life with it 🙌🏼✨