Want more peace? Get more presence. 10 Simple Steps to Help You Get Started.
Presence is good, but control is even better. How you get control (over your mind) is coming into the present moment and diverting your thoughts into the ether so you can rest the mind – just for a bit.
The science is in and it’s proving that meditation has many health benefits, reduces stress and provides an overall sense of peace. It’s the cheapest way to find serenity and yet so many people feel as if it’s this elusive thing that you can’t find or afford.
All you need to get started is 5 minutes. Look at your calendar and see where you can fit in 5 minutes. Preferably 10. It will take you a couple of minutes to get settled in a chair, seated against a wall or lying down on your back. You do not have to sit up in a “cross-legged” position to meditate. You can sit on a chair with your feet touching the floor OR you can lie down on your back and relax. Bring a timer – I use my phone timer.
Find your quiet place, where you can be undisturbed (by anything or anyone) for 10 minutes. Set your timer for 10 minutes.
Get into your comfortable position either on a chair, back and seat against a wall or lying down.
Lay your hands on your belly or by your side.
Bring your awareness to your breath. Don’t even deepen it…just raise your level of awareness and notice your breath. Notice the rise and fall of your belly. Notice the cool air entering the nostrils and the warm air exiting. Feel your bodily sensations as you notice your breath.
Allow your shoulders to relax and release tension consciously through your exhales.
Let go of any expectations…just continue to breathe and enjoy the quietness/solitude.
When your timer goes off, notice how you are feeling and ask yourself, was that long enough?
Look at your calendar and find another 10-15 minutes when you can repeat the above process.
Repeat the process at least 2 more times. See if you crave more time in quietude or less. I usually crave more.
Work your way up to 30 minutes, just focusing on the breath. There are no tricks…when you pay attention to the breath, you are less likely to focus on your thoughts. As you notice your thoughts, notice them, then get back to breathing. Do not judge your thoughts or place any emphasis on them. Commit to being with your breath.
That’s it. You set aside some time, give it a go and see how it feels. It will never be bad for you. It might be hard for you to be still. You might really hate it (I doubt it). You might really love it. It could change your life and bring you more peace, serenity, balance, kindness, patience, joy, fortitude, love and all kinds of good things. And who doesn’t want more of those things? Harmony is what I’m going for – in all relationships – and meditation helps me have more of that. This is a mind-body practice/tool that can help you find more inner peace.
I hope this helps you realize how simple this process really is. There are many ways to meditate, but this is the simplest way to get started. If you like it, then buy yourself a book on meditation and learn all the different techniques, but for now, just give it a try!
Post a comment here if you have tried meditation and either like it, love it or hate it.
We always need new ideas for taking better care of ourselves.
Here are 40 tips to help you in your self-care journey. 40 Days of Self-Care ideas for more bliss.
Day 1 – Decide your goals and dreams. Get into the mode of creating your best future and use the next 40 days to develop good habits toward that future.
Day 2 – Preparing meals can save you time, money and calories. Think ahead on how you’d like to nurture your body with food. Keep healthy snacks around at all times.
Day 3 – Think Positive. Create healthy and truthful affirmations about yourself and repeat them throughout the day.
Day 4 – Start Small. Don’t set out to start a rigorous regimen right from the beginning. Motivation fluctuates and you can get overwhelmed early on if you take on too much.
Day 5 – Fill in Your Nutritional Gaps with the doTERRA Lifelong Vitality Pack. We rarely get enough nutrients from the food we eat. It is a well-known fact that we need supplementation to keep our cellular function at its best.*
Day 6 – DIFFUSE Frankincense, Wild Orange and Peppermint to uplift your mind and body throughout the day. Aromatherapy is a great way to change up your mood and ignite your spirit.
Day 8 – Laughter is great medicine. Watch a funny show or treat yourself to a night of improv for grins and gut-busting laughter.
Day 9 – Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout your day. Enhance it with Lemon essential oil or Slim & Sassy for a refreshing twist.
Day 10 – Exercise differently. Try something new even if it’s only for 10 or 15 minutes.
Day 11 – Bring a greater awareness to the food you are eating. Analyze what’s in it and determine if this fits in with your health goals.
Day 12 – Apply Breathe essential oil to your chest for an invigorating pick-me-up before a workout.
Day 13 – Do not be superstitious. Look Reality in the eye. Don’t let life just happen to you. Plan and create in tandem with the light within.
Day 14 – Find Balance. Make time for fun things. Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.
Day 15 – Rest…when you need it…at night, during the day, after a long day’s work, on the weekends…just take advantage of whatever time you have to restore your body and mind.
Day 16 – Use a natural, health supplement such as Mito2Max as a long term alternative to caffeinated drinks and supplements for increased energy and vitality.*
Day 17 – Squeeze in some meditation in a quiet place for 10-15 minutes to clear your mind and let go of stress.
Day 18 – Pretty Yourself Up! Buy yourself a new workout or yoga outfit! It helps motivate us to look and feel our best.
Day 19 – Try Ginger Oil as a main ingredient in your newest marinade. Mix crushed garlic, soy sauce, olive oil, red pepper flakes, a little water and one drop of ginger essential oil for a delicious salmon or chicken marinade.
Day 20 – Count Your Blessings. Maybe you can think of one thing you are grateful for. Maybe 10; maybe 100…anytime is a good time to be thankful!
Day 21 – Try smaller portions. Have you thought of sharing a meal with your partner versus ordering two, full, over-the-top meals? You’ll save money and calories! And you’ll feel better for doing it!
Day 22 – Pop in a Peppermint Beadlet before going on a run to open airways and promote clear breathing.*
Day 23 – Connect with Nature. Your attention span may improve if you spend a little time in nature. Plus, you’ll reduce your stress and anxiety.
Day 24 – Reward Yourself when you accomplish a goal, whether it’s a shopping trip or making time to relax.
Day 25 – Don’t Diet! Learn how to eat healthy, one meal at a time. None of us can be perfect in this area. Go for the 80/20 rule…80% of the time eat really well; 20% allow yourself some favorite treats.
Day 26 – Eat a Healthy and Nutritious Breakfast. It will wake up your metabolism and provide you with more energy for the day. True story!
Day 27 – Keep Learning! Choose a personal development path either through reading or developing a new skill. Your brain and body will be happy that you care enough to grow and use your full potential.
Day 28 – At your next party, offer Grapefruit or Lemon water as an alternative to soda or alcohol! Or…add it to your own water and sip throughout the day to help keep your metabolism humming.
Day 29 – Listen to Your Body. Whatever you do, your body will speak to you…giving you information you can use to determine each next step. You will avoid injuries by listening and honoring the communication.
Day 30 – Soothe Your Muscles. Use Deep Blue Rub before and after workouts or to help ease tired muscles and joints.
Day 31 – Serve Others. Helping others allows us to take attention off ourselves.
Day 32 – Find Ways to Replace Refined Sugars. Eat raw desserts, drink smoothies and go for the darkest chocolate you can find. Try to wean yourself off the white stuff!
Day 33 – Build Gradually. Start exercising at a reasonable pace and increase as soon as you stop feeling challenged.
Sometimes I am so exhausted I simply cannot function. It’s then that I take the time to nurture myself with a nap, a rest on the couch or legs up the wall pose. Granted, working from home gives me the advantage of being able to take a break more easily than someone who is working full-time at an office. If you’d like to have more of this time, check out my work-from-home business opportunity.
Rest time doesn’t need to be during the day necessarily. You can use your weekends and evenings to catch up on some needed R & R.
One way to offer yourself the gift of quiet rest is to take a restorative yoga class or yoga nidra class. These are designed to calm the central nervous system AND the brain waves which allow healing to take place within the body and mind. You can often find these classes somewhere in your city in the evenings and weekends. If not, check out some YouTube videos which have tons of ideas for restful yoga practices. Here’s one of mine:
If you’re at work during the day and you can take a break for 5-10 minutes, shut your office door, set your alarm for 10 minutes, close your eyes and just breathe. Stay focused on the sound, length and quality of the breath. Use this time to clear and re-set your mind for a positive finish to the rest of the day.
A great oil to use for this type of meditation or to assist you in getting more rest is Serenity Restful Blend. It has a combination of Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Sweet Marjoram, Cedarwood, Vetiver and Ho Wood and is really delightful to the senses. You can get your Serenity Restful Blend at www.mydoterra.com/bringmebliss.
Repeat several times during your meditation or your day, “I respect my body and take time to rest.” Give your body what it needs – water, exercise, good nutrition and rest – and you will feel at the top of your game all the time! Have a beautiful week!
…and affirmation…that we are healthy and whole and that we intend to live our lives as such.
This is an important mantra. It reminds us that we have some power to maintain our good health and to prevent that which causes disease physically, mentally and spiritually. It keeps our minds positive, re-directing our fearful thoughts into messages of truth and well-being.
Repeating “I am Healthy and Whole” as you breathe deep into the heart space will bring you present-moment peace and tranquility. Chant this mantra as you meditate in the morning or evening, as you’re driving to work or sitting at your desk. Write it down on a sticky note. Share this post with your friends on facebook. But don’t just say it, believe it! If you don’t believe you are healthy and whole, perhaps you have some specific actions you’ve been wanting to take towards better health. Use this mantra to help you make the shift to healthy habits that support your wholeness.
This week on my facebook page, I am focusing on the immune system. Stay tuned for all the info coming your way that will help keep you informed on how to stay healthy and whole during the busy holiday season.
The picture on this blog is created through PicMonkey using a Chakana (universal symbol of wholeness). I encourage you to look up this symbol and learn something new about your world.
Enjoy your mantra this Monday! Have a wonderful week!
It has been a blessing to me that Byron and Gwen Holler have been attending my yoga nidra classes for a couple of years.
It wasn’t until recently that we had time to strike up a conversation. I thought it was very cool that this couple would attend yoga nidra regularly. Many students do come often. They discover the very tangible benefits of conscious deep sleep – the ability to “let go” and connect with the healing core of their being.
Yoga nidra is spiritual, physical and practical. It’s a guided meditation that offers great healing powers. We don’t move. In fact, we remain as still as possible while journeying through the body until we are in the space of “turiya”, what the ancient yogi’s call pure consciousness…fully present, yet in deep rest. There are many positive effects from a yoga nidra practice. i.e., physical and emotional healing, better awareness, a relaxed and calm disposition, deeper rest and more energy to name a few.
Often after attending yoga nidra, Byron and Gwen will stay for the next class, a level one yoga class designed to engage people in the fundamentals of yoga. It occurred to me that it was kind of special that they would stay for another hour or so to expand their practice and even expend their energy after a nidra session.
One day recently, we started talking. They told me that they not only do yoga often, but also have a massage every other week. Both of them! Together! In fact, they’ve been having massage therapy for 20 years. It started as once per month and now they have it every other week. Byron eventually built a couple of massage tables, so they often massage each other on the perfect apparatus.
When I learned about this serious commitment to self-care, I had to ask them some other questions to see how they had arrived at this point.
Byron and Gwen just celebrated 30 years of marriage. To celebrate, they are going to Italy in October for a yoga retreat. 🙂
It was Gwen who first started a yoga practice and Byron followed several years later. Gwen has scoliosis and from the time she was young, suffered with back problems and a lot of pain. She learned early on that certain physical movements such as exercise were helpful in the management of her pain, so she has always stayed active.
She started practicing yoga 15 years ago at her office and found that it helped her back and gave her some peace.
Byron had his own health issues. He has been a house renovator as a master carpenter and master cabinet maker since the early 70s. He suffered a lot of injuries. In addition, he contracted Lymes disease and dealt with chronic fatigue. Back in the 70s, Byron practiced Transcendental Meditation to cope with some of his issues. It helped him deal with life and gave him peace, but he quit after about eight years.
Slowly but surely, through the practice of yoga, they have adopted a healthier lifestyle. They no longer eat meat – except for fish. Gwen walks three to four miles per day and attends yoga classes four to five times per week. She is 59-years-old and feels better than ever.
Byron said that yoga nidra, in particular, has been a tremendous help to him. Gwen affirms that when Byron is consistent in his practice, he is calmer, nicer and less reactive. He credits his practice of yoga nidra for getting back to his meditation practice. He feels he’s a better person and can deal with situations in a calm manner. It also helps him to get a deeper night’s rest and let go of worries or concerns.
He uses a mantra that was given to him back in the 70s by a master meditation guru. He doesn’t know the meaning, but continues to use it and he’s confident it’s assisting him in his spiritual journey. Since re-igniting his meditation practice, Byron has become keenly aware of certain things like receiving special messages from beyond. He’s a very practical guy, but he also listens to his deepest self to determine what his actions will be. At 65, he is fit as a fiddle!
While most people view massage as a special treat, those who are educated on the subject know that it is more of a therapeutic tool, much like yoga. Gwen and Byron both used to see a chiropracor regulary but don’t anymore. Yoga and massage have been the tools that help keep them pain free. Gwen feels her back “self-adjust” while doing yoga and credits the practice with keeping her back healthy.
The couple are looking after Gwen’s mother who is older and needs a lot of care. They are motivated to stay well so they can be care givers (in addition to working) and remain healthy and happy as long as possible.
I asked them how they have stayed together for so long. They both agreed couples need to keep trying. Keep working at it. Gwen’s philosophy is to always be willing to use these three words: Please, Thank you and I’m sorrry. Byron’s philosophy is to always communicate, compromise and treat people with respect.
This self-care couple is an inspiration to me. I will be sticking with my yoga and getting more massages for sure!
What in the world does it mean to practice softening?
I can only explain this by telling you my experience in a yoga class the other day. Almost any exercise, posture or movement necessarily includes some physical or mental resistance. You could be in a simple pose and feel a tightness. As my teacher was guiding us through postures the other day, she asked us to soften where we feel resistance – in other words – where it was difficult, tight, challening, almost painful. At the same time, we were told to recognize and strengthen the parts that didn’t feel resistance. There’s a dance in yoga when you are listening, following, moving and feeling. At the same time, you are adjusting the postures to get the most out of your experience. So as I was doing something difficult, I was able to re-direct my breath and energy to find some balance in the pose making it less difficult, more enjoyable and beneficial all at the same time.
So how does this relate to a possible harshness of the heart? Have you ever lashed out at anyone? Have you had regrets over your impulsiveness to be so reactive? We feel regret because we know harsh words hurt feelings. We know that people don’t always remember what you say but they do remember how you make them feel. Do you ever get so stressed out and anxious that you want to scream? Well, those emotions can fuel a reaction to your situation at the time and unless you are really self-controlled, you can just lose it. Wouldn’t you like to be more in control?
When we practice softening in the body, we are pausing, taking a moment to reflect. We breath a little deeper and feel the tension release from the body. When we practice softening into a place of resistance, then we actually strengthen physical, mental and emotional muscles. Amazingly, as we begin to feel our own strength and resilience while at the same time softening. We then experience real balance and the heart’s capacity to love magically grows. And not just for others, but for ourselves as well.
As you’re sitting and reading this, gently breathe into the heart space (the Anahata or Heart Chakra).
For this meditation, lie down on your back with knees bent, feet on the floor. Feel the softness of your belly as it melts toward your spine on your first exhale. Then as you inhale, feel the low belly rise and expand your ribcage. Here you’ll feel a softening of the inner body as it brightens through the breath. Repeat silently to yourself, “I practice softening.” Notice I don’t recommend that you say “I am soft”. You are practicing the softening mechanism but at the same time, you’re maintaining strength. Repeat this mantra over and over again until you can remain in restful awareness of the soft parts of your body. Feel your heart open as you increase your capacity to love bigger and better.
A great companion oil for this meditation is Ylang Ylang. Now, this is not my favorite oil but some people really love it for it’s soft and flowery fragrance. I am more of a Patchouli girl, but I can definitely appreciate that every nose is different.
Not all oils are created equal. To find the very best 100% Pure Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, fill out the form below and someone will get back to you within 48 hours.