There’s something about months with 30 days (September, April, November … and June!) that reminds me of the prevailing notion that it takes 30 days of practice to make a difference. 30 days to change a habit. 30 days to set you onto the road to success!
Pick any change or habit you like, and “Just do it!”
For June, I’m picking “30 Days of Meditation.”
Meditation…Does It Really Work? Well…yes, it does! The fact is, science shows definite health benefits for people who use meditation.
Meditation is about sitting in silence with yourself, focusing inward and releasing the outside distractions of the day and your life. Be in the present moment and simply notice whatever comes up: your thoughts, any emotions, how your body feels, any realizations, images or “ah-ha” moments.
This is a powerful tool that will help you reduce stress, sleep better, refocus your mind and change your habits!
It can even allow you to be more aware of the moment to moment reactions that you may have in any situation, allowing you to choose your response rather than reacting automatically (and maybe regretting it later).
More Awareness = More Choice = Greater Control of your Life!
Your breath is a key factor in meditation for releasing resistance, bypassing mental chatter (including that gremlin that always tells you why something won’t work!), and restoring equilibrium at times when your anxiety is temporarily stronger than your faith. Whether new to meditation or experienced, take time to notice your breath. Deepening your breath will calm your nervous system, turning off the Fight or Flight response, and allow you to get out of your head.
Remember: “There is nothing else you need to be doing right now.”
When to meditate? Any time, any place, as long as you can safely sit with your eyes closed, and tune out the outside world. However many successful meditators find that first thing in the morning works best for staying focused and for ensuring that the day’s other tasks don’t interfere with the best of intentions.
A Beginning Meditation: Start small and be consistent!
- Sit in a comfortable position – chair, floor, cushion.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe in slowly, breathe out slowly. Long slow breaths without any effort.
- As you breathe in say to yourself, “Breathe in”, and as you breathe out say “Breathe out”. Or just notice your breath coming in through your nostrils and going out through your nostrils. Focus on the rhythm.
- Repeat for 3 or more breaths.
- Notice if your mind goes elsewhere between or during each breath. If it does, just notice that it does without judgment, and return to the breathing and the repeating of the two phrases.
- Continue for a few more minutes. Extend this as you begin to notice the results!
So, starting June 1, let’s commit to daily meditation for the entire month!
New to meditation? Aim for 5 minutes of sitting. Focus on your breath. No judgment if you fidget or find you’re easily distracted!
Experienced? See if you can extend the time you’re sitting (I usually aim for 20 minutes) and do your best to stay focused on the breath. Once that seems more manageable, perhaps expand your awareness to your body. Always in this moment. Without judgment.
Hope you decide to join me!
Resources and References:
Free 21-Day Guided Meditation Programs
Michael Lee Yoga – guided yoga classes with meditation
There are also apps available for guided meditation such as:
Headspace App (free 10-day trial)