I know it can be daunting to meditate for the first time, there are so many ideas of ‘meditation’ out there that it is hard to actually know where to start or what to do..
I think it is easy to put off starting a meditation practice by asking questions: Is meditation just for Tibetan monks or can anyone do it? Is it even possible to clear your mind of thoughts? How am I going to be able to sit cross legged for hours on end? These were the sort of questions I asked myself before began to meditate and it definitely didn’t help. I was scared to start meditating because I had built up this idea in my head of how it should look and I didn’t think that I would be able to live up to that idea.
I held so much resistance towards meditation. The mental barrier I had stopped me from meditating even though I was curious. I let my thoughts and my ‘ideas’ get in the way of me actually experiencing meditation and finding out for myself how it really is.
Somehow I got over this barrier and one day I tried 1 minute of meditation. The next day I think I tried 2 minutes. Within a few months I was up to 15 minutes and I have never looked back, I now never go a day without meditation and I absolutely love it, it is such an important part of my life. I want to share that with you and share for anyone out there who might be unsure about meditation, how easy it actually is!
So where to start…
Set a timer for 1 minute and sit there and listen to your breath. That is all. Do this for a week. The next week set the timer for 2 minutes. And the next week 3 minutes. Do this and build up really slowly until you are meditating for the length of time that works for you. Remember there is no rush. Set yourself achievable goals so that you stay motivated and can reach them easily.
You can sit however you want, don’t worry you do not have to sit in a lotus position to meditate. Use cushions and get comfy! I would recommend however that you do sit upright with a long spine because if you are lying down then the temptation is to go to sleep, so it is better to stay upright.
Remove yourself from distractions.. it is going to be very hard meditating if your phone beeps every second and there are people in the same room. To start with, go somewhere quiet and sit down. Leave your phone in another room and dedicate the time to yourself.
Allow your thoughts to come and go. The aim of meditation is not to empty your mind of thoughts, that is very hard, the aim is just to be present. So be aware of your breath and be aware of how your body is feeling and the sounds you can hear. Allow your thoughts to come and go but do not get caught up in them, try to take a step back.
Don’t worry! Meditating is never as hard as you think. It isn’t meant to be hard, that is the whole point, and it definitely can be done by anyone and everyone. Let go of all your preconceptions and go into it with an open mind. Be patient and allow yourself to feel whatever you feel and think whatever thoughts come up. Let go of the resistance and enjoy it! That is my biggest tip.
I hope this has been helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them! I am doing a podcast very soon on meditation so stay tuned for that..
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Read more about meditation in this amazing book: Journey into Power by Baron Baptiste