Something that has become essential in my daily routine is meditation. It has calmed me at my most anxious times and given light in the darkest. You may have noticed me talking about it in previous posts and been like " sure Sahara, that sounds great but I have no idea where to start or what it is". That's fair, it's also the reason why this post is being created! I'm gonna break it down in the most basic ways I know how. It's not voodoo, I swear, but it is magic!
What is meditation
There are one billion ways to describe what it is but I am going to tell; you my interpretation of it. In my world meditation is shutting off the mental chatter and tuning into ourselves and our own wisdom. At it's core, you are focused in the most relaxed, natural state of your being. There is no worry because you are living in the present moment and breathing into the truth of right now. Meditating does not have to be Religious or spiritual,you can simply be with yourself. Sound a little weird? Don't worry, I thought so too at first. In fact I used to get bored when I meditated, and now it's one of my favorite things!
To understand how to meditate, I think it is important to understand that it takes different shapes and forms for many people. Feel free to make it your own! Here are a couple ways that meditating can look like:
This is perfect for those starting their practice or who need some extra help quieting the mind. The wonderful thing about guided meditation is that there are so many growing resources for these and they can be anywhere from 5 minutes and up. Usually they are recordings of someone who will literally guide you and give you points of focus. Often I search for them in podcast form that way I can save them for later and have them handy when I feel the need. Meditation Oasis was the first one I started with. They have plenty to choose from and have one of my fave sleeping meditations. Hay House Inc. has various things on their podcast but more often than not there are meditation guides. I love the longer ones when I need a deep check in with myself.
The apps are similar to the ones above in the way that there is usually someone that has been recorded but the one I am going to talk about is called Stop.Breathe.Think. This app allows you to also have an emotional check in. There is a tab where you can check off how you are feeling and then the app recommends meditations based off what you have entered. It also tells your how much you have meditated that week etc. This is good if you need to hold yourself accountable. I have used this in the past and found it interesting because it felt so personalized. I would also recommend this for people just starting out because it is so easy to use. I do not use this anymore because while there are a lot of free meditations I found myself wanting something a little deeper and genuinely enjoy finding them.
What I mean by written is that instead of an audio recording of a guided meditation, you follow along a structure written in a book. I have not found too many books with this but I am sure if you go to your local library or book store they will have quite a few. My favorite one is at the back of a self help/ healing book. The way I have used it is usually while reading I visualize each concept that I read and then continue on to the next point. I would say this takes a lot of concentration and attention so if you are in a busy area or are distracted by your environment save these for at home or when you know for sure that there is time to dive in. It is very therapeutic to be in control of how long you visualize or concentrate on each point of these meditations and I definitely recommend trying it at least a couple times.
Maybe the reason you want to meditate is to get to know yourself or ask questions. Perhaps you want to take the reigns and go for it! Self guided meditation is perfect for those times when you need to hone in on the answers you already have within. I can't say exactly what this is for each person but it could be something like clearing your mind and then holding one or two ideas you want to inspect and asking what that means for you or what you want to do about it. Something that really helps me with this is putting on some meditative music ( YouTube has tons) and letting go of all the thoughts that I do not need in that moment. I also think it is so important to lose the self criticism during this as it can block your intuition and therefore block your answers!
There are so many ways to go about meditating but make this your own. Mix and match each kind, try walking meditation or adding it into your self care routine. If you are spiritual or Religious feel free to bring that into your practice and see how that goes.
In all honesty my practice changes based on how I am feeling at any particular time. Like I said earlier I used to get bored or felt like I couldn't pay attention so now I know that the more actively I switch it up the more beneficial it is for me.
I meditate every morning with a guided meditation on the Hay House Inc. podcast. The one I use in particular is designed as a morning meditation with a focus on gratitude. When I skip this I feel a HUGE difference in my day and often feel pretty off for the rest of the day. I have a post on gratitude that explains how special it is. I play this meditation ASAP when I wake up, often while I'm still in bed because it starts off my day amazing.
When I feel lost or need healing in a specific area of my life I like to use a combination of affirmations and a meditation that is in the back of my fave self help book. It covers EVERYTHING and allows me to interpret my feelings a lot easier. I also like to do this kind of meditation when I set intentions for the month/year and on full moons. It helps me connect to my intuition and feelings so well.
Before/during/after anxious events
I know that for everyone this is different. The main event I am talking about here is flying. In the past I have had mad anxiety during various points in travel and while that has scared me before I am learning a practice that supports my travel-loving soul. I could write a whole post on my flying routine that has made me feel soooooo much better but I'll save that for another time. On days when I know I'll be travelling I meditate the night before, the morning of and during the entire flight for the most part. I save my latest favorite guided meditations and plug in ASAP. This has changed everything for me. I am able to calm down and actually enjoy it!
I also use the Anxiety SOS guided meditation on Meditation Oasis when I am triggered or having a panic attack because it's short and validates the crap out of how I feel in the moment.
Give meditation a try, it can seem intimidating at first but you'll get it ;)
Wanna hear more about meditation, my practice or have questions? Drop me a comment down below, I'd love to get in touch.
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Love and Light,