Meditation and mindfulness are increasingly the go to these days as tools for addressing chronic experiences of stress, anxiety, pain and depression. Both have proven to lower heart rate, relax the body and mind, and attain a sense of peace and bliss. Regular meditation can even become a transcendent awakening experience bringing alignment with the heart and universal frequency of Love.
All sounds good right? But where do your start?
The idea of meditation can seem intimidating, there are so many styles it is hard to know where to start. So keep it simple, you don’t start exercising by running a marathon, so don’t expect to happily sit for an hour on your first session, start with five minutes and build your way from there.
To start your meditation practice here are my top four tips:
1. Let Go of Judgement
Let go of the, ‘there is only one way to do this right’ stories in your mind. There is no right or wrong way to do this other than to simply let go of external distractions. Want to lie down to meditate? Go for it. Want to sit, stand or even walk, that’s all fine too. There are many different forms of meditation and finding what works for you is what is important.
Mostly these days I meditate alone, however group meditation can be powerful and classes can be helpful when you are first starting especially if it is a guided meditation. Want to go it alone? There are apps and videos online where you can access guided meditations as well.
Once you do take the plunge and start to meditate here is where this tip really comes into play. Your mind will want to judge everything. ‘Am I sitting right’, ‘am I meditating for long enough?’, ‘am I being selfish? There are other things I should be doing’, ‘I am having thoughts, I shouldn’t be having thoughts I can’t stop thinking, I must suck at this’, ‘I just feel more stressed’, ‘I can’t relax’. These thoughts are all absolutely normal, but don’t buy into them, remember the goal here is not to judge.
It is rare to shut your conscious thoughts off completely, so don’t try. Instead see them, acknowledge them and let them go. Remember no judging, there is no right or wrong. Some people like to see their thoughts as clouds passing through the sky or leaves on a river floating downstream. I like to just like to say thank you and let them move on until the next arises.
2. Suspend Time
Don’t make yourself a slave to the clock. Five minutes once a day can be as beneficial as an hour once a week. Meditation is not a competition nor a marathon. Allow yourself the freedom to do what fits into your life. If you have only 15 minutes to spare, put a timer on so you are not distracted checking the clock. Give yourself permission to meditate in a way that fits you and your lifestyle, and that might be three minutes a day locked in the bathroom each morning while the kids have their breakfast! Start where you can and build from there.
3. Find Your Mantra
Mantras are a great way to focus the monkey mind, those chattery, jumping thoughts that don’t seem to leave you alone. As I said before, a completely still mind is rarely attainable, so a mantra can help to distract the creator of those distractions, your conscious ego mind. By finding or creating a mantra to repeat to yourself you can occupy your mind while you relax. My mantra is Thank You, I say it with each breath and with each thought or feeling that arises.
4. Breathe Through Your Heart
This uses your imagination and awareness to shift from you from your head into your heart. Bring your awareness to your breathing, feel your lungs moving and the air coming into and out of your body. Then shift that awareness to the centre of your chest, over your heart. Imagine your breath coming in and out of your body at this point. Feel this space open and relax. When we do this, we are telling our entire system, heart, body, mind and soul that we are open and ready to tune into the frequency of Love. Feel the difference it makes.
Meditation doesn’t have to be hard just remember, let go of judgement, suspend time, find your mantra and breath through our heart. You got this!
About The Author
Louise Croker is a healer, author, community worker and mother.
She started her healing studio The Wilga Tree in 2011 where she utilises the practice of Reiki, her years working in the community services industry and her own spiritual and healing experiences to support others to connect with and reclaim their own truest self.
Louise is an accredited Reiki Master/Teacher and Treatment Practitioner, with the national Reiki association, Reiki Australia, and having practiced Reiki and its healing modality since 2002, she is also an established Reiki Teacher.
Louise’s practice includes over 25 years of meditation and spiritual exploration, throughout which she has committed to her own inner heart work and personal growth, always seeking to bring the esoteric into practical life.
She has recently self published the first edition of her My Moon Journal. Based exclusively on the Lunar Year, the My Moon Journal challenges us to live outside the solar rhythms of our daily calendar and instead play in the light and changing faces of the moon’s soul energy.
Louise’s approach to enlightenment and awakening has always been to walk her talk, and while still far from perfected, Reiki above all things has enabled her to connect the dots between her healing and spiritual experience and everyday life.