Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Habitude Two - Get your Om On

Habitude Two ~ Meditation

Put simply.
Meditation can be one powerful ally.  What may at first look suspiciously like nothing, holds incredibly strong and dynamic opportunities.  And as luck would have it, any idiot can do it (meaning, if I can do it, anyone can!) 

Allow me to explain
the 'looks suspiciously like nothing' statement above. Although you are sitting quietly, not actively being physical, not multi-tasking any number of activities, not running a marathon or doing complicated mathematical equations in your head; it can take the novice (or the highly wired) a wee while to feel comfortable sitting quietly.  Often an anxious brain makes for a jittery and busy mind. You may find when you try to sit in peace, allowing thoughts to gently come and go; that initially it feels like someone has built a freeway in your mind and that you may never find nirvana.

Persistence is definitely the key.
I have been meditating on and off for many years now.  I find it like going home each time I settle in. Cheesy I know, but true.  In fact, I can see quite dramatic results in a very short time.  I'm talking days here, not months. Not only does meditation help to calm the mind and the body. It gives an inner peace that lasts throughout the day and then some.  It can help you seek clarity with issues that are stubbornly bothering you. It can help empower you.  Enlighten you. Calm you. Inspire you. It can't make you a gin and tonic or do the vacuuming, but it can do pretty much everything else!

This is how I see myself meditating  

They suggest meditation is best done
at the same time every day - if possible. Early morning is known to bring enhanced benefits throughout the day. Once in the morning and once before retiring is like hitting the yogi lottery.  But, life as we know it does not always work to our daily schedules.  Kids, spouses, work, early starts etc all place demands on our time and occasionally screw up our best intentions.  So, meditation of ANY kind, at any time of day - no matter how irregular - is better than nothing.  But...I definitely agree with the school of thought that says 5 minutes once a day EVERY day is probably better than meditating for an hour once a week.  Basically it's that horrible important  word 'consistency'  (eewwhh, that word sends shivers up my spine). But once the habit is mastered, meditating every day is a natural fix you will crave (without all the nasty side affects of some other cravings).


 More like what I'm actually like!

I know what you're thinking
"Kylee, I'm not sure I'm that flexible anymore. I don't know how to sit in some fancy cross legged upside down yoga meditation position".  No problem! Contortionists need not apply. Any relaxed seated position will suffice.  Basically you just need to be comfortable. Some people sit on a meditation stool or the floor. I would need medical intervention to get me up off the floor, so I choose to sit on an exercise ball.  But a good old fashioned chair will do nicely too.  Preferably just not lying down or there's a strong likely hood you'll fall asleep (which is embarrassing when done in a yoga class...yes, I have done that, snore).  Our bodies are also programmed to take lying down to mean sleep time - or hanky panky time, but I wouldn't know anything about that being single and all (please read that with the best lamentable 'woe is me' voice you have).

If you're new to meditation
please don't be afraid. This is not hocus pocus in front of an altar, no sacrificial lambs need to be slaughtered. This is a peaceful pastime.  The best thing about meditation is the simplicity of it all. Not like when you take up a new sport in your old age (cough, mid life crisis) and go all out and spend hundreds on a top of the line squash racquet or Lycra cycling outfit. (Thankfully I have done neither of those things...I rock a mid life crisis the good old fashioned way...with Lexuses only *hangs head in shame*)  Meditation is free. If you wish to have some sort of an altar with pretty things on it that make you feel spiritual and calm (think candle, salt lamp, crystals, angel pictures, Buddha, bible, whatever floats your boat!) go for it. Loose fitting clothing, a warm sunshiny position is a plus, but not a necessity.  Preferably just try to meditate in the same place every day.  That's it! Are you buying what I'm selling? Good.

There are a few different types of meditation.
Only you can determine which is best suited to you.  I personally prefer a guided meditation, and I think it is great for beginners. This is where you listen to a meditation that someone is guiding you through from start to finish.  The other type, Solo meditation, is in my opinion more advanced. I find it a bit more challenging when you have a loud mind that won't shut up easily and you have to focus on your breathing whilst deflecting those thoughts zooming in and out of your head.  I know that I will be able to do solo meditation one day, but for now I find a guided meditation is more focused for me and I get better results.  Some fabulous sites that I personally recommend to get you started:

The Meditation Society of Australia
I love this website for the free meditations that are very generously available.  However, for a mere $10 you can have life membership.  I plan to join as soon as I have permanent work.  I enjoy reading about the different topics in each class before I perform the meditation.  It's a bit funny listening to an Australian voice (I know, I'm an Aussie, how contradictory) but it's quite rare.  If listening to an Australian accent will make you giggle through your meditation, perhaps you could try an American site or the one below from Mr Chopra and friends.

Deepak Chopra
This is a fantastic way to meditate if you need a little bit of a tight leash (yes, my hand is up). I partook in the 21 day meditation challenge in February of this year. It was fabulous and I did it every day. Until day 22.  I had no back up plan. I was left strung out high and dry and sat in the corner sucking my thumb for days.  Now, I'm prepared.  As luck would have it, there is a new challenge that starts today, and after the 21 days, I will revert back to the Meditation Society of Australia's meditations.  No excuses now! My dear friend in America will not be able to laugh at me along with the irony that I was unable to form a habit after 21 days like most 'normal' people. I'll show her!!  :-)

One-Moment Meditation
For those of you stubbornly refusing to find 5 minutes in your schedule for meditation...try this. It's just a moment of your time. Surely you can spare a moment? I subscribe to these. The free ones only come out every few months, but you can subscribe for one every day for about $18 per month.  I love that they always make me stop in my tracks with the simplicity yet powerful transformation of stopping for a moment. 

I hope you will try to find 5 minutes for the first few weeks to meditate? Then build up in 1 minute, 2 minute or 5 minute increments until you get to a level you're comfortable with. They say anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes twice a day is perfect, but we all know that perfect is shmerfect.  I have a wonderful friend Sharon from Heart Space Inspired that I am going to write about at a later date for her awesome NLP's, but they also count as meditation. Please check out her website here.  If you are a practicing meditation guru already, please feel free to share some of your experiences or websites with us in the comments section.
I'm sure I'm not the only one
who has noticed mediTation is but one little letter away from mediCation. Don't you find that ironic? If we could all meditate on a regular basis, a lot of ills of the world would disappear. There would be more kindness and love, calmness and prosperity, happiness and good health.  I know there are times we need to take medication from our health care providers, but given the choice, I know I would prefer to try meditating first, rather than medicating.

if you find you are medicating yourself with a beer or wine at the end of the day (or a bag of Hershey Kisses if you are me, ha) ingesting a little bit of meditating instead could see huge benefits to your health and well being.

Go forth and get your Om on people.

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