You may have read the title and thought, “really Court?” I know, meditation used to be an alien term for me as well that was only used and practiced by hippies and people that just had too much time on there hands. I encourage you to bare with me as I explain my journey and experience with meditation and invite you to give it a try.
As I stated, meditation was not something I was very interested in. That is, until I started reading self-help books and books that were focused on finding and creating success. Meditation kept popping up through these and what started as an eye-roll through these sections eventually turned into a raised eyebrow. I became curious. If all of these people were promoters of meditation, I might as well try it as well, right?
From this curiosity, I started trying meditation. What did I learn? Boy is it difficult. I mean it is really hard. Meditation requires you to clear your mind for an extended period of time. Seriously CLEAR it. No, you can’t think about what you are making for dinner. You can’t try and solve all of the problems you are currently facing. You can’t go through your to-do list. You have to be quiet both externally and internally.
Like many of you, I work, I have children, I’m married, and I even have my own side hustle. My mind is NEVER quiet. I’m juggling a million responsibilities, trying to remember which bill I have yet to pay, avoiding legos strewn about the floor, and making sure I don’t forget to feed anyone. Trying to keep my head above water as they say. So trying to first of all, find time to just sit quietly and then BE quiet? Not very probable.
But I did. I did. I started to dedicate 5 minutes of silence to being silent internally as well. 5 minutes my kids either weren’t home or were napping (what magical time is this you ask? We’ll get into the importance of creating mandatory time for yourself in a future blog). During this time I experienced a peace that I wasn’t finding in my day prior. I started to want more than 5 minutes and if time permitted, I increased to 10 or even 15 minutes.
You may be thinking, “okay Court, that’s good and grand but why would I want to just sit for 5 minutes when I have all this stuff to do?” Well, if you’re asking that question then this blog isn’t for you. I don’t know of any working moms that would not want to just sit in quiet for 5 minutes. Am I right? Let alone actually quiet that to-do list that is constantly running like a broken record. However, besides just getting some quiet time, meditation can be a great stress reliever, can promote creativity, can actually help you solve problems that you haven’t been able to solve, and so much more. Seriously, the benefits of meditation are practically endless.
Now that I’ve interested you in meditation, how does one get started? Here’s what I did:
1. Find 5 minutes of Quiet
This may be the hardest part but hey, it’s only five minutes. I found this time to be as soon as I got home from work. It was the only time I was home alone and could uninterrupted by the kids or spouse.
2. Focus on Your Breathing
To help with clearing your mind, take deep breaths and really focus on your breathing. If your mind starts to wander, gently let the thought go and refocus on your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths and release your breath just as slowly and rhythmically.
Try to meditate once a day if possible and don’t expect perfection. You will have days where you really struggle to clear your mind. This is why one “practices” meditation and doesn’t simply “meditate.”
What are your thoughts on meditation? Have you tried it before? I’d love to hear about your experiences! Comment below!
Still curious about the benefits? Check out these Science-Based Benefits of Meditation