Meditation is a powerful tool to transform the way you function in life. For me, it’s introduced a deeper sense of calm, peace and clarity to my daily life. Although I’d dabbled in meditation for years, it was only a few short years ago that I finally surrendered and committed to a daily practice. Gosh when I did that, it changed my relationship to myself and my external world for the better.
It’s hard to imagine that sitting still and focusing on the breath can have such a transformative effect on your life. However, I’m living proof: I’ve rid myself of decades of anxiety and chronic insomnia, healed myself from fibromyalgia and transformed from a pretty pessimistic person to one that is full of energy, vitality and positivity.
Meditation supported me to make a number of major life altering decisions, and bred in me a trust in myself and the universe – the belief that no matter what happens, I’ll be ok. This gave me the confidence to leave the corporate world behind and begin to pursue my own path.
Meditation is a beautiful tool that can equip you to...
Clarify a major life decision
Reduce daily stress
Increase your mental clarity
Build greater confidence in your own abilities
Strengthen your communication skills
Explore your creativity
Improve your mental health
If you’re anything like I was, you’ve probably heard of these benefits but may still be sceptical that such a simple act can invoke such profound changes in your health and wellbeing. Or perhaps you have the belief, but simply find yourself resistant to the idea of sitting down and doing absolutely nothing but focusing on the breath. The very act of trying to find stillness can set your mind racing at 100 miles an hour. That’s the monkey mind kicking into gear.
The monkey mind is often referred to in meditation circles. It’s an apt description of how our minds bounce from one idea to another, in the same way that monkeys love to swing between branches. The trouble for us is that the monkey mind swings from fear and negativity to pleasure and desire in an instant, rarely pausing to focus on anything for very long. The noisiness can feel unbearable and is a breeding ground for anxiety.
The thing is, it’s not new. The monkey mind has been there all along, it’s just that we’re so used to being distracted with our busy lives that we don’t tune into it. Know that this is completely normal and you’re not meant to stop those thoughts! Your thoughts aren’t a tap that you can turn on and off. Relieved to hear that? I sure was!
Most of us are heavily achievement oriented, striving for results and success in every area of our lives. Conversely, meditation is about surrender. It’s about unlearning all that we’ve been taught and letting go of ‘getting something’ from the process. When you finally let go – of control, of the need to ‘get’ something - that’s the moment when the magic takes place.
Whether you’ve dabbled in meditation or you’ve never tried it before, this beginner’s sequence is a great way to start a daily practice:
Schedule it in. The best time to meditate is first thing in the morning before your mind gets busy.
Start with 5-10 minutes and build up from there. Meditating can feel overwhelming and most people struggle to be still at first. Take it step by step so you can establish a routine and build your meditation muscle.
Create a meditation space. Find a quiet place, even if it’s the corner of a room, where you feel comfortable and at peace. Add cushions, blankets, candles, essential oils for next level calm.
Get comfortable. Sit cross-legged if you can, and keep your back straight, shoulders relaxed.
Set an intention for your meditation. Do you want to feel calm, creative, energetic, loving, or confident?
Close your eyes. Or if you’d prefer, rest your gaze on the tip of your nose or a foot in front of you.
Focus on your breath. Follow each breath as you inhale and exhale, from your nose, down your throat, into your belly and back out again.
Come back to your breath. Your mind will wander and that’s ok. Each time it does, come back to your breath. Just don’t beat yourself up about it, as this is normal. It helps to have a word, such as ‘thinking’ to bring you back to the present.
Take it slow. When your time is up, ease your way out it. Gently wiggle your fingers and toes as you become aware of your body.
Reflect. Rather than jumping straight into your day, spend a few mins journaling anything that came up for you during the session
Above all, remember to be gentle with yourself as you learn the ropes.
On my own journey, I’ve dabbled in transcendental meditation classes, meditated as part of a yoga practice, attended a 10-day Tibetan Buddhist retreat and a silent meditation weekend, and delved into yoga nidra – a tantric practice that emphasises complete non-attachment. More recently, I’ve learned the 1 Giant Mind technique, a modern day take on traditional Vedic meditation, and been practicing Dr Joe Dispenza’s work, which is lifting my meditation to a new level.
There are so many different ways to meditate (and many more than those that I’ve explored) and you just have to find one that works best for you. Here are some resources I recommend you check out:
Here are some resources I recommend to check out.
Dr Joe Dispenza teaches that every one of us has the potential for greatness and unlimited abilities, as well as how to unlock that through meditation. I’ve been to his progressive and advanced workshops - they were life-changing.
FMTV (Food Matters TV) is an excellent health and wellness resource. For an annual subscription (AUD $99) you’re able to access over 800+ videos on demand, guided programs and a slew of different forms of meditation.
Yogarupa Rod Stryker is a world-renowned yoga and meditation teacher, guiding and sharing his wisdom for 40 years. I had the privilege of attending his Para Yoga Nidra course in Bali in 2018 and it was illuminating.
If the Buddhist way of life appeals to you (although I’m not Buddhist, some of their philosophies resonate with me) then check out SIBA retreat centre, which is where I did the 10 day Tibetan Buddhist meditation retreat.
If you’ve mastered the basics and are keen to integrate more mindfulness into your life, you might want to grab my free, Ignite Your Happiness in 21 Days program. Practice the rituals in this guide daily, and you’ll unlock the key to living a healthy, happy, hi-vibe life.
Have a happy and zen day 🧘♀️