Along with your connection to the higher being or Source. Yes, let’s talk about it. If you asked me eight months ago about meditation, monks and yogis would’ve came to mind. Other than that I didn’t know much about it besides people using it to calm down. Fast forward and I am the meditating yogi lol. The crystal holding, incense burning, deep breathing sometimes humming, astral traveling meditator.
To meditate is to return to breath. When you focus on controlling your breath and moving from regular chest breaths to slower deeper diaphragmatic breathing, your mind has less time to focus on your outside thoughts. Sounds simple right? “All I have to do is breathe deeper?” While many people have different techniques from chanting and humming, sitting still in quiet spaces, to smoking weed and yoga, they all have the same end goal. Whatever helps clear your mind of the anxious, negative, worrisome thoughts, is meditation.
Meditation Guru, Deepak Chopra, says that the voices in our head do not belong to us, that we do not own our own thoughts and that they are part of our conditioned minds. Which means that everything we think is a recycling of things that we have been taught or heard or influenced by our social, economic, religious, etc., conditions. From this conditioning, our thoughts are squeezed into narrow confines where we then create our own set of truths and reality, which are usually not real or true at all. It is only when we are able to look within and tap into our infinite source that we find our authentic self and mind, which is done through meditation.
Did you know that childhood anxiety and anxiety in teens and college students is on the rise? In an article posted by BU Today, anxiety is listed as the most common mental health diagnosis in college students, surpassing depression. There’s many different factors that go into anxiety and depression, but right now in this age of technology a main culprit is instant gratification. We are used to getting everything right now and the virtue of patience is becoming harder to attain. The fear of the unknown is heightened, and the space in between waiting allows our minds to race and question everything and create stressful scenarios. Now is the time to learn how to stop letting our thoughts control us so that we can enhance our lives and teach our children.
There are different methods of meditation from guided meditation, to specific chants, but my favorite is a form of the Four Part Breathing method that I learned from Shelah Marie‘s meditation mixtape. Here is how I PERSONALLY do it:
- Lying on my back on the floor in a clean quiet space, facing North, hands by my side I consciously send breath to my stomach, chest, neck, and head. On the mixtape she goes a bit slower than I do which really works for me when I am in a place of turmoil (like on a turbulent flight or truly unable to quiet my mind on my own.) But in daily meditation I move a bit faster with a smooth inhale (through my nose) to my head , hold for 5 seconds, smooth exhale (through my mouth) back to the stomach. With each breath my intention is to go in with the good and out with the bad, sinking a little further into myself and releasing tension after each exhale.
Its a practice so everyday may not be as deep as before, but you eventually enjoy the process and figuring out which different techniques work for you. When I have time or have accomplished a deep meditation I like to journal about it afterwards so that I can remember what I learned or what works for me.
When people tell me they feel like something is missing or they don’t know their next step, I automatically recommend prayer, reading, and meditation. Prayer is when you talk to God, meditation is when you listen. You have to be able to sit in your stillness, in your darkness, to find the light within. Your higher self is in there and will not reveal themselves until you seek them; only then do you realize that anxiety, depression and time are not real. Everything you need to achieve consistent success and happiness resides within you, so return to breath, clear the external thoughts and listen.
Meditation has absolutely changed my life for the better. I used to be very emotional and often act out of emotions/can’t control myself. But now instead of doing something detrimental to my progress or relying on a vice, I am able to slow down and get to the root of my thoughts or feelings. From there I center and ground myself and reset my intentions. I know that if schools taught meditation and yoga as set courses, kids and adults wouldn’t rely on medication or feel so lost and lonely. Even everyone’s favorite Oprah and her team meditate twice a day!
Does anyone have any techniques that work for them, I’d love to hear some! And please let me know if you prefer a video of me doing the meditation and what you want to read about next.
I love meditating! I attend meditation “classes”/”sessions” once or twice a week and usually try to take time either in the morning or before bed to get in a quick meditation.
Many people make the excuse that they don’t have time, but my yoga instructor always tells me that “If you can’t make time for 15 minutes of meditation, then you need 30”. I live by that because if we don’t give ourselves time to slow down, that is when we need that time the most.
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Awesome ! Thank you for the comment and that great tidbit, I’m going to steal it lol
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Go for it! Good advice is meant to be shared~
This is a good read ! Very helpful !
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Thanks for sharing and motivating me to get back into meditation. When I was doing it consistently, I loved what it did for me. I’m still in the phase where I needed guided meditation though bc my mind is always all over the place. Listening to someone walk me through it helps me to focus on what they’re saying instead of my own thoughts and then eventually I get centered.
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Great post Shanita. Breathing in and out, slowly and deeply through the navel, as we did when we were in the womb, is very relaxing and connects one back to their soul. Meditation can also be enhanced by listening to ambient music. Dean and Dudley Evenson are two of my favorites (http://soundings.com/dean-and-dudley/). I started meditating in the early 90’s when I was in high school after reading and learning about Bruce Lee and his teachings.