Moms often ask me about a morning or evening routine and I immediately think of meditation. A meditation practice should be an essential part of either daily routine. However, many women tell me they don’t know how to meditate. And honestly when I started, I didn’t either. Meditation used to look like this for me:
I start out sitting on the floor, but I can’t get comfortable. Then I move to the bed, sitting up Indian style, hoping I don’t fall asleep. Turns out I fall asleep, sitting up with my eyes half open.
Is this what happens to you too when you try to meditate?
The first few times I tried to create a meditation practice, I gave up. I didn’t see the value in it. And I would get it confused with prayer. I couldn’t figure out if I should pray or meditate. Isn’t meditation a form of prayer? So then why not just pray?
(Funny how we resist the things we need the most.)
I may sound crazy, but this was literally the dialogue I would have every time I tried to meditate. I would think, well this doesn’t feel good at all, frankly it was almost irritating, like I had just wasted the only free 15 minutes I had that day.
And then one day I got it…I too had to get a little help though to make it routine. Meditation was part of my yoga training, so learning that there were various different types of meditation helped me immensely.
Here are a few examples of various meditation practices. There are many more, hundreds in fact according to Yogi Bhajan, founder of Kundalini Yoga. I’m sharing just a few with you that I find to be commonly practiced and ones that I have personally used.
Silent Meditation – Means just what it says. You sit silently for a specific amount of time. Try not to pay to attention to your thoughts or run through your daily to do list. Once a thought comes in, let it, and then let go of it.
Insight Meditation – Also known as Vipassana. In this meditation you focus on the breath. It is like a silent meditation except your focus is on the rise and fall of the abdomen as you breathe deeply. Click here for this great article for more detail.
Guided Meditation – You are lead through this meditation by a practitioner. The practitioner may use written text, audio visuals, or sound. The Insight Timer mentioned below is great for free guided meditation.
Transcendental Meditation – Or mantra meditation. You use mantras or combinations of Sanskrit (ancient language of India) words to help you focus as opposed to just following your breath.
Kundalini Meditation – This type of meditation uses breath, mantra, and mudra (hand position) to help create focus and support your mind.
Here’s how meditation worked for me….
Distinguishing between prayer and meditation was critical for me. For me, prayer is when I talk to God and meditation is when He talks to me. Sometimes we miss what we need to hear because He can’t get a word in edgewise.
I also learned I didn’t like guided meditation as much. I still do some guided, but I am more likely to do silent meditation. If you think you would prefer guided, I highly recommend Insight Timer. I also use Insight Timer for silent meditation, using the timer feature instead of the guided meditations.
I learned I needed to track my meditation. I’m more likely to do the meditation if I’m deliberate about it. And if you use Insight Timer, it will log your meditations too.
And finally, I learned to meditate anywhere. I used to make excuses that I had to be sitting in half lotus in perfect silence in the comfort of my home. I’m rarely in the comfort of my home, so following that stipulation meant I never mediated. For example, I meditated on my flight home last night. It was the consistent meditation practice that created clarity for me and helped me make some difficult decisions.
Don’t worry if you feel like meditation is hard. It is…It requires your effort and it requires practice. Don’t give up, try it until it works for you. And learn from my mistakes. Try different types of meditation and track it. You will be amazed at how profound the effects can be.
Let me know, were you able to make meditation a part of your routine?