Today, I’d like to talk to you about meditation and shutting off that mind for a few minutes. I know that so many of us love the idea of meditating. Meditation is a practice. It is something that gets better the more we do it. Meditation is a tool for helping us to gain that incredible inner peace, that calm, that centeredness, that mindfulness, that insightfulness…It also helps to quiet the adrenal gland, and right now that is crucial because more and more people are getting into adrenal fatigue, meaning they are always in a flight-or-fight kind of stance in their bodies. Which is not good for your organs at all. When the thyroid goes crazy, the digestive system doesn’t work. Adrenal fatigue is nothing to play around with. A meditation practice helps us with calming our heart down. It helps us to get into a position where our breath, the oxygen we’re actually breathing is truly feeding our bodies. Not to even mention the incredible things that it does for our mind, our thoughts, our centered sense of calm, our understanding…Meditation mentally gets us back to the place that we are naturally supposed to be, instead of in that whirlwind.
Alright, meditation is great, but what is so hard about it? Shutting off our minds!
We can’t even go to bed without getting up with these terrible thoughts. When I close my eyes, in the back of my mind is all that stuff, that worry, that guilt, that endless to-do list…You know, there’s always something and it can be so hard. But in truth, the more you can’t shut your mind off to even go to sleep—the more you need meditation! The more that you find yourself pushing all the time, and bouncing from one emergency to the next, the more you need meditation.
Okay, so what do you do? You may be saying, “I know I need it, but when I sit down to do it—it’s impossible!” All right, well that is why it’s a practice. It’s training the mind. It’s training yourself. It’s gaining some control. Now, how do you do that? Well, there are many ways. So if you want to start meditating, and you’re finding it really, really hard, then here are 2 incredibly helpful suggestions.
Number One: Who said meditation has to be sitting in a room with candles lit and chanting, “Ommmmm…?” No, it doesn’t have to be.
There is a wonderful form of meditation that consists of just taking a walk into nature. Now, that does not mean going on a hike with 50 people. It means walking in nature by yourself. And it doesn’t have to be the wild Wild West. It can be a neighborhood park. When you’re in nature, you want to get yourself into a present mode, meaning you’re going to leave behind the thoughts of the day, the thoughts of the projects, the thoughts of the work, and instead you are going to engross yourself in all your five senses. If you think of it that way, it’s so much easier than thinking, “Oh, I got to shut off my mind.” Instead, try saying to yourself, “I am going to occupy myself with all my five senses.” That means I am going to touch the beautiful flowers. I’m going to smell the air. I’m going to see what I can see with my eyes. I am going to allow myself to become engrossed in it. And just remember to breathe. Remember to breathe. Just remember the five senses and breathing. And that, my friends, is meditation. And if you’re sitting there and you get to that spot, and then allow yourself to just breathe in and then breathe out and really feel the space between the in and out…you’ll find that time stops. It’s like this pause at the vastness. It’s the everything and nothing space. And voila, you’re meditating! So what’s another way, when you want to transfer that practice into your inner space, like inside the house or your room?
Number Two: Form a sacred space.
Now, I love the sacred space because it’s not just for meditating. Sacred space is for everything— for reading a book, for creating without that critical mind, for discovery, learning new things, trying new things…It’s your space. It’s your sacred space now and you can decorate it any way you like. You can have candles or books— I like candles. You can have pillows…you can have whatever you like. Now, what I do before I step into my sacred space is I make sure I know exactly what I want to do in my sacred space. That’s kind of important when you’re trying to train the mind. Then I say, “No worry, doubt, or fear shall enter here.” And I take all that worry, doubt, and fear and I push it away up on a shelf that I’ve built inside my mind’s eye. I put it in a beautiful box on the shelf, and I say, “You stay there. I will come and get you when I’m done.” And because you’re coming to get it when you’re done, that helps your mind relax. It’s not like it’s going to be gone forever. It’s not like we’re getting rid of it. We’re just taking power over it. And then I step inside my circle, where I know exactly what I’m going to do—I’m going to meditate. If I was fumbling in there, or not really knowing what I wanted to do, that critical mind-stuff would come right back into my busy mind, and it would flood me. Alright, so you have to know what you want to do in the beginning. So I have my music ready, and I sit down. You get into that sacred space, and you know what you want to do, and you start to just quiet down and decide what kind of meditation you like. I firmly believe you can try all sorts of meditation. Maybe it’s just doing a mindful breathe-in/breathe-out, or maybe you like something a little more instructional to keep your mind busy.
Personally, I love guided meditations. I was one of those people who couldn’t quiet my mind, and the idea of quieting my mind was extremely foreign. I didn’t even see how I could possibly attain that, so when I started meditating, what I found to be my favorite was ‘the journey.’ Most journeying is not guided, but I tend to help people get started on it. Because when I first started, I had people help me understand the way through a guided journey, and so I do some guided journeys to get people started into journeying until they know how to do it themselves.
I thought we might do a small journey today if you like. I’ve included a guided meditation in this episode. It’s wonderful, and I’d love it if you joined me on this quick and refreshing meditative journey. We can do it together a couple of times, and before you know it, you’ll be a pro!