Holy Guacamole! Today I hit 100 days in a row of meditation!
You may be wondering why a Yoga Teacher of 10 years is celebrating this milestone - after all, I must spend all day meditating and doing yoga.
That's cute, but no.
In fact, I know a lot of yoga teachers who struggle with their own practices, because we spend so much time creating for you, because it's what we love to do. Making sure that everything from the music, to the flow of poses, to what we say resonates with you.
It's truly all about you, in the best way possible.
I started my daily meditation practice close to when everything shut down because of COVID-19. Scary time, wether you're a business owner to not. I was scared what would happen not just with my business, but my family and loved ones.
Daily meditation helped me bring calm in the chaos.
Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of emotions, but for the most part I felt this calm over me. Knowing it would all be ok.
We as a society are amazing at keeping ourselves busy. It's status symbol. How often do you respond to "How are you?" with "Oh my gosh, so busy" - or some variation of that.
I'm right there with you.
And 100 days ago, I didn't feel like I had time to meditate either.
But it's something I've wanted for so long, and I wanted to figure out a way to make it work for me, because during my previous streaks (anywhere from 5 to 14 days), I noticed such a shift in how I was showing up in my life.
I'll admit, I lose my patience quickly - not one of my finer character traits, but when I'm committed to my meditation practice I'm calmer, more centred and ready to tackle the day. I noticed a deeper shift when I introduced morning mantras into my practice - more on that below.
I truly didn't realize how much I needed this as a way to explore more of who I am, and what I'm here to do. I needed to give myself permission to take this time just for me, and communicate that need with my family.
Everyone from my husband to my two year old knows that in the morning Mommy does her meditation (or medication as my two year old puts it).
My meditation practice has evolved - from guided meditations, to mantras, to breath practices, card pulls, and now I want to move further into more silence - and yes, silence can be super uncomfortable, but like me, you don't need to start there.
It gives me the opportunity to pause, reflect, and check in with how I'm feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally. How I want to show up during the day.
It helped me wake up - not in the enlightening way (which is how I read it during editing), but literally, I'm tired and now I'm awake!
It gets me out of bed in the morning, and it helps that I was tracking my practices, because let's face it no one wants to break a streak.
At the end of the day, you can google all you want, but I don't believe there's a one size fits all approach, and if what someone swears by doesn't suit you, we are quick to wonder what's wrong with us. Lemme start by saying, it's not your fault.
If it were that simple we'd all be meditating for an hour everyday.
Ok, so I could go on and on, but you're reading a blog of called "How to Meditate" - so, it's pretty safe to say, that's what you're here for.
I make a whole lotta mistakes when I'm trying something new, as I stumble my way through things I eventually land on something that works - that's actually pretty much been the story of my life.
Then I turn around and present you with what works, so you don't have to do all that stumbling around - it brings me so much joy.
May I present to you my list of TOP 5 ways to meditate (that are super simple) I learned in 100 days of meditation, in no particular order.
Give 'em a try and lemme know how they worked for you.
1. Guided Meditations
This was my go-to for a long time, and you can find so many great ones with the help of Google. Anything from "Meditation for Beginners" to "Attracting Abundance" - get as specific as you want... or keep it simple.
Anytime I tried to meditate, my mind would race from thoughts, emotions, plans to feeling like I should be doing something else with my time. Guided meditations helped ground me into the present moment, with soft music and a soothing voice (if that voice isn't soothing to you, move on), and it would bring me back whenever my mind started jumping around.
You may find when you first start off, your mind drifts a lot and that's ok, in fact it's totally normal. Show yourself some compassion, and gently bring your focus back to your breath or the words being spoken.
2. Set an achievable Goal
"GO BIG, OR GO HOME!" I've spent a lot of my life feeling like what's the point if I'm not doing all of it! And if you're like me, trust me when I tell you, you can start small - like 1 minute of breathing.
Anyone can do anything for one minute, even if it's tough.
Set a timer, using your phone or a meditation app, and stick with one minute until it feels ridiculously easy. If one random day, you do 5 minutes, that's awesome, but stick to your goal - go back to 1 minute the next day.
We can get so caught up with what we did the day before and trying to replicate that, but I wanna make sure you feel like this fits nicely into your lifestyle before you start adding time.
I started with 2 minutes (that felt achievable to me after 15 years of doing yoga), now at the end of 100 days - I'm at 7 minutes. Yes, I go over, often in fact, but there are days where I cannot give more than 7 minutes and so the timer stays right where it is.
I told you I would come back to this one.
Mantras are phrases in you say that reflect how you want to show up in life, or what you would like to manifest into your life, BUT you need to say it like you're already living it.
Another tidbit is something I landed on last week.
Say it the way YOU would say it, to a friend/partner/parent. I fell into the trap of using my "meditation voice" - the one I use when I'm teaching. It's monotone and meant to be soothing, and you know what happened? I would check out all. the. time. One day, I started using excitement in my voice, like when I call my husband and tell him I have a new client. Yes, it will sound ridiculous at first, and then you'll laugh at yourself - but it works!
It's hard to fully explain it in writing, so CHECK OUT THIS FACEBOOK LIVE I did a couple of days ago, where I explain the difference - no facebook? No problem... here's the YOUTUBE UPLOAD.
4. Schedule it
You must keep track of your schedule somewhere, yeah? Schedule your meditation time in there. I recommend sticking with a time that works regularly for you, but think ahead when you know it's not gonna work.
On work days I meditate at 6am, on non workdays I meditate around 7:30am - sleep is still way too precious in my world. There's also a few days I can think of where that won't work
♡ Christmas Day / Easter (no way the kids are gonna wait for mommy to do her meditation)
♡ Mother's Day (and miss breakfast in bed? No thanks.)
♡ Father's Day (yup, it's my turn to help make breakfast.)
Look at your week ahead, and make adjustments as you need.
Let me tell you about the time I fell asleep on the floor for 40 minutes. Actually, that's it. That's the end.
But seriously, this goes hand in hand with setting an achievable goal.
You can use the timer on your phone, or a meditation app - and if you've followed me for long enough, you know which app I'm gonna recommend - INSIGHT TIMER (I'm in no way affiliated with Insight Timer and they are not sponsoring this blog, I just love it that much).
It's basically the one stop shop for a lot of my suggestions. You'll find
✔ guided meditations - you can find anything in there
✔ a timer with chimes and optional music, nature sounds or a little bit of both
✔ when the chimes go off in either option, it will add time to your meditation if you wanna go further so you can celebrate new milestones
✔ at the end it tells you how many days in a row you meditated and if gives you other milestones to celebrate
✔ it's 100% free - well there are some in app purchases like courses and such, but you can start using it for free
I would be more than happy to help set you up, just lemme know.
Finally, yes there's power in silence - I've experienced what people call "downloads," but this should be an end goal, in the mean time take one of these baby steps to get you to that goal.
So here's your next step - choose one of these tips and do it TODAY, then send me an email and lemme know how it went. I love hearing your success stories and I'm celebrating YOU!
Until next time, namaste.