As a follow up piece to my blog “Meditation 101”, (https://paramedicnatsmentalhealthjourney.com/2015/06/30/meditation-101-give-it-a-try/) I thought I would share some more tips which I have learned along my spiritual journey with regards to improving meditation outcomes.
Tip 1. Let the meditation do the work for you, and simply enjoy what emerges. Most complications in early meditation practice come from having expectations as to what meditation should feel like. Yes it’s great to be educated on the wonderful sensations you can receive while clearing your mind, but if you go into a meditation expecting to have a specific result, you will most likely be disappointed. The key is to relax, enjoy and have no expectations. .
Tip 2. Stop trying to be an expert at meditation. You know the goal of meditation is to clear your mind and open blocked spiritual pathways, but stop getting frustrated when your mind is busy and it’s difficult to relax. This is the one time not trying so hard actually leads to success.
Tip 3. Allow your mind to explore a larger perspective. Let your breathing take you where it may! When a thought comes to mind, accept it, then let it go. Don’t fight it. Focusing on an end result of your meditation will force your mind to close off and in return shrinks your perspective.
Tip 4. Be happy with your efforts. Results such as deeper relaxation and improved daily mindfulness will come your way, but only if you don’t put pressure on yourself to reap the rewards right away. Be happy with even 2 minutes of deep breathing. What a wonderful gift to give yourself!
Here are a few more of my favourite guided mediations 🙂
Remember that whatever time you can put aside to meditate is good enough! Stop your expectations, and just breathe. <3
I just woke up from the most amazing, restful nap!…and I would love to teach you how YOU can rest just as deeply and peacefully. Now those of you who know me well, know that I have always loved a good daily nap, but now that I’ve added listening to guided meditation just before I fall asleep, my body feels SO much more rested and my mind feels so much more clear in 30 minutes than it ever has before.
To be honest, I always doubted the healing power of meditation. Sure, I thought that it could possibly clear my mind for a short period of time, but just as my alcohol buzz would eventually leave me with my crazy life again, I thought “what’s the point of meditation? I’m just going to ‘wake-up’ back in my chaotic and restless world anyhow!” Sigh. This was a pretty typical ‘old-Natalie’ way of thinking. Before I gave this healing tool a try, I thought that throughout my busy day of being a mom, paramedic, teacher, loved-one, friend, and superwoman, I had no room for taking ‘time out’ to meditate! Well, the irony of this past mentality, is that because I lived such a superwoman life, I should have been taking the small amount of time needed to meditate even more! When I thought of meditation, I pictured a monk on a mountain in silence for days. And granted, there are monks on mountains silent for days, I didn’t have to be anything close to that to reap the benefits of this magical mindful skill.
Step 1 to basic meditation is, be open-minded! Rather than kicking a potential benefit while it’s down (like I did), allow yourself to give it a fair try. And once you’ve completed step 1, step 2 isn’t far behind…try and try again. Meditation takes practice. Sure it may seem like a simple concept, but us human beings sure do have a lot of junk running through our minds 24/7, making sitting quietly a pretty tall order at first. So my advice is start small, start simple and start ‘guided’ if possible.
Guided meditation is just what is says…you are guided through peaceful, mental images by someone else’s voice. The theme options of the guided meditation are endless, but generally speaking most start with some type of focused breathing exercise or body-scan. For example, the guide may ask you to focus on your inhalation and exhalation, and to invision clear air moving into your lungs, and grey toxic air leaving your lungs. Or, they may ask you to focus on specific body parts allowing these parts to relax even more deeply.
These are two of my favourite simple guided meditations:
The last of these 2 meditations refers to what are called ‘chakras’. Very simply put, chakras are energy points in our body which correlate to specific human functions and human psyche. To be clear, they do not correlate to any religion, they simply represent energies in which every human body feels. By using a guided meditation related to chakras, we allow blocks in these energy points to be removed.
You don’t need to be a spiritual guru to reap the benefits of a chakra meditation. The result of focusing deeply on any of our inner emotions and physical feelings (chakra or not) can bring a deep sense of peace and clarity. So for you skeptics out there who scanned through this blog and saw the image of the ‘spiritual person’ and thought right away that this blog wasn’t meant for you because you don’t believe in that ‘weird spiritual stuff’, well you’re wrong 🙂 This blog is for ANYONE who wishes to achieve more peace and clarity in their daily lives…it’s as simple as that.
Meditation has allowed my day-to-day life to be so much more mindful. I enjoy moments I never would have before because with practice, my mind calms on its own, and gets rid of the clutter that use to block so many possible mindful moments in my life. I even find myself doing breathing meditations while I drive (eyes open!…lol), and I simply…be. When I focus on my inner-peace, I have no time to focus on unnecessary inner-pain. Yes, inner-pain needs to be addressed and dealt with…but not felt relentlessly! Our minds and bodies need a break and a rest from pain in order to heal years of damage we may have done physically and emotionally.
So take my advice, and grab a set of earphones, find a comfy place to rest, and click on one of the meditations I suggested, or any you may know. And ENJOY! And remember that there are only 2 steps to learning how to meditate.
1. Keep an open mind & 2. Keep practicing.
~Love Nat <3