Hi. I am going to start where it’s always best to start… the beginning. So if you’re experienced at meditating, you probably won’t find this helpful, that is, unless you’d like to take a refresher course.
You probably have a lot on your mind… work, your finances, your marriage, the children, the laundry that’s piling up, your back pain, what’s going to be for supper tonight, school work, yard work, oh my gosh, the list goes on and on. Ok, then you say to yourself, “I want some ME time.” What do you actually do during that “ME” time? You think about how your work day went today, how to schedule things up for tomorrow, which day can you can pay the rent, the electric bill and the cable bill, when will you have a day off to get the weed eating done in the yard, you will need to go grocery shopping to get supplies for supper, when can you… oops, that doesn’t sound much like “ME” time to me, yet those wheels in your head keep going ’round and ’round. You have to remember “ME” time is all about YOU! Go ahead, you are allowed to be selfish once in a while, after all, aren’t you worth 5 minutes a day??
Meditate. Really. That time is for YOU. Think about it, there are many benefits to meditating; relieving your stress, boosting your immune system, easing depression, even controlling pain. And know something else? If you ease your mind and get yourself into a more calm mode, you will be more productive! Isn’t that what you want anyway? You will feel better and get more done. A win/win!
You can work meditation time in more things than you may realize. The thing about it though, you need to clear your mind of all things other than what you are currently meditating ON. Some people may see it as a bother having “something else to concentrate on”, however, just give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised with the results! In doing so, you may find yourself doing it more often and it getting easier to do because you ARE doing it more often.
There are different ways you can go about it, so try different ways and figure out what works best for YOU. Choose one or use a combination of several, which is what I do.
You zero out everything and concentrate on nothing but, what else, meditating. To do that, you have to seriously zone-out everything else during this time, making it just about you and your thoughts. No, not the thoughts about what you’re going to do next… I’m talking about zero’ing into a sweet “nothing”.
I was originally taught to cross my legs, pulling BOTH feet on top with each elbow on each knee. However, that’s not easy for everyone, I can’t do that anymore, myself. lol No no worries. Just cross ’em. Can’t sit comfortably that way? Yea, me neither. lol That’s fine, sit in a comfy chair, put your arms our and relax. Just find somewhere that is comfy to YOU!! This is a great time to find a “you” space to call “yours!” …even if just for 5 minutes. lol
The key is to RELAX! *Now, tip your head back, close your eyes, take a deep breath and slowly release it. Breathe slowly. Concentrate on your breathing… slow in… slow out. Release your mind from all going on around you, from all worries. Find a place of peace and calm in your mind. …Can you see it yet?? Be it an open field with a clear blue sky overhead… laying back on a hammock in a clear cut yard… floating along in a boat on a quiet river… soaring high in the sky like an eagle, laying underneath a sky full of stars. …Just fine a place of peace and go with it. Escape. Get lost in that thought. …Relax with the breeze… with the waves… with the warmth of the sun…. just relax.*
…Keep this up for 5 minutes…. 10 minutes… 15 minutes… however long you can allow yourself. Then take another deep breath, relax and feel refreshed!
Set a timer. Don’t use a noisy alarm clock, you don’t want to be startled and mess up all of the good you did. If you use your phone, set the tone to something soothing. Otherwise, a simple “ding” of an egg timer works nicely. But remember, this is your meditation time. Do not let it linger into “naptime” or “plan my schedule time”. Whatever time you allow yourself on that timer, use is strictly for this. This is why you use a timer until you are practiced and seasoned enough to do without.
Do you have a hammock in your backyard? How about a lounge chair? The day is absolutely beautiful, take advantage of this time! No radio. No drink and food. This is not phone time either. Just you and that wonderful world of nothingness that you about to escape into. If you need that timer, go grab it… take position… settle in… and go. Begin the steps highlighted above.
One of my favorites… run a nice bubble bath or throw in a bath bomb… light some candles (don’t forget to turn the overhead light down)… then get into the tub, lay back, take a deep breath and slowly release it. …Yes… enjoy the feel of the warm water, the tickling of the bubbles… just escape… and enjoy it. No thinking allowed. Just enjoy the moment. (Now, use the highlighted steps above.)
A place I had when my children were growing up, I made a special “fancy” room, my children called it. That room always stayed free of clutter, was full of a lot of my special things (gasp, including breakables), definitely no playing in there. It was a designated quiet zone. When I meditated inside the house, this was my favorite room to do it in. Even my girls found recluse in that room from time to time, as well. 🙂
Now, find YOUR quiet spot. 🙂
Another way I learned that worked for me along the way, was during my everyday chores. Seriously, no lie. When I took on a task, I concentrated on that task, every little detail, thinking about nothing but what I was doing. Starting up, you take a deep breath… then slowly release it… then continue. Washing dishes? Think about every movement your making pertaining. …Running the water…. adding detergent… placing your dishes in… then picking up each one and carefully cleaning it was your dish cloth… making sure every particle is off, that it is as clean as it can be. …Rinse it… rinse it thoroughly… then place it in the dish drain. …carefully… arrange it how you think it should be… Then move on to the next piece. Yes, you may take a little longer getting the job done, but I found myself not minding the work when doing this. Actually, I found it quite enjoyable.
Are you making a cup of coffee?? Once upon a time, I drank instant. I loved the strong, bold taste and the fact that it was quick to make was a plus. Even making that, I was precise on how I made it. I carefully measured my scoops… then my sugar… then slowly poured the water onto it… then picking up my spoon, I carefully stirred it, precisely 75 times. lol… really, I did. That really was a quick meditation point for me. And the fact I had a nice cup of coffee to enjoy afterwards, made it all the better. 🙂
Folding clothes. Okay, pretty much nothing can be more mundane. However, when I take the clothes out of the dryer, I will close my eyes and feel the warmth from them… take a deep breath and smell the freshness… then I start folding one piece at a time… concentrating on the creases… the folds… carefully stacking them into like piles… one piece to the next… until I am done.
Oh, and cooking?? Imagine you are an exquisite chef! Take a deep breath and begin! Gather all of your ingredients. As you progress in your cooking…opening a jar of spice… slicing into a fresh, ripe tomato… inhale the aroma! Make your disk full of care and love… make every step count! Remember, you are the chef! Throw out a couple of “mamma mia’s” and a few “magnifico’s” And when it is complete, throw a kiss into the air as to “perfection!”
You can pop over to my post, “Relax!” and incorporate meditating into a couple of those. For example, playing the piano, I will treat it as meditation time. No one home but me… I sit down at my keyboard… take a long deep breath… and as I exhale, I start playing… imagining I am a world-renowned pianist, concentrating on nothing but the music I am creating.
Are you getting me now?? Throw yourself into every task you do with a passion! Concentrate on what you are doing and how to make it the best it can be! Let all of your other thoughts go, you will have time to think about them later. Right now, “this” is all there is. If you do that, may you find a peace within yourself and feel so much better because of it. You deserve some YOU time, however you can get it! Yes, this is quite different from the previous method, but can be just as rewarding!
Try the different ways and see what works best for you! Who knows, you just may try incorporating a few of them into your lifestyle or think of some new ways to meditate YOUR way! 🙂
I may well expand this article to more methods. But that will be a task for another day. 🙂