What It Takes to Meditate.




“The best cure for the body is a quiet mind” Napoleon Bonaparte

The benefits are real. It’s been three years and I don’t know what it’s like NOT to sit quietly for 15 minutes when I wake every morning. Clarity of mind after a restful sleep is something  we can’t put a price tag on. I have been a yoga practitioner for over 20 years, and have experimented with meditation as a result of this practice.  It took years,  but I made a commitment to form a habit of daily meditation.  It started with 5 minutes of actual “meditation” in the morning, but would take me 10 minutes to prepare for my five minutes. I tried sitting on the floor in various positions to get comfortable,  with no real focus. After several iterations, I stayed in bed, comfortably seated, eyes shut, mind open and… go.  This was my entre to “MY” meditative practice.

As hard as it was in the beginning and as committed as I wanted to be, I was more impatient with the time it was taking the much-ballyhooed benefits to emerge.  One day,  relaying my growing frustration to a friend, she suggested the app “Headspace”.  Well, Downloaded, Implemented, Success. This was exactly what I needed to maintain my focus beyond five minutes – five minutes that felt like an eternity during those first weeks.  Today there are many apps at your disposal, so explore and find the one that works for you.

While the app was invaluable in the beginning, I stopped using it after three months and now prefer complete silence, with my thoughts and a simple mantra. I encourage you to develop your own comfort zone whatever that may be. We hear that the world’s most successful people start their day meditating; We hear that creative thoughts are heightened during this time;  We hear about the 15-minute meditative mind-cleanse. Don’t make this about any of that. Make these ten or fifteen minutes about YOU. Make these valuable minutes about finding peace of mind, relaxation, anxiety-release, and finding your center for the day.

The benefits do materialize, but over time. After three years, I am much calmer in stressful and previously scream-worthy situations, and less irritated over little things, both at home and at work. Don’t look for a miraculous change in a week. Meditation is like any other discipline – it requires commitment, focus and practice. It will return to you what you put into it. Research shows that habits are formed when we commit the time. For me it’s sitting in bed first thing on waking ; but for you, it may be evenings in a hammock on your patio. Whenever and wherever, make it a daily practice. You will not regret it. I haven’t.

By:  Tracy Redfern

#Meditation #Habits #Relaxation

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Theodore Roosevelt