Do you have a monkey-mind? Do you find that your attention jumps from topic to topic easily and some days are really challenging to focus? Does a shiny object easily become your focal point? Ohhhhh, the monkey-mind challenges! Meditation has been touted as a superior daily practice to help calm your monkey-mind and to help create inner harmony, peace, and calmness all while creating the discipline needed to reign in your monkey-mind when you are caught up in a busy meeting or when the kids are screaming in the background.
Research has shown the numerous benefits of daily meditation and how it can improve every area of your life. From restoring blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, increasing blood flow, slowing your heart rate, increasing deeper levels of relaxation, decreasing headaches and muscle tension, to increasing exercise tolerance. It also helps with building self-esteem, reducing anxiety attacks and depression, increasing mood and behavior, weight loss, increasing immunity, stabilizing pre-menstrual syndrome, and helping to heal following a trauma or surgery. Meditation is medicine outside of a bottle!
So, you are probably thinking to yourself that you have tried meditation before and failed miserably because you thought about everything except for clearing your mind! Well, my friend, rest assure, you too can become a master of your own mind and make it through an entire meditation session- and love it! You have at least 10 minutes, right? Let’s get to mastering meditation right now in 3 easy steps:
Same time, same place. Make your practice sacred and try to stick to the same time every day to create consistency and cueing. When you know that after you wake up and drink your lemon water, it is time for a dedicated meditation session, you will be more likely to stick with it. It is like Pavlov’s dog- Opening your eyes and sipping lemon water are cues to your brain that it is time to meditate and, when you stay consistent for long enough, your brain will immediately start to relax and prepare for meditating. Pick a place that is sacred for you and that brings you calm and peace of mind. Perhaps sitting in your living room with the dog barking and the morning hustle and bustle is not the best time. Or maybe it is for you! Regardless, pick a place that feels sacred and will cue your brain that it is time to go to your happy place. Om!
Create a ritual to help foster focus. Rituals lead to repetition and repetition leads to habit and habit leads to stick-ability. When you create a ritual to your practice, your brain eases a bit and you are more likely to fall in a deeper relaxation. What does this look like?
- Put some soothing music on or a guided meditation. One of my favorites is Chakra Healing Zone.
- Perform 3-5 deep belly breaths, relaxing more into your seat or couch with each exhale.
- Visualize connecting to source energy by imagining a bright white beam of light entering through the crown of your head and traveling down your body, filling every nook and cranny with a glowing white healing light.
- Take another deep belly breath in and begin counting down from 10 to 1, relaxing every part of your body and sinking even further into your seat or couch with each descending number.
- Bring your attention to your breathing and allow your mind to be free to anything that passes through it. Observe what enters and just “be” with it.
Create a judgement-free session. Junk is going to pop up into your head. That is the monkey-mind trying to overrun you. Here is the key – remain judgement-free and just observe it. Fearing and worrying about the monkey-mind will cause frustration and prompt you to quit. This is totally normal! So, rather than freaking out and banishing meditation for good, try pretending you are at the movies. If thoughts pop in, gently observe them like you are watching a movie on a movie screen. Allow them to pass by like a scene passes by on the big screen. Observe, remain judgement-free, and gently bring your focus back to your breath. The more you practice, the more your mind becomes disciplined to hone in faster and stronger.
“A meditated mind is a happy, low reactive mind” ~Tansy Rodgers
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Take action now! Are you totally intimidated by meditation? Do you have a monkey-mind when trying to meditate? If so, let’s take action right now. I want you to start by creating a schedule, when and where you will meditate. Follow the three steps above and be easy on yourself. Remember, it takes time to calm the mind and ease into a solid program, but stick with it. The results will be well worth the effort!
Go to the comment section. Make a comment below and tell me how it is going and how you are calming your monkey-mind. The best discussions start between like-minded friends! Share this with your friends and get more people in on the action.
Do you currently have a meditation practice? If so, I want to hear all about it! Live your life with passion and purpose…
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