One of my yoga teachers once said medicate and meditate share the same root, except the side effects of meditation are peace, calmness, joy… and it’s FREE!
Creating quiet time is as important as brushing your teeth in the morning before you leave the house; make it a part of your routine. Start your day fresh and with a clear mind. Spending sacred time with yourself to connect with your “small” voice, aka your intuitive voice, allows for deep listening. The subconscious mind has many layers, and it’s common to avoid, ignore, or tune out our small voice. Let’s be honest. Life has stormy challenges, a steady light rain of everyday demands, and foggy uncertain choices. However, when we are in the midst of the eye of the storm, meditation reveals that the sun is always present and clarity is within; it’s just above the clouds. When you create quiet, there is a direct connection with our kinder voice, the one that speaks the truth and shows us the way if we choose to listen to its messages.
My meditation practice began in physical therapy school when I was struggling with taking exams. With a simple practice of meditation, I learned to listen to my inner guide. I followed my intuition on tests instead of getting derailed and distracted by all the options. I no longer second-guessed myself and graduated with mostly A’s.
There are MANY reasons to meditate. In fact I have a list of over 100 benefits, from enhancing your immune system to building self-confidence to reducing anxiety and helping with insomnia. Doesn’t that make you want to start meditating now!? And bonus, how about rebuilding your gray matter? Yes please! Research is exploding on the benefits of meditation, and Harvard is backing me up: “Harvard unveils MRI study proving meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s gray matter in 8 weeks.” Read more:
As I flip through my InStyle magazine, there it is, a three-page meditation article called “The Zen Commandments.” How freakin’ cool! Meditation is popping up everywhere, it’s more mainstream. Meditation is for everyone from athletes to business entrepreneurs to YOU, and it can be done anywhere.
There are many ways to meditate, and some are more complicated than others, but there is no “right” way. Just do it. Be comfortable and keep it simple. Remember to be patient. Like a lot of things in life, we don’t expect to play a beautiful piece of music in one session or run a marathon in one day. Meditation evolves with practice and dedication. What would happen if you meditated for the same amount of time you spent working out? Start with just five minutes a day, and after a month, add five minutes… then another… and leave your expectations at the door but have the intention to cultivate stillness. Take a “time out” for yourself, sit where you are relaxed, have a lengthened spine, and set your timer or play the Breath Awareness Meditation (www.awarenesspt.com blog). Create a ritual for this sacred time to be present and communicate with yourself and you’ll notice your day flows with more mindfulness and awareness. Life is a balancing act of finding symmetry between the pyramid of the body, mind, and spirit. Give yourself the gift of stillness, a daily meditation practice to recharge, and reconnect with your spirit.