I have been trying to add more educational posts to my website, not just as a resource for myself but also to help those who are on their journey. There is a lot of information out there and I am a research junkie. And with so many years discovering so much, I want to be in a spot that allows me to share information to those curious souls out there. Honestly, I am wondering if this is more of a problem being this way - always researching, but I enjoy diving deep into various topics and learning as much as I can about them. I say - get curious, stay learning!
I recall starting my journey and not knowing where to start. I wanted a mentor, but it never truly worked out. The first place I relied on, after seeking ANY spiritual friend who was into the woo woo stuff, were the local libraries/ bookstores/ metaphysical shops and finding various books on different subjects. I found blogs, websites, online journals, and such to help me understand myself a bit more thoroughly. It can feel a bit overwhelming trying to figure out what is what and where you fit in the spectrum. Now we have YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram as just a few other ways to connect with others who are into the same things that we are interested in, or who can at least make us feel not so alone in the world. We can find our own communities!
One of the easiest and helpful practices that I have added to my practice was meditation. I have been asked how to meditate or what I recommend. And while there is a lot of methods out there, I suggest you start off with easy steps, and just do the simplest thing to get where you are trying to get - to meditate. You don't need special tools, or special courses to show you anything. There are a lot of free things online that can help you find a suitable method that works with you and your specific needs. I am all about keeping it simple.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
So let us start off with some vocabulary, first:
the action or practice of meditating.
"a life of meditation"
synonyms:contemplation, thought, thinking, musing, pondering, consideration,reflection, deliberation, rumination, brooding, reverie, brown study,concentration; More
a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject.
plural noun: meditations
"his later letters are intense meditations on man's exploitation of his fellows"
Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.
Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. Think of it like exercising a muscle that you’ve never really worked out before. It takes consistent practice to get comfortable. Some find it helpful to have a teacher, others use apps, and some are just naturally good at connecting. I know that meditation is linked to my mindfulness practice, as well as how I can connect to my spiritual team.
Meditation is something that is very much customizable to what works for you. I first started meditating about 17 years ago. I called it prayer, but it was a time that I would sit quietly in contemplation and also being very receptive to allowing things to just unfurl within me.
I started my meditation practice again when I was in my early 20s, and was experiencing a lot of anxiety and what I called a spiritual attack. I devoured everything I could find to help me feel more spiritually strong. Meditation helped me begin this journey back to myself. It was something I did for massive anxiety attacks I would have while pregnant, since I had pregnancy induced asthma with my daughter and would really panic that I couldn't catch my breath.
I really dove into the practice when I was working my way through "The Psychic Navigator" book by John Holland. I found some meditation stuff to be really complicated to do, especially for an over-thinker like myself. I couldn't get into the steps without over-analyzing if I was doing it correctly or allowing myself to be very distracted by everything going on around me. It was cumbersome and it felt forced. After a few months of trying and feeling unsuccessful, the book ended up on my shelf, collecting dust. I felt that some of the methods left me anxious that I couldn't do them right. Which is the total opposite of what meditation is supposed to do for you!
Fast forward to a few years later, in the midst of my spiritual awakening - I was trying to find ways to work with my gifts and meditation was one of the things that kept coming up as something that needed to be done. I found a mentor and working with her I figured out that I needed to control myself better and find my own center. So, with trial and error, I developed a method that worked really well and quickly for me - two things that I really needed.
Remember, consistency is key. It is a practice, not perfection. Some days it will be easy to accomplish, other days you may have other things weighing on your mind that need a little more space. Be gentle, be receptive, and be consistent.
How I Meditate - my exercise:
First off, go to a place that is quiet with minimal distractions. I like to do this on my bed before I go to sleep for the night. I know some people say not to do this, but with my super busy schedule - as mom, wife, dog owner, caretaker, business owner, meal provider, maid, grocery shopper, and also chauffeur - my mornings and days don't allow for a lot of down time with minimal distractions. I have learned to fit it in, where I can be consistent and keep it simple.
So step one is BREATHE.
And breathe some damn more.
Literally, like Ariana Grande sings - just keep breathin' and breathin' and breathin' and breathin'.
Until you feel calm. Until you don't feel so stressed. Deep breaths help us recenter and refocus in the present.
There is a lot of breathing in this step if you are an anxious little bunny like me. By actively breathing deeply, I force myself to get out of my normal breathing patterns. I am aware of the air going in and out.
I like to start off by taking those few deep breaths, mindful of my breathing. Not rushing. Just slowly being aware of the inhale and exhale. I do this for as long as it takes for me to calm down, feel my heart beat slow down, and my mind just slow down and solely focus on breathing. If I have a thought, I just allow it to land like a butterfly, I don't focus on it and I don't get angry/upset about thinking about stuff. I just allow the thoughts to drift along. Practice, not perfection.
Next up, is the mind games - to deal with. While breathing is important to meditation, it is the mind that usually needs the most help in chilling out.
Then begin to imagine each breath helping me blow away tension, stress, and worry from my mind, first. I imagine my exhaled breath pushing away these stresses from my mind. Leaving it empty. I repeat this for my heart and emotions. I imagine it taking away all of the stress in my body. Pain, anxiety, discomfort, and physical issues drifting away from me, as I breathe out. I finish by focusing on what I feel in my spirit and soul, cleansing it with my breath. Releasing the stresses in my spirit and soul. One at a time. So I start off with my mind first and as I exhale, I consciously blow out all the stuff weighing heavily on my mind. I take as many breaths as necessary.
The second step is exhaling all the tension and stress from your heart, body, mind, and soul. Emptying the mind of stresses, feelings, processing how you feel about these things. It is a slow one to get going at first, but with practice becomes a bit easier.
If you feel like you can't empty your mind, or as if you can't relax enough to not have a harsh reaction to not being able to - it is perfectly normal. In our go-go-go world, it is hard to slow down and not process what is going on in our environments. After all, it is what keeps ups alive and here. In meditation practices they call this the monkey mind. The part of the brain that is always on, and going. Meditation can help you move past just thinking about things, and being able to process them much more deeply. By gaining a new level of understanding, unlocking some knowledge you long forgot, or didn't recognize you had, as well as restructuring your brain patterns.
Then I start the pattern again by taking another set of deep breaths and blow out all of what has been upsetting your heart and body. I proceed to do another set of deep breaths and sort of gently blowing around what I think my soul and spirit looks like and remove whatever is weighing it down. As I have been quite ill this year with various health problems, I won't lie and say it has been simple. It takes me a lot. Especially when I am in physical pain. But I allow my mind to visualize my soul floating freely, untethered to the human stuff I have going on. Once I feel like this has been accomplished, I move on to the next part. This sometimes is a slow process for me. The heart and soul aspects sometimes take me the longest.
The third step that I like to do is visualization. I feel better when I know I am protected in my thoughts, protected in a state where I may feel vulnerable, or even just before I lay down to rest. This can be something that you skip over, but I find that it assists me in being able to really anchor myself more fully in my practice.
After all the breathing, the blowing out and carefully connecting to my breath, I follow this by visualizing a white light (as bright as you can see/imagine) starting off as a halo around my head. I allow it to continue to burn brighter and extend out and away from my head, slowly moving down to my neck, my shoulders, my arms, all the way down the rest of my body. I take my time and allow it to slowly move down and extend out and away from my body. I allow my mind to visualize me being the source of light in the room. I also allow this bright light to shine on everything around me (such as loved ones, my home, my pets, my vehicle, my place of employment, my friends - essentially anything that I feel close to my heart). Nothing is in darkness and I am the source of light. Lighting everything around me and also allowing myself to feel protected and safe in my space and life.
If thoughts come in, I just release them and try not to get upset or stressed out about it. I just let them pass through, and move along. I continue to focus on my breathing, focus on the white light visualization, and just connecting to myself more fully. Being present in the body, being present in the mind, and being present in my heart.
Once I felt more comfortable, I could follow along to meditation videos and such. But as I stated above, find what works for you. This is just what I have developed over the years, it is also how I connect to my guides before client work. It brings me to a state of calmness, it clears out my anxious feelings, and also helps me feel more rooted in my work.
It allows me to feel calm and ready to receive anything that comes to me. Since I do this daily, I can be a lot more calm within a few minutes, as opposed to having to spend about 30 minutes trying to calm myself down. It is a ritual and helps me fall asleep a lot faster than before. I also feel that I get much more restful sleep. This method helped me so much with being able to remember my dreams (which had lovely messages from my guides and Angels), and also to not suffer with insomnia anymore - with the addition of no longer drinking alcohol, changing my diet to more real, whole foods, and also upping my exercise and water intake. It is a part of my healthy lifestyle.
You can imagine that your light is like a flashlight and providing light in all the shadowy corners of your life. Please know, I identify as a lightworker, so my meditation includes me working with light in order to connect. You may not feel that it resonates with you, and might have to find another way to feel protected.
As always, follow and trust yourself and what works for you. There is so much information out there, so find a method that allows you to feel empowered and peaceful in your practice. Meditation can be used as a tool for healing, connection to the divine, as well as a way to work with your day-to-day life stresses. Personally, it has been the catalyst that has changed me from being afraid of my gifts to feeling empowered by them. Clarity, peacefulness, mindfulness, and also calmness are all a part of my daily life.
Sometimes I use crystals to aid my meditation, or just allow myself to automatic write. I just follow what feels right, and in these matters I always recommend that you do what fits your own style and comfort level.
Let me know if this worked for you, or if you have a different way of meditation. I am always receptive to trying new ways or just learning from others. I hope that my suggestions allow you to find something that makes you comfortable, feel empowered in your own practice, and also know that it doesn't need to be too complicated. Find methods, suggestions, and tips that make you feel like you can do it easily, too!
And like I continue to repeat here, do what makes you feel best! You can do it!
Remember: practice - not perfect.
I love you. Always. All ways.