Growing up, I always had a busy mind.
I was constantly looking to the future or reliving the past and never really focussed on what was happening right now. I could never calm that inner chatter that raced around in my mind. I always felt as though I should be doing something else regardless of what I was doing in that moment.
I'm not sure if it was habit, hereditary or just a part of being human, but when I got caught up in my thoughts, I couldn't relax.
I was in a constant state of discontent, and I didn't know how to change it.
As I got older I started speaking to more people about what I was experiencing and also started noticing that people around me were also quite stressed, anxious or worked up about something.
I started thinking that there had to be a better way to live.
I had started to meet a few people who had told me that they also used to be overwhelmed by their busy mind and had been helped quite a lot through practicing meditation.
I decided to give it a go.
It was one of the best moves I've ever made.
It has taught me that the nature of my mind is like the surface of an ocean. Regardless of how rough it is, if you go down below the surface, there is a calmness.
A humming whisper that everything
As we journey below the surface of our mind, we begin to realise that we already have the peace that we crave within us.
So often we search for peace through accumulating more, upgrading, working more, training harder, planning harder, earning more, chasing fame.
The list goes on forever.
What about you?
How are you going?
Is your mind always racing?
Maybe, like me, you could benefit from getting below the surface of it?
It can be a little daunting knowing where to start on something like this, so I thought I would share the steps I take to meditate.
- Find a time For me, this is first thing in the morning. I get up, get a drink a glass of water and then sit down to meditate.
- Find a space I sit in the same place when I'm at home. Right now, I sit on my lounge room floor with my back against the couch. Find a space you're comfortable in.
- Set timer Start small. Two years ago I began with 10 minutes in the morning. Now I do 20 minutes in the morning and the evening. Don't try and be a hero, just aim to do a small amount consistently.
- Sit down You don't have to sit like the Indian guru that comes to your mind when you hear the word meditate. Sit on a chair or floor. Whatever is comfortable.
- Take a deep breath Taking a deep breath has an awesome capacity to help us calm down. I do this to get myself started.
- Relax your body Consciously focus on relaxing each part of your body, starting at the top of your head, moving down through your fore head, jaw, neck, chest, stomach, legs, feet and toes. Spend a few seconds at each place and allow yourelf to relax the space as you pass over it.
- Be still There is nothing else that needs to be done in this moment. Enjoy being right where you are.
- Focus on your breath Bring your attention to your breath. Count your in breath, then your out breath. Breathe in (count 1) breathe out (count 2) and do this up to ten. Start again once you get to ten.
- Come back to breath Your mind will wander. Sometimes it will race. When you realise your focus has wandered from your breath, don't stress. Come back to your breath and start again.
- Move fingers, toes & open eyes When your timer goes off, wiggle your fingers and your toes. Open your eyes and enjoy the calm you feel.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
I found Headspace to be the most clear when it comes to explaining the benefits of meditation. If you'd like to read about it, click here
ONE LAST TIP
Be patient. Like anything, improvement will happen over time. Initially you will find it difficult to focus on your breath as your thoughts will be so loud. That's fine. Keep coming back to your breath, and keep practicing your meditation.