I can’t even begin to count the number of times I have heard, “I can’t meditate because I can’t turn off my mind.” Hey, I’m not criticizing, I also can’t tell you the number of times I have said it myself!  Being a chronic over-thinker I never did believe that meditation could work for me.

I’ve studied meditation, I have taken several classes, I’ve read books, but I never turned meditation into a part of my daily life until about three weeks ago.  Now, I know, it seems like all you ever hear these days is “you should meditation” or “you need to meditate”.  First of all, I’m not a fan of shoulding on people or telling them what they need to do.  All I can do is tell you how it has affected me and my life.

As I mentioned, I am a chronic over-thinker.  I’m a scenario creator.  I have all of the possible outcomes of any given situation lined up and ready to go.  Because of this, I sometimes have challenges sleeping.  I’m tired a lot, and most noticeably, I stutter and lose all sense of creativity. So about a month ago I started reading a lot again and of course, everything I read said that I need a morning ritual and that must include meditation.

So I did it, and I went ALL in.  I created a corner in my bedroom for meditation and journaling.  I set my alarm with no snooze allowed for 5:02am.  (Am I the only person who cannot set my alarm for any time divisible by 5?)  Anyway, Day 1, I got up, did my bathroom thing, came out and set the meditation timer for 6 minutes and worked my way up to 18 minutes.  As I sat there listening to silence, I remembered what a meditation instructor once said about meditation that stuck with me.  He said meditation is like putting a frog on a plate.  That frog is going to keep jumping off the plate and we simply need to grab the frog and bring it back to the plate.  It’s the same thing with meditation.  The goal isn’t to remove all thought from your brain.  The goal is to notice your thoughts coming into your head and gently pushing them out and focusing back on your breath.  It’s called a practice because it takes practice.  I’m quite confident that there aren’t many people who can just turn their brains off for extended periods of time.

After two days of this new ritual, I began waking up naturally at 4:44am.  I feel like my mind and body started craving it.  It’s a little odd, I know, but I’m okay with it.  So now, less than a month later, I’m still waking up between 4:44 and 4:47 every morning, including the weekends.  That can be a little annoying I won’t lie.  But I lie there for a minute and decide to get up anyway, I can always take a nap.  That’s what I tell myself anyway.

At my office, they say my energy is better.  At home, my sister tells me I’m “lighter”.  That’s exactly how I feel too, lighter!

There are days when I DO NOT feel like doing it.  Those are the days that I compromise with myself and just do 6 minutes.  I have missed one day in the last 22 days and I can tell you that it wasn’t a great day for me.

Life is so full of information.  From school and work to news and social media, it is literally non-stop information that would overload any person.  Meditation is a painless tool to kind of Ctrl+Alt+Delete yourself.  Kind of clears the cache, boots you up a little faster, and refreshes your memory.

If you are new to meditation or have resisted it but are curious, let me share with you a few tips.

  • Insight Timer is an awesome app to track meditation.  The free version is robust and there is no reason to upgrade.  You can set a bell to start and finish.  You can choose music or you can choose a guided meditation.  Pro tip:  The sleep meditations are AWESOME before bed.
  • Use headphones.  Even on the days that I don’t use music, the extra silence from having headphones on makes it better.
  • You don’t have to sit on the floor you know, you can sit on a chair. Sit up nice and straight, don’t lean back.
  • Sometimes it’s helpful to keep your eyes slightly open and stare at a spot on the floor.  I find that there are times it is easier to focus on someTHING rather than just my breath.
  • I personally enjoy chanting sounds, I can feel it in my body and it helps me focus.
  • Experiment with different sounds, different positions, different ways that you feel most comfortable with. There is no absolute right way.
  • Start small.  4-5 minutes can change your life. Work your way up.  If you try to start with a 30-minute meditation you’re likely going to get bored and never meditate again.
  • If you have a family or other people who live in your home, set boundaries.  Let them know you will be meditating, or just cannot be disturbed for a specific period of time.  You have earned a few minutes to yourself without interruption.
  • Finally, I want to remind you that it is a PRACTICE.  There is no perfection here.  Notice your thoughts (they WILL pop in), acknowledge them and push them aside.  Get that frog back on the plate!

Enjoy and embrace this few minutes every day.  This is an act of self-care, you have earned it, and you will notice a difference.

About the Author Heather Honold

Heather Honold is an Intuitive Life & Business Coach, Writer, and Artist. Her mission is to help women identify and move beyond the beliefs that they have unknowingly allowed to stop them from experiencing the life they dream of. Heather utilizes her own traumas and experiences combined with multiple modalities to help others overcome theirs in order to thrive rather than just survive. She is passionate about educating her clients and the public about self-love, self-worth, confidence, the healing benefits of creativity and mental health issues. She also enjoys sharing with the world her art creations.

Heather can be reached directly at Heather@heatherhonold.com

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