Graduating to 20 Minutes
I wrote a blog a few months back about starting to meditate HERE. Like I had mentioned in the blog, meditation has immensely enhanced my life and become a cornerstone in my wellness practice. As I write those words “wellness practice”, it seems funny to have to say that. I mean, shouldn’t wellness just be part of life that isn’t hard? Like second nature?
Well, for me, it has taken about 10 years for it to become second nature. It has taken 10 years for me not to struggle with eating healthy foods, the right amount of calories for my body and to exercise in a mindful way. But it is still a practice. The way our society is built, the odds are against us. Most food choices are full of chemicals and sugar. Most well paying jobs are sedentary. And most people are so wound up and fast paced that it is very difficult to integrate meditation and mindfulness in their lives. That being said, being well is a practice. (unless you live on a yoga commune :) )
In the past two months, I have kicked up my meditation game. I started to learn about Transcendental Mediation or TM. TM is a silent or mantra based meditation done for 20 minutes, twice a day. My first piece of advice to anyone adopting a new behavior is to go slow and make it your own. Because we are ALL DIFFERENT! We all learn and adapt at different paces. So with that being said, I have started to meditate for 20 minutes, once a day.
And I LOVE it.
In the morning, I wake up and turn my coffee on. Let the dog out and feed him. Then I sit in my room on my “meditation pillow which is really just a fluffy throw pillow” and a cup of coffee. (because i have NOT graduated to not having coffee first- but I am working on it) And i set my timer for 20 minutes.
During those 20 minutes, all I do is breathe.
That is it.
In through the nose, out through the mouth. As slow or as fast as I am at the time. Over the 20 minutes, your body and breath will slow and become more consistent. I like to think of my breath as a wave of the ocean. The tide pulling back into the water and then pushing forward onto the shore.
When your mind wanders, don’t judge. Just bring it back. And it will wander A LOT.
Don’t try to figure anything out about life or plan your day. Your brain has the next 23 hours and 40 minutes to do that. Just be. That is where the magic happens.
Emily Fletcher, a leading expert in meditation, says that this type of meditation is 5x more powerful than sleep. Which in turn means that it will give you more energy and make you happier! Also meditation is said to improve your sex life, and who doesn’t want that.
If you are at the right point in your journey, give 20 minutes a whirl. See what comes up for you.