The stressful holiday season is behind us and the new year is underway. What do you choose to bring into your life (or to do more regularly)? There are so many benefits to starting or enhancing a regular meditation practice. You may want to move it up to a priority on your list.
From a yogic perspective meditation is a key tool to help us bring about union with the Universal Lifeforce- to help us awaken to that ultimate connection. If that is a bit too esoteric or seems out of reach, how about other near term benefits like feeling calmer and less anxious; clearing old habits and fears from our subconscious mind; feeling more stable and centered; and discovering more clarity on difficult decisions.
It can feel so daunting to actually meditate regularly. Here are a few hints for getting started:
- Start small, but be consistent. It "counts" to do a meditation practice for only 1-3 minutes. Showing up regularly is more important in the beginning than how long you commit at one time.
- Meditation does not have to be just sitting still. I've got lots of meditations to share that include specific movements of the hands or body, powerful breath techniques, and specific words (mantras). There are even some great walking meditations you can try.
- Treat your weakness with kindness. Starting any new habit is likely to have bumps in the road mixed in. If you miss a day, try to tap into the part of you that is light and curious about yourself. Turn down or talk back to the voice that tells you that you can't do this or you screwed up and might as well give up. Notice what conditions make it a little easier for you. For example, many folks find it easiest to meditate right after waking up before the thoughts have started swirling and to take advantage of that space between sleep and wakefulness.
So don't let a fear of sitting still with your thoughts hold you back in the new year. Jump in and get started!
Dianne Fish, LPC
Austin Serenity Counseling & Wellness