Learning Meditation

Meditation is a valuable tool to add to your arsenal of self help and manifesting practices.

I was diagnosed with anxiety at age 16.

I was on a myriad of medications for the first few years. I ended up going off and on these medications until my mid 20s, never feeling like anything truly worked for me. Around that time I went to my very first yoga class with a girlfriend. If you’ve never been to a yoga class, the first few minutes before and after are typically used to relax,  ground and center yourself, take cleansing breaths and clear your mind.

Well this was a foreign idea to someone who was used to go, go, go, go, go… My mind is usually in 20 places at once and at any given moment I’m usually overthinking some small task/interaction/conversation/past mistake. You know how squirrels twitch and dart about? Yeah, that was usually me. So when I was forced to sit still, close my eyes and just….breath, you’d think it would do me a world of good…

Nope. I was terrible at it.

I was twitchy. I envisioned worse case scenarios. I’d have flashbacks to every time someone showed me animosity. But there was a faint edge of calm that I was grasping at, and while on many days I couldn’t actually achieve it, it always seemed that I was on the brink of something that felt really good. I liked it.

So I tried meditating more often.

I talked to my yoga instructors, I read books, I asked friends. Slowly. Ever so slowly, I began relaxing while sitting quietly. I started being able to truly clear my mind and feel a connection with the universe–with something much bigger than myself. I was able to create an organized prayer, an intimate conversation with my Creator. Dang, it felt good.

Sure, the world and all it’s problems came back when I opened my eyes. But setting them all aside for a few beautiful minutes didn’t make them any worse or harder to confront. Setting aside the world for a few minutes can do so much good for your soul. Focusing on one prayer, one gratitude are the key to creating your calm.

So now that you have a little back story on me, I’d like you to try it for yourself.

Are you a nervous little squirrel like me? Or do you have trouble finding motivation?

Try this:

Sit upright but comfortably. Place your feet flat on the ground, or sit directly on the ground. You want to be grounded… this is literally you touching the ground. Think of it as channeling energy through the earth.

Decide an intention. This could be the affirmation that you’ll do amazing on that upcoming interview. It could be that you’re searching for the courage to start that workout program. It could be that you want to find a bit of inner peace. Whatever your intention is, hold on to it.

Place your hands on your knees, palms up. Through your open hands, you will be able to receive energies from above, the Universe, your Creator.

Once you close your eyes, move them up and inward. Try to “look” out from the spot between your eyebrows. This is considered your Third Eye Chakra. Keep your eyes closed and take deep, long, breaths.

Breath in through your nose and out of your mouth. Breath deeply and slowly.

Clear your mind. This part isn’t easy. I’m almost embarrassed to tell you that when I first started attempting to “clear my mind” I would imagine one of those children’s picture books; the one about colors….

Yep. This is exactly what I imagined.

I’d focus on black. The absence of color. If I focused intently on this shade, I’d eventually get to the point where I could stop thinking about everything else.

Next, envision whatever part of you is touching the ground as having deep roots, anchoring you to something much bigger than yourself. Feel all your worries, thoughts and stresses moving through your body and down through your roots, being released into the ground to be recycled. Hold this visual for a bit, then bring up your intention.

Maybe: I will walk into this interview full of confidence. The interviewer will be impressed with my knowledge and personality. I am an energetic match for this position.

Or maybe something like: I choose to cherish my body and begin on the road to creating a healthy, vibrant life for myself. I will honor what God has given me by eating well and exercising as best I can. I am worth it.

Then: As I breath in, I imagine white, happy light filling my body and as I breath out, I imagine all the worries, pains, and anger as a dark wind leaving my body. I will shine with a new, happy and positive light.

Hold this intention while you continue your deep breathing. Feel the feeling of your intention coming to fruition. If you want, speak a few words of prayer to God to solidify your vision.

Open your eyes and bring yourself out slowly. More deep breaths. Move only when you feel you’re ready to.

OK. What did ya’ll think?

Focusing takes practice and shutting out the din of the outside world takes concentration. I am confident that practicing meditation on a consistent basis can help with creating focus and calm in your life. This is a way of putting your intention and energy out into the universe. When you are an energetic match for your goals, there is nothing that can stop you!

Obviously, I still have anxiety. Some days I am absolutely unable to meditate because I’m so scatterbrained. It’s on those days that just attempting to meditate actually helps me remember what it feels like to slow down. And that can be so helpful.

Give it a try. Let me know your experiences.

Jenna Danielle