Kimberly Novosel is an author and self-development expert who shares her video blogs and guest posts on Spring and Chelsea.
What comes to mind when you think of the word “meditation?” Maybe funny chants and gurus and “vibrations.” If you practice yoga then the images that come to mind might be a little moreapproachable, like “OM” sounds or how yoga class ends in savasana where you’re supposed to remain completely still and quiet your mind. Though you may spend that time thinking about how hard it is to lie still, or all the things you have to do as soon as you’re allowed to get up and leave class. Mediation is something that is just now becoming seen as a practice that can enhance the lives of everyone. It’s not religious – by that I mean meditating won’t conflict with whatever religion you practice – but it is spiritual. We are all spiritual beings and meditation can only enhance the connection we have with that part of ourselves.
Meditation can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You can spend 20 minutes focusing on a single thought or word until you truly feel a shift within yourself. I’m not there yet either, so don’t feel pressure to jump into that place. More simply, spend 5 minutes in a quiet space. Don’t look at your phone, laptop or iPad. Don’t look around the room at the dishes that need washed or your kids toys on the floor that should have been put away before they left for school. Just sit (or lie) in any position that feels comfortable, close your eyes, and breathe.
Another misconception of meditation is that you should be able to “clear your mind.” It’s not that easy, so don’t scold yourself for not being able to do that. Instead, let the thoughts come and go from your mind. Don’t dwell on any one thing that’s calling your attention, rather recognize it and release it. It helps me if I listen to myself breathe. I was ending my yoga practice the other day with five minutes of meditation and was focusing on the sound of my breath. I began thinking about how my breath sounded so much like the ocean, like those sound machines that play ocean wave sounds, and I imagined the pulsing flow of water as I listened to the rhythm I created. It was so calming and distracted my mind from any nagging thoughts.
That’s my challenge for you this week: Take five minutes each day to meditate. Throw away preconceived notions and discover what it means to you to meditate. Use your Count Me Healthy bracelet to count each day, or like I use one of mine you can count the times you “check in” (take a breath and assess how you feel in that moment – a little mini meditation) each day.
Report back in the comments here or tweet me @kimberlynovosel – I’d love to hear what you learn by enhancing your day with this 5 minutes for yourself!