“Half an hour’s meditation is essential except when you are very busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
— Francis de Sales
Daily meditation is an excellent way to care for yourself, and a great opportunity to rest your mind while you take a time-out from the outside world. Meditation involves sitting quietly in the privacy of your own thoughts. Not only does this type of alone time create a wonderful feeling of inner peace and relaxation, but it is vital for deepening the connection to your authentic true self. Therefore, it’s an ideal opportunity to ask for guidance, listen to your inner voice, and take those steps that are in harmony with your overall well-being.
Conversely, when you spend a lot of time distracted by other things and people, it’s easy to lose track of what’s best for you. When you experience a disconnect between your mind and heart, then you’ll be making decisions from an intellectual standpoint rather than from your intuition and feelings.
Making relationship decisions (or any other life decisions) based solely on what looks good on paper or sounds impressive to others while ignoring any conflicting feelings you may have leads to disastrous results. For example, you may feel uncomfortable with someone, but your family likes him or her so you ignore your own discomfort and stay with this person.
Then, you may find out later that your intuition was right all along, and that this individual was dishonest or abusive. Had you listened to your “gut,” you could have spared yourself a lot of pain. Your intuition, or mind’s eye, can often pick up information that you don’t physically observe yet, so the stronger your alignment is with your heart and soul, the more fine-tuned your awareness will be. Many misalignments can be alleviated through meditation, as it calls into play all your senses.
When your inner world is at peace, you are uplifted, and better able to handle the challenges and concerns in the outer world. There is less worry about the future, and more focus on the present moment. From that place, your inner knowing will serve as a guide as you travel through your many life experiences. Additionally, when you’re actively involved in meditation, it changes the way you experience stress—and even prevents the formation of stressful thoughts in the first place.
You can meditate anywhere, but creating a dedicated area or room in your home where you won’t be disturbed works quite well. When you take the time to connect with yourself in this peaceful atmosphere, you’ll find that your mind and heart feel nourished, and the result will be a sense of overall rejuvenation.
Here are some suggestions for starting a meditation practice:
• Concentrate on your breathing by counting from one to ten as you breathe in and out.
• Repeat a calming prayer, phrase, or expression such as: “My life is a gift” over and over.
• Focus on the moment, and when your mind drifts off, gently bring it back to the present.
• Listen to a guided meditation CD.
• Observe your thoughts as if you were watching a movie.
• Mentally place any worries, fears, and problems on a cloud and let them drift away.
In the meditative space you have created, just sit quietly for whatever amount of time feels comfortable to you, even if it’s just 5 minutes and see how it makes you feel.