It’s the new year and I love January! It’s a chance to start over and try new things. I love my holiday decorations but feel so refreshed when they are all away. The house looks clean and simple and is a reminder of new beginnings. This January I decided to give meditation another chance. I have tried it a few times but never made it a routine. I haven’t taken the time to properly research why I always felt I wasn’t doing it ‘the right way.’ I’ll explain what brought me to this decision as it’s important to understand the ‘why.’ I’ve always enjoyed anything that could improve a persons mental health. I most likely gave up on meditation because I wasn’t ready to let it into my life. I always feel a person needs to do new things when they are ready, forcing something never works and leaves you feeling disappointed in yourself. Any time I have worked on my mind and pushed myself on the inside, the benefits have helped me gain confidence, self-esteem and feel truly empowered.
I was listening to a guest on a podcast this week who was discussing meditation. It was Sheena Mannina, the founder of a juice bar in New Orleans, Raw Republic. Something struck a chord, in particular hearing her discuss how one really needs to give meditation a chance, a solid one week try to fully feel the results. Everything Sheena said made sense. I probably gave up in the past because as with most new things, I didn’t see an immediate result. Clearing your mind and truly focusing cannot be achieved in one 20 minute session. I was also intrigued by a 10 day meditation retreat she went on where you are not to speak (at all) for the entire time! I researched this and found out it was called ‘Vipassana Mediation.’ Continuing to read up on this intense form of meditation further solidified that I really wanted to try it out on a smaller scale.
To start I got out my iPhone and downloaded a few meditation apps to try out. Having a good app I am used to opens up the ability to meditate anywhere I am. I could do it on vacation, anywhere in the house and outside. I had read all about creating a quiet space so I felt the best way to achieve true calm was to use the headphones my phone came with (I had never used them and now love them for so many things). This really created a perfectly quiet atmosphere to begin.
A lot of apps use a guided meditation method which is great for beginners. One app I didn’t like was using a bit too much ‘guiding,’ for me. In this particular app you could choose specific meditation sessions such as ‘ family stress,’ or ‘holiday stress.’ The person talking on the app would say pointed comments to guide you that just opened up a whole memory bank of issues that I wasn’t into digging up. I prefer the guiding to be more open ended so I can insert any problems I may be having at the moment to work through.
I found an app I love called ‘Take a Break.’ It is free, simple, and just really spoke to me. There are controls to change the volume of both the person talking and the background music so you can adjust it to your preference. After a few sessions I didn’t want to hear the person as strongly as the calming music since I had gotten the hang of it. You can also set the music to loop so that after the person is through their guiding session you can do your own unguided mediation or just spend a few moments relaxing.
I’ve really enjoyed it so far and have done it all this week. I’m starting to see the benefits and am going to keep it up just to explore all the positive results it can have. As with anything new, I’ve found you have to make it your own, so that it works for you. One day I mediated three times for just a few minutes each because it was so relaxing and I had a few interruptions. I don’t worry about how much time I devote to it, some days I did only ten minutes, right now I’m just focused on doing it every day.
Thanks for reading and hope something in here inspired you!
Lv, Julie ♥