I have heard time and again how meditation has brought about immense clarity in people’s lives.
I bet that is something you want to achieve. When you are thinking meditation, you are clearly seeing yourself in white flowing robes sitting somewhere peaceful unaffected by your surroundings. All that sounds so great but a bit hard to implement. Doesn’t it? Instead, when you actually sit down to meditate, all those random thoughts start flying inside your brain like dementors (Harry Potter lives in us).
Then you ask, how do you start? How to conquer your restlessness? Is there a way to meditate while not being still?
My answer is sure there. Your form of meditation can be anything you connect to. It can dancing, painting, writing, running, singing, I am telling you it can be anything. However, the type of meditation I am talking about requires stillness. It requires you to connect with yourself, your intent, your inner calm, and your strength.
The next quest is to start. STARTing is the most difficult part of this practice because it can get boring if not done right. Let me help you start with 7 beginner steps.
1. Keep your phone away from the bed
Before going to bed, make sure to keep the phone at a place where you have to get off the bed and walk over to switch off the alarm.
2. Put two alarms and wake up at the first
We all have the habit of setting multiple alarms spaced 5 mins way (at one point in my life it was 10!). Instead set only two alarms spaced 10 mins away. The first one is the ring where you wake up and the second one is safety just in case you don’t hear the first one.
3. Sit at the edge of the bed or on the floor
Once you have successfully switched off the alarm (not snoozed) then sit either at the edge of the bed or on the floor. I have kept a soft seating cushion near the foot of my bed so that I can sit there comfortably to meditate
4. Resist the urge to look at your messages
At this point, if you are going to use guided meditation (lots of free resources online) you might have to see your phone. If you do, make sure to resist looking at the notifications. A good practice is to switch off the notifications the previous night so that they are all hidden in the apps and not waiting to tempt you first thing in the morning.
5. Meditate for just 5 mins
Since you are starting out, allocate just five minutes. Just FIVE minutes for your meditation for the next 30 days. Fold your legs together, palms facing up and just start taking deep breaths to clear your mind. Ask yourself your intent, your purpose. Talk to yourself even if there are no answers in the beginning. The first week might result in your mind wandering off again but in the second week, you will find a certain peace in continuing the ritual you started just for YOURSELF. In the third week, you will be able to immerse and clear your mind in the practice and possibly extend that time. The fourth week you will have extended that time, just reveling in the joy of connecting with yourself.
6. Journal for the next five minutes
Open your eyes after those 5 beautiful minutes and take your journal which you would have kept beside your meditating area. Write down three things you appreciate in your life at that moment, two affirmations and three goals for the day. That’s it. All of them can be a few words, one-liners or paragraphs. Completely up to you.
7. Drink a glass of water and have an amazing day
Set your journal aside. Drink a glass of water and take a few deep breaths and you are ready to tackle and embrace your day.
That is something I wanted in my life for a long time but ended up making huge mistakes of overcommitting. I was pushing myself into the practice as if I was a born yogi. Then altered my approach and started taking baby steps towards making this wonderful practice my habit. Now I can do 20 – 30 minutes at a stretch. Took me two weeks to get into the habit and it’s my very first time.
Start tomorrow! You got this!!!!