2017 is literally running away from us. We’re down to the last few months and so much is happening day-to-day, week-to-week, that we feel like we don’t have time to catch up or to slow down. But somewhere between all of the political drama, social turmoil, media and news fallacies; somewhere between work, school, family, relationships and our individual lives, we need to find time to nurture ourselves. It’s time to reclaim your time!
We spend most of our waking days immersed in screens of constant feeds. Messages, tweets, photos, memes, articles, videos, stats, information that drags you into a state of analysis paralysis. It’s a lot! But where in all of this do we pause to realign and disconnect? When was the last time you fell into a deep state of calm?
Sounds nice, right? Get meditation into your day-flow. Here are some of my top tips to successful meditation in a busy schedule.
1. Be prepared to sacrifice.
The fact is, if you want results (in anything) or to evolve your state of being, you'll have to submit to sacrifice. Whether it be time or sleep, you must be prepared to either wake up earlier or set aside extra time before bed.
Zen Quote: “You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day – unless you're too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”
2. Choose your method(s) of meditation based on what you know about yourself — but be open to test different types.
Concentration: Brings your mind to a single point. Focus on one thing singularly — it can be anything from breathing to third eye chakra or a single part of the body. Concentration requires a great deal of discipline to keep your mind on one singular thing, but it helps to settle your thoughts, maintain focus and separates you from the day to minutiae.
Contemplation: Create positive or affirming scenarios. Focus on goals, the future and ideas. Play them out in your mind and visualize positive outcomes. This type is good for manifestation. The more you positively visualize, the more driven you will be to make those thoughts reality because you've “seen” them happen.
Mantra/Chanting: Speaking, humming and thinking repetitively. Focus on what those words/sounds mean to you and how they can benefit your well being and life. Repeating them helps with concentration and contemplation.
Transcendent: Goes beyond thought by using sound. The frequencies of these sounds bring your mind into the deeper delta brainwaves. Your mind becomes still — awake and conscious, but no thoughts, just vibration. This type of mediation balances and heals.
Zen Quote: “The opposite of mediation is stress. We need to restore balance to repair stress and fatigue.”
3. Morning bird or night owl?
Morning: Use your snooze time to mediate.
I know snooze is life, but start by just chanting the word sacrifice (see tip #1) in bed. Think about the meaning and benefits of sacrifice and let the thought motivate you out of your bed and to your place of zen. Morning meditation activates your focus and calm, which is a state your mind and body will enjoy and want to stay within. You’ll be less susceptible to stress and more focused throughout the day.
Night: Calm your mind for a deep sleep.
Day-to-day stress keeps our minds and bodies in survival mode. We are constantly moving, working, thinking and stressing, and our bodies need rest to recover and rebalance. Meditation is the first step to a consistent REM night of sleep. The increased attention/focus slows the thoughts, helping your brain relax and not race before bed.
Both morning and night meditation prevent stress and anxiety throughout the day. You’ll have space to calmly address issues because your drive to stay in the state of calm will be stronger.
4. Try it for 30 days straight.
Again we come back to sacrifice, but here we add discipline. Spend time meditating on these words and let that motivate you to make it for 30 days straight. After 30 days, choose your system. Maybe you'll cut back to 3 or 4 times a week, but maybe you'll love the results so much you continue to practice every day. Point being, you want to fully commit at first, push yourself and test your drive. Reap the benefits to understand its power.
#5: Journal your experience.
Write about your sensations, thoughts, emotions and feelings before and after your meditation sessions. Journaling will help you keep track of your emotional changes, teach you about yourself, clarify your thoughts and ideas and help with problem-solving. It manages to act as its own form of mediation, as you are focused and self-reflective in your expression.
#6: Enact a lifestyle change
Build time for mediating into your daily life. Think of it the same way you think about brushing your teeth or eating a meal. Rest it into your day-to-day and don't treat it as an add-on. With time you will learn more about who you are, what you want and how you will achieve it. You will teach yourself through positive thought to be better and live well, ultimately reaching higher frequencies. Higher frequencies = more joy! Enjoy!