Everyone has heard of meditation and how beneficial it can be – so in honour of World Meditation Day, we asked one of our members to share their experiences. Tracy Hammond – a Personal Assistant – shares her meditation journey, plus a short meditation to get you started, below.
Have you tried to meditate or do you think it is too ‘woo woo’? Today is World Meditation Day so there is no better time than now, to give it a go!
This is written by someone who meditates but let’s keep this real. I aim to practise daily but it doesn’t always happen. So, there is room for improvement personally. I understand that we all have the pressure of time constraints – one major excuse for not starting or practising regularly. As women, we constantly put our needs behind others. But what I have learnt is that meditation is the one thing we should not give up on because of the benefit in helping you manage those time constraints and the pressures of life, and in a less stressful way.
So what is meditation?
According to Headspace:
Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgement. And eventually you may start to understand them better.
And as for the benefits?
Well better focus, relaxation, increased energy, a decrease in stress, perhaps improved sleep – and there will be more depending on who you speak to. For me? It also starts my day in a positive way and with a clear mind and a wonderful sense of clarity.
As business owners we know that we make the best decisions when our minds are clear. We are relaxed and focused. So a little time spent meditating is not only an investment in our wellbeing but surely good for business too. So perhaps meditation is one tool missing from your business tool box?
But what if you have never meditated before?
I have trained to take small groups in meditation and one reason for not meditating is ‘how do I stop the thoughts that continually pop into my mind?’ Also known as ‘monkey mind’.
According to Buddhist principles, the ‘monkey mind’ is a term that refers to being ‘unsettled, restless, or confused’. Thoughts coming in. Your mind constantly on the go. But how do you stop this internal chatter Quite simply, you don’t! You simply acknowledge the thought(s) as they come in, let it or them go and then focus back into your meditation.
The easiest way to do this is to start with a breath meditation where your focus is on your breath, so let’s have a quick go.
Remember, relax, don’t beat yourself up, chill out, just have a go. Practice is really the way forward with meditation but start with a few minutes and build up. I would suggest when you wake up is an ideal time to meditate and set your day up in a positive way. But if you are busy working mum then perhaps later in the day is better. Find what works for you.
A simple breath meditation
- Sit comfortably, cross legged on the floor or on a chair
- If on a chair, legs uncrossed with feet flat on the floor
- Sit up straight if you can
- Lower your gaze or close your eyes – depending on where you are and what is comfortable for you
- Focus on the physical sensation of your breath, breathing in and breathing out
- As thoughts come in, acknowledge them but then go back to focusing on your breath
- Do as long as you need then open your eyes or raise your gaze
- Take some time to notice how you now feel compared to when you started your practice
If you are stressed at work this is perfect to do and easier now to grab a moment if working from home. Nobody needs to know how you got from frazzled to zen in a matter of minutes!
And you have begun.
It’s as simple as that.
It is truly about having a go. Perhaps find an App you like to guide you on your onward journey. There is ‘Headspace’ and ‘Calm’ but I love ‘Balance’. I play the waves sounds a lot with my headphones on. There is something about the calming effects of water for me.
I love meditation and today, on World Meditation Day, I am committing to improving the regularity of my practice. Are you going to commit to having a go? After all, what is not to like about taking some time out to sit quietly by yourself…