I purposefully didn’t use the “M” word in my title (racking your brain for the word I’m thinking about? It’s meditation!) For a lot of people, if you mention meditation they think of sitting still in a lotus position for hours while their mind whirls with lists and self recriminations:
“I can’t do this right”
“I’m a failure at meditation”
“Who has time to sit still?”
“This is uncomfortable!”
“Why do people even do this?!”
If the idea of meditation doesn’t scare you, I highly recommend Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s meditation apps. They are short segments of reflective ideas followed by a ten minute meditation that can be done anywhere. You can buy them, but new ones are offered for free if you sign up in the time window. Check them out.
Now, for those of you for whom the “M” word conjures up anxiety and body twitches, I offer an alternative that works for me. Meditation is only an opportunity to, as Oprah (and the bible:) says, BE STILL AND KNOW. It is an opportunity to pause and tune inward, past the swirling thoughts that occupy your mind to the essence that is you. After all, we are human beings, not human doings. We not only have the right to take time to just be, I have found it essential to my well being.
But, traditional meditation? Not my thing.
I take a cup of tea outside in the morning to start my day. Ten minutes of silence – no computers, phone, newspaper or to do lists for the day, just me and my cup. I have no agenda or goal, just time to be. And, you know what? Not only does my day start more calmly, but I have had the most knowing insights come to me as a result of my few moments of stillness. Not necessarily in those silent moments, but often after. For me, silence is the seed that grows the knowing I already have inside me. It just needs the space to bloom.
I urge you to make space for silence in your life. It could be sitting with a cup of tea, or listening to the breeze, taking a solo walk or enjoying a bubble bath. Just a few minutes a day to pause and breathe. Try it and see what happens. Breathe in the now…and if it includes a beverage of your choice, all the better!