MEDITATION...IS IT HOOEY OR HELPFUL? PART 1
By Rachael Taylor
I just watched a fantastic interview that Marie Forleo did with Tim Ferriss, the creator of the 4-Hour Work Week and although I had a lot of great aha moments, but the one that had the biggest impact on me was his morning routine.
He starts every morning with 20 minutes of meditation.
He doesn't check his phone or go through emails in bed, he wakes up, grabs some tea, and sits on a couch to meditate for 20 minutes. Then he goes about his day.
And he does this because it trains his brain to recognize triggers and patterns that are self-destructive and distracting. In a moment of frustration like when someone leaves a comment on your post that pushes your buttons or there's extra traffic on the freeway, you will start to recognize it and choose how you want to react.
I'll be honest with you, I've never had good thoughts about meditation.
It was always a bit woo-woo for me.
That time in yoga when you're laying down supposed to be meditating? Yeah, no...I fall asleep.
And he had the same apprehension to mediation as I did but now does it every morning and swears by it. In the interview, he tells Marie that it changed his life in a way that he never thought possible.
So I thought, OK Tim. I like you, I respect what you've accomplished, and I enjoy your books and writing.
And to be honest, this year my focus was to be open to new possibilities and do things that I wanted even though I was afraid to try them.
So I figured why not? I mean, what do I have to lose right?
And this morning, before I got out of bed, I meditated for 10 minutes.
I used a mantra type meditation, where you repeat a phrase in your mind and focus on your breathing. I put on a Calm Meditation Pandora playlist and slowly said the phrase "it's safe for me to be seen" until my timer beeped.
Why that mantra?
Because I'm not perfect.
And sometimes I can get insecure about going to networking meetings or calling a business I don't know to book a live talk.
I already use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) to tap on that fear but to meditate on it and really cement it into my body, felt great. And afterwards I felt great.
It was just as if not more effective than EFT because by focusing on my breathing my muscles relaxed. The tension in my neck and shoulders loosened and I made space in my day for my mental and emotional health.
Do you ever have those moments where you feel like your train is running off the rails? And you're overwhelmed and spiraling down without an end in sight?
That's exactly when you need to breathe.
Let's practice right now OK?
Stop what you're doing.
Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5.
Hold for a count of 5.
Exhale for a count of 5.
Hold for a count of 5.
Inhale and repeat. Now close your eyes and do this at least 2 more times.
How do you feel? Where did you feel tension in your body? Is it better? Totally gone?
That was a 30 second meditation that you just did. How cool is that???
You don't have to make it this big thing. A lot of my clients tell me that they don't have time or they don't have a quiet enough space to meditate. And if that's what you're thinking right now, then I'm here to tell you that you can get amazing results, clarity, and stress release from doing this breathing pattern for 30 seconds a couple times a day.
You can do this in the car, at your desk, on your lunch break, waiting in line, cooking dinner, watching tv, taking a shower or bath, reading...basically almost all of your daily activities.
Since I'm trying meditation for the first time, I'm committing myself (and to you) that I will meditate for 10 minutes every morning from now until my post next week and see if I really feel a difference.
Want to join my meditation challenge? Here's How!
1. Commit yourself to meditating for a set amount of time in the morning before you start your day.
2. Set the intention that your meditation is to help train your brain to recognize triggers and patterns that are distracting and harming you.
3. Find your mantra. Pick a phrase to repeat in your mind that resonates with your intention and what you would like to work on.
4. Get a calming mediation music channel to help you focus. (I used Pandora).
5. Before you meditate, set an alarm on your phone to gently beep (no crazy or upsetting ringtones here people) to tell you that you have reached your time.
6. Sit crossed legged (or in a chair if that's uncomfortable) and with a tall spine.
7. Turn on your music.
8. Focus on your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. Slowly and with control and relax your neck and shoulders.
9. Close your eyes and repeat your mantra silently in your head.
10. If you start to feel your mind wander, gently let them drift through and turn your attention back to your breath.
Leave a comment below or in the Facebook group that you are joining in on the meditation challenge. Tell me how long you are going to commit to meditate for and what your mantra will be. I'd love to hear from you!
I look forward to reporting back to you what I find – until next time!
Remember, today is the day you take back your life.