Meditation 101


Everywhere I go lately people ask me about meditation. I talk about it from time to time with friends, coworkers, and on social media, so it makes sense. But behind the scenes it's felt more like synchronicity.

I've been feeling called to share about my practice for a while, and to marry my ability to educate people about meditation with my business. I love sharing what I’ve learned and want to empower people by helping them create their own practice. The more I deepen my practice, the more people gravitate towards me and ask to hear about my experience, so I'm finally showing up to share it with you.

Meditation is something I dabbled with on and off for several years, never fully committing to making it a regular practice. Over the last year, it's something that's saved my sanity when life has been more overwhelming and stressful than ever (see: had a baby, planned a DIY wedding, worked full-time, ran a side business, and bought a house).

When I sit in solitude during my meditation practice, I'm able to tune out all the noise and distractions present in my daily life. I can get quiet and listen to the whispers of my soul, providing loving guidance. I connect with my inner wisdom and divine feminine knowledge that helps me make the best decisions for myself, my family, and my business - intuitively. If you're looking for a way to strengthen and tap into your intuition, meditation is a great place to start.

Now that I’ve been practicing for a while, I can more consciously recognize the moments I'm in over my head and use some of the skills I've developed through my practice to cope with overwhelm.

I've learned how to use my breath to guide me through feelings of stress and anxiety, and to put distance between myself and any unwanted thoughts. Concentrating on my breath helps me shift my focus back to what's going on in the present moment instead dwelling on things in the past that I can’t change, or future tripping about stuff that probably won’t ever happen.

I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.
— Mark Twain

As I’m breathing, I think to myself "am I ok in this moment?" The answer is usually a resounding "yes," even if I’m dealing with something difficult. Fun fact: I also found tuning into my breath a huge help during labor and childbirth!

Now that I check in with myself more regularly, I have greater self-awareness of my wants and needs. I’ve learned how to set healthy boundaries to protect my time and energy so that I’m not constantly depleted.

It took meditation to make myself aware of how unhealthy my relationship to technology and always being plugged in was, and allowed me to acknowledge why I felt the need to constantly engage in other people’s lives instead of my own. I've also used meditation to begin to work through some past traumas I wasn't previously willing to deal with so that I can heal those emotional scars.

I'm not going to lie, some days it's a real struggle to sit with my thoughts and feelings, especially when I'm headed down the rabbit hole of negativity. Meditation isn't a quick-fix solution to attain inner peace, but it does serve as a catalyst for change when you crave it, and helps you transform into your highest and best self. It can help you recognize and shed limiting beliefs and negative habitual thought patterns so that you can create space for what it is you want in life. You become aware of your thoughts and can quickly shift or reframe them to serve you rather than work against you.

Since so many people ask me "how do you meditate?" I thought I'd put together a simple yet comprehensive guide to point them to (keep reading to the end of this post to find out how to get access!). There are tons of entire books on the subject (some of my favorites are included in the Additional Resources section of the guide), so this is by no means an all-inclusive guide to everything that's available on the subject of meditation. However, I think we often make meditation out to be this overcomplicated, grandiose activity that we need to commit to practicing hours and hours a day to gain any real benefit from it, which makes it feel inaccessible.

When it really comes down to it, meditation in its simplest form is the art of sitting with ourselves and being present with whatever is showing up for us in the moment - in mind, body, and spirit. It can start with just a few minutes a day and still have a positive impact on your life. It’s not about getting your mind to be a blank slate with zero thoughts or activity going on, but rather to acknowledge what thoughts do pass through and gently let them go without judging them.

Meditation also allows you to cultivate mindfulness, which enables you to show up fully when you're living life off the meditation cushion. Mindfulness helps you become aware of your thoughts and actions and less reactive because you're truly present with yourself, others, and situations that arise.

Feel free to comment on this post or contact me with any questions you have and I'll do my best to answer them! You can find additional meditation info and offerings here.

Photo Credit: Stacy Schwartz, CEO of  Ketanga Fitness Retreats, LLC

Photo Credit: Stacy Schwartz, CEO of Ketanga Fitness Retreats, LLC

Meditation 101