Focus your energy on your presence right
n o w.
Pause. Notice the posture you hold.
Breathe in and feel the air flow through your body,
down your core,
and into your arms, legs, and extremities.
Breathe out and observe the release as your muscles relax into the moment.
Breathe in, presence.
Breathe out, peace.
Meditation is finding now. It is a beautiful tool that has a calming affect on anxiety in the body and mind. When I began my wellness journey, my counselor, holistic doctor, and medical doctor all told me I needed to integrate meditation into my daily routine. That it would slow my racing racing mind, soothe my tense, aching muscles, and ground me in present peace. I knew I should try it, but the idea of slowing myself down to a halt and just sitting there seemed so out of reach. I have never been someone who could empty my mind and just be. I didn’t think it was possible.
I knew meditation would help my anxiety. At the time, I felt I had lost everything and everyone I built my adult life around. I was frustrated, confused, and unhappy. I identified completely as an anxious person. I was enslaved by my intense worry and negativity. I was sitting in an open field in the middle of a storm, legs crossed, tall grass whipping my knees, and hair blowing around in a Tasmanian swirl. I wanted to feel in control of my life story. I wanted to love myself again.
I guess there’s something about desire and intention with a bit of desperation that makes committing to meditating possible.
During that dark time, I was reminded that meditation is a practice. So I wouldn’t immediately feel calm after my first meditation. Or even my first three. Meditation is a conscious choice. It’s a calm that is cultivated little by little, without destination or perfection.
Somehow, in knowing that I would never be “there”, I was free.
Understanding this motivated me to make meditation a daily ritual. For the next eight weeks I woke up each morning, made myself tea, journaled, and meditated. I learned about mindfulness, gained body awareness, and focused on self-love.
If you want to start a mediation practice, do it. Find your motivation, your desperation.
Carve out a time in your day to commit to focusing on the breath and being present. That may be first thing in the morning. It may be during a short run. It may be in a quiet room at lunch time. Or it may be at the end of your day as you wind down for bed.
There are many meditation apps that can help you get started. Gaia’s “Meditation Studio” app has my favorite beginner’s course. The “Calm” app has a focused breathing tool as well as integrated nature sounds to ground you in the moment. Insight Timer, Headspace, and Simple Habit are some other great options as well. Try one or try all of them to figure out which one fits you best.
As you start your practice and seek out presence, may you be warm in heart and calm in mind.