“In prayer you communicate with God; in meditation, God communicates with you ...
In silence lies the ability to listen.” - Julia White
Last night on my radio show "Mind Body Spirit Hour", my co-host Shelly Wilson and I, shared the importance of connecting with our higher self through meditation. We realize that meditation is a stumbling block for many people. This is mostly because we traditionally think of meditation as a quieting of the mind, an activity by which we leave all our thoughts behind and become blank canvases. For those who can achieve this, meditation is a wonderful component of their spiritual lives. But for the rest of us, meditation looks like something reserved for monks. In fact, one of the most common statements I hear over and over again from my clients is that they "just can't meditate".
What if I gave you some simple steps to get started, and told you that meditation does not require hours of practice per day? As we mentioned last night on the radio, I promise that once you make the decision to awaken your spirituality and connect with your soul -- you will find that changes start happening. Once you make the decision to connect to your higher self and ALL that is, we are awakened to our true calling. Just being willing to release all pain on the cellular level, we begin a metamorphasis almost instantaneously.
Okay, so you have set the intention to open yourself up to the wonders of a spiritual life -- now what? At least once a day, all you need to do is sit in quiet and stillness. Then simply watch as your deep desires slowly open before you, revealing the honesty and joy of your higher self.
Meditation doesn't have to be difficult. Meditation is simply focused awareness on ALL that is within you, waiting to be valued. Instead of trying to suspend all thoughts during meditation, decide to pay attention only to certain thoughts. For instance, listen to your breathing, or gentle classical music, orfocus on the sounds of your heart beating. You can also focus on a single image such as a candle, budding rose, or an angel figure. Try not to get frustrated with any thoughts that want to intrude. Instead, simply greet those thoughts and ask them to please step aside for now. Then, go back to the image or the focus you had before.
Here are some basic pointers on how to meditate:
1) Sit comfortably. I prefer to sit in a chair where my feet can rest comfortably on the ground. There's no need to sit in a cross legged position on the floor, unless you are perfectly comfortable that way. You may also lie down, but if you do, you might fall asleep.
2) Dress in comfortable clothes. You really don't need to go out and buy special yoga pants, etc! Casual sweat pants, or even pajamas, will do.
3) Eating right before you meditate isn’t recommended. If you eat and then want to meditate, plan to take an hour to let your meal digest. Avoid eating heavy or processed foods prior, so that energy flows easier and your focus remains unclogged.
4) You can light candles, burn incense, use crystals, etc. Whatever puts you in the mood. Try to do this each time you meditate, so that it becomes a ritual for you. Meditating at a certain time everyday, is also helpful.
5) Start with 5-10 minutes a day, with the intention of working your way toward longer meditation. It's a lot easier than you think, once you get used to it. Some people spend an hour a day, or 30 minutes in the morning and at night, meditating. The more you meditate, the stronger your connection to your higher self will be. I personally meditate for at least 15 minutes every morning. When I do not take that time for myself, I notice a big difference -- I might feel rushed, or more easily frustrated with others, or the task before me.
Most people don’t believe they have the time to set aside an hour a day to meditating. And that’s fine. You don’t need to start with an hour, or even plan to work up to that. You can start with five minutes. Even two minutes will do! For example, if you take two more minutes each morning when you shower, and you allow yourself to stand under the water and meditate - you’ve practiced! Or, before you leave the house for the day, set down all your stuff by the front door, go sit on the couch, and focus on your breath. Two minutes, five minutes, and what do you know - you’ve practiced! The key is to be consistent and patient.
5) When you first begin meditating, where you do so is as important as how often and how long. In time, you’ll be able to meditate during a traffic jam, or while waiting in line at the grocery store. Pick some place at home or at the office where you can reliably go for a few minutes to get some peace and time to yourself. Maybe this is at the foot of your bed, or an unfrequented stairwell in the building where you work. Wherever it may be, make that your meditation space. You can choose to decorate it with candles, a soothing water fountain, tapestries, or crystals. Decorate with whatever will help make the location sacred to you.
6) Next decide how you would like to meditate. Do you want to sit in silence and clear your mind? Do you want to chant with a mantra? Do you want to play soft music? Do you want to focus on a candle? Do you want to send your intentions out into the Universe? Do you want to make contact with your higher self? You can simply say on the in breath, "I am light" and on the out breath, "I am love". Start with breathing naturally and purposely until you have created a comfortable rhythm.
As you commit to your practice, you’ll find that over time, how you meditate will change. There is no need after awhile to become too attached to one way of meditating. As your spiritual self becomes a stronger presence in your life, you will know what feels best for your purpose.
So what are you waiting for? Lets give it a try right now.
Two weeks ago, a bunch of us gathered in my living room to watch the DVD, "You Can Heal Your Life". It is an inspiring true story of a woman and reknowned author, Louise L. Hay, and how she changed her entire life by the power of positive affirmations & self healing.
If you have begun the wonderful journey of healing your own life, perhaps you are using affirmations to assist you daily? Perhaps you have become frustrated that you feel in a cycle of "nothing is happening" yet? And maybe you want to give up and return to the old negative self talk?
Well, please let me remind you that you are not alone. In fact, once you've begun saying and thinking your affirmations, it's important to practice patience. One of the biggest mistakes people make when using affirmations is giving up too soon! But would you not water your garden because the seeds didn't become grown plants overnight? No, of course not! Try and think of yourself as a gardener of your own life! You must cultivate the soil, water, weed, and fertilize to grow a beautiful life. To grow a wonderful life takes releasing the past, learning to think more effectively with affirmations, and trusting that your beautiful garden will blossom fully in time.
Using meditation and visualization can actually speed up the body's receptivity to positive changes, because these practices take you to a more powerful connection with your subconscious mind and Universal Energy. Meditation is simply a process of focusing your attention on your breath or on a short phrase. This will help you to balance emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. When you're in that quiet place, your heart and mind are connected, so doing your affirmations at this level is even more powerful than simply repeating them when you are in your usual busy, conscious state.
Many of my new clients, my friends and listeners on my radio show, tell me that they just can't stay focused enough to meditate! What if I told you that many years ago, I also struggled with "sitting still & quieting my busy mind"?! I want to offer a simple exercise to get you started.
Sit comfortably and relax. You don't need to sit cross-legged on the floor, if that isn't comfortable for you. Simply sit in your favorite chair, with your head rested & your feet firmly on the ground. Focus your attention on your breathing. As you breathe in, think to yourself, "I AM", and as you breath out, think to yourself, "relaxed." Count your breaths from one to four. Simply count mentally each time you exhale, starting with one and going to four. Repeat the counting over and over. Think to yourself, "calm and at peace" with each breath, or any other phrase that is relaxing for you. Imagine yourself in a beautiful, peaceful setting.
I also recommend Creative Visualization. This is something we all do every single day, yet we do not always visualize positive scenarios. Instead, we focus on that person who cut us off on the way to work, or how much we have on our to-do list, or all of the bills we have to pay, etc.
Creative Visualization is imagining, seeing, feeling, or describing something you would like to create. They bring in all of the senses along with affirmations to give your subconscious mind the EXPERIENCE of the reality you are creating. Your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between the reality "out there" and the one you create inside, so visualizations create a new "inner landscape" that in turn produces results on the outside. Many people say they cannot visualize, yet they can always describe their backyard, vehicle, or kitchen!
When we can somehow picture or feel what it is we want, then we're visualizing. It's really that simple. The feeling part is actually more important than really "seeing" the new reality, as the Universe responds most quickly to the feelings you send out (this is called your vibration). So, go ahead and give it a try! Once you are in a relaxed place, think or quietly repeat your affirmations, and visualize what your life would be like when they have already happened! Visualize as many details as you can! Is your desire to live on the ocean, start your own business, be happily married, or in a better state of health? Whatever it is that you want to create in your life, YOU have the power within you to do so. All you need is to be in alignment with what you say you want in your life. Take time everyday to meditate, affirm that you are achieving your desires easily, and visualize it as so -- really FEEL what it would be like, to BE living the life you desire!
The Paige Turner
Do what you say, and say what you mean. Those that mind, dont matter & those that matter, dont mind!
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