Easy Meditating for On-the-Go Professionals
I was dragged to my first-ever meditation class. Sure, I had heard of this mind quieting madness, but I just didn’t feel like it was possible for me. And honestly, it just sounded straight-up boring.
My good friend brought me to this class taught by a very well known yoga instructor. The instructions were easy: sit on your mat, close your eyes for 30 minutes, disregard your thoughts and focus on your breath. That was it.
As you can imagine, I was totally turned off because I was rebelliously thinking (because I wasn’t supposed to be thinking), “Who has 30 minutes a day to sit in silence?” The thought actually stressed me out, which defeated the purpose.
While I didn’t leave the class drinking the proverbial Kool-Aide, I did recognize that my mind needed a break. Something needed to change. I was exhausted by the chaos living in my head.
Like most things in my life, I decided to make meditation my own. I began reading and researching everything brain and meditation related. I experimented and took note of the outcome.
What I learned was meditation is not simply sitting in silence. Of course, traditionalists and those who have been studying the practice for many years will disagree with me. But that’s okay, right? We’re not here to make everyone happy. We’re here to find what works for us.
Recently, I partnered up with Hilton Garden Inn to share tips for traveling business ladies as part of a wellness centered campaign. Right away I thought, I have to talk about meditation. Because incorporating our meditation practice into our travels can be magical. And when we’re traveling for business, quieting our mind can mean the difference between a successful meeting and the kind where we leave second-guessing ourselves.
What I want to do today is to share how meditation works for me, a crazy, on-the-go #girlboss, wife, and mother-of-three. My hope is that this can help you make a strategy for yourself. Because there is no better way to get to know yourself than through personal silence.
WHAT IS THE POINT OF MEDITATION?
Meditation is Meant to Calm our Mind
The point of meditation, really, is to give our mind a break. We invite it to allow itself to jump off the hamster wheel. The goal really is that simple: to give the mind a rest. As a bonus, what eventually begins to happen is that we start to realize that those crazy thoughts that go, go, go all day are just the automatic habit of the brain and not really our true selves. Through observing our thoughts, we start to understand ourselves better and why we do certain things or hit blocks. It’s like checking underneath the hood of our cars.
WHAT IF I CAN’T SIT IN SILENCE?
There are Other Ways of Calming the Mind that Don’t Involve Sitting in Silence
The most common response I get from people when it comes to meditating is, “I just can’t sit there long enough.” Well, guess what: you can give your mind a break in other ways.
Writing is one form of meditation for me. My brother, a super active person who can’t sit still, looks to surfing, biking, and most recently kit boarding as his way of shutting off all those unruly thoughts.
You may already know the activities that shut off your brain. If you know what they are, find easy ways to incorporate them into your life. That can be dancing for 10 minutes every morning or going for a bike ride.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR MEDITATION?
Meditation is a State of Mind
Even when we’re traveling, working, or parenting we can still meditate. We can do this by committing to focusing on one task. For instance, I am focusing on this article right now. I’m doing my best not to jump to checking my phone or my email. This is me being present in what I am doing.
WHERE CAN A NEWBIE START?
Guided Meditations and Group Meditations are Great for Starters
If I didn’t start off in a group meditation, I probably would have quit after the first three minutes. Groups keep us accountable. You’ll sit there because everyone else is sitting there. Check your local yoga studio for group classes.
Guided meditations are a personal fave of mine. In this scenario, we’re sitting in silence but we’re focused on a voice and a visualization. We still get the benefits of giving our mind a break, but we don’t have to feel so alone in the process. On my podcast, I have a few guided meditations, but of course, there are tons of great ones out there on the worldwide web.
Lastly, if you are interested in taking the traditional route, simply sitting in silence for five minutes every morning is enough to get you started. All you have to do is sit in relaxed by active position, focus on your breath, and encourage yourself to detach from your thoughts. Meaning, the thoughts will come up, but do your best to not engage in them. When the thoughts get persistent, I like to imagine myself sealing them in a mason jar. It’s a great way to shut them up!
Still have some burning questions about meditation? Check out my free guided meditations right here.