Slowing Down with Meditation // Love Lessons

Welcome back to class sisters!

In case you missed the first class, ‘The Wonderful World of Tea’, catch up here.

What’s this all about? Find out in detail here. Love Lessons is my new series of blog posts all about a love of learning, and learning about things to help you love yourself, or just get inspired. The first lesson was about tea, and this second lesson is about…

Slowing Down with Meditation

What is meditation?

To most people in Europe and America, meditation is the latest health trend, to those in Asia, it is a sacred practice.

As a beginner, I see meditation in two halves. The first is a daily dedicated ritual, the second is a continuous perspective and mindfulness of the present moment.

So meditation can be many things viewed from different perspectives. In the purest sense meditation is simply taking time to pause. It is stopping and saying, “I don’t need to do anything right now. All I need to do is breathe, and be aware of my present self, without changing anything or trying to solve anything.”

How can it help me?

The benefits of meditation are widely documented, from ancient tradition, to modern revelation. It’s important to remember that even though this is a global movement, mediation is personal and can be tailored to you. You can practice almost anywhere, at anytime. You do not need to sit cross-legged, burn incense and chant mantras. But you can if you want to. Don’t worry about all the accessories and stereotypes. If you prefer, you don’t even have to call it meditation. It could simply be your quiet time.

The purpose of meditation is to slow down, to find focus, to observe your mind and your surroundings and to live in the present moment.

Beyond that it can develop into other things with further benefits which you can research in the numerous books, blogs, podcasts and videos on the subject.

meditation_lovelessons
Find your inner calm – a quick illustration by me!

How can I meditate?

Personally, I have found guided meditation most helpful. This can be found in the form of an app, where I would recommend both ‘Headspace’ and ‘Stop, Breathe & Think’ (plus they both have great design!). The first is good as a starting point, with cute and useful videos, but after 10 days you need to subscribe if you want new content. ‘Stop, Breathe & Think’ is great because it asks you to ‘check in’ each day too, so you can track your moods over time. I also recommend reading this article: Meditation for Beginners: 20 Practical Tips for Understanding the Mind, from one of my favourite blogs.

Otherwise you could simply put on relaxing music, or sit in silence, set a timer for between 5-20 minutes, and try the following:

  • Begin by getting comfortable – on a chair or on the floor – closing your eyes, resting your hands on your knees and taking a few deep breaths.
  • Now notice the connection of your body to your surroundings, notice any sounds around you.
  • Then bring your attention inwards and begin to count your breaths up to 10, and begin again at 1, for a few minutes.
  • When thoughts distract you, simply step back and watch them pass, then return to counting your breaths. Don’t become frustrated or try too hard to focus.
  • You could then do a ‘body-scan’ where you go to each part of your body, working from head to toe, and see how you feel. Move your mind around your body.
  • At this point you could also meditate on a certain subject, such as gratitude, or compassion for others. Guided meditations are useful for this.
  • Or you could bring your attention back to your body and surroundings, stretch, open your eyes and continue your day with a refreshed perspective and sense of calm.
  • As an additional step you could write down your thoughts and feelings, plans and dreams in a journal.

 

Homework: This week sit down for just 10 minutes and try meditation, using the advice above. How do you feel now? Do some further research for bonus marks! Report back here, or on social media. I can’t wait to hear how you got on!


Coming soon…

  • This Sunday: Playtime episode 10. A music mix tape from me to you!
  • Wednesday: Venture out into the wild Spring countryside with me in my next YouTube video! Find my most recent video below.
  • Friday: Is it that time already? The end of the month means April Happy Highlights.
  • Next Sunday: My monthly review, reflection and plans to move forward with my creative ideas, business and personal life.

 

Enjoy the weekend sisters, I hope it brings you love and learning!

 

Peace and love,

Rachel x

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