I wish I hadn’t waited until I was thirty to meditate. Its something I knew very little about and I had the common belief that I needed to be able to sit still for as long as possible and clear my mind of all thoughts. I was wrong.
I regularly suffer from the feeling of being overwhelmed and I find myself out of my comfort zone most of the week, something I have accepted but something that can leave me feeling anxious and uncomfortable. For years I thought it was just how I had to feel, that in order to love my job I had to accept it comes with uncertainty and that most days I’m unsure where I’m going, who I’m meeting or what they’re hoping to get from me.
I dabbled from time to time during moments of extreme anxiety or insomnia. Headspace was my escape and I found it comforting, the app knew how to talk me into switching off my head and I longed for it but then it became too familiar, my mind wasn’t listening anymore, I wasn’t interested, my thoughts had won.
Then Rochelle and Sol came to stay. The online world is such a funny one, we had never met but followed each other on Instagram and YouTube. They’re both from Australia but were in the UK and so I suggested they came to stay for a couple of days. This is where I learned the true meaning of what it is to meditate.
Sitting on my sofa they offered me my first ever guided meditation and my very own mantra. Your mantra is a sound, a sound that you can use to bring your mind back to focus. Whenever you find yourself drifting off you recite the sound in your mind to give yourself direction. The aim was 20 minutes, the timer was set, my feet grounded, hands relaxed in my lap, all I had to do was inhale and exhale. Rochelle explained that I didn’t have to have to try to think of nothing, there was no white room, it’s not about switching off your thoughts, it’s about letting them run free, think of a river full of thoughts, you watch as they float by, some you’ll let in, others you’ll let pass and whenever you feel yourself being taken by the current you recite your mantra and bring yourself back to shore.
Your mind starts busy, mine felt like a river on a stormy day, the tide was strong but my mantra was powerful. Each time I felt myself being washed away I would bring myself back with my sound. I had no idea of time but as the timer began to sound I realised I had switched off. After all the craziness and messy thoughts, somewhere my mind had calmed and I had experienced a moment of quiet. I was hooked.
Tips, I would love to say I manage to meditate every day, I don’t. I aim to never go more than two days without meditating and it can range from two to 20 minutes. I also find that completing it first thing in the morning, before you have looked at your phone and let the world in, is the best time for me. Rochelle and Sol are the founders of Mindspo, an online course that I cannot recommend more, I’ll pop the link here. Do you make time to meditate?