Have you ever wished you could shut your brain off and quiet the racing thoughts? Or could experience peace in the midst of any circumstance? Or easily tap into your inner strength at any moment?
When faced with obstacles, it’s easy to think the best way forward is to simply dig deep, bury your head, and handle business. However, life’s demands pile up and pull you in hundreds of directions and just powering through inevitably leads to burnout. Before long, you become the hamster on the wheel, living the same day over and over again, rather than living fulfilled in every area of your life.
I never thought practicing meditation – something that makes you stop doing – could actually help me discover peace, inner strength, and true fulfillment. For many years, I heard this, but I just didn’t know where to start. Do I need to buy some incense and learn some chants? Do I have to sit super still in a dark room for hours? Do I listen to music? What does meditating even mean?? How do I know if I’m doing it right? So many questions…
And let’s be real – ain’t nobody got time for that!
Often in life, we make things more complicated than they are. It’s human nature. The beauty of meditation is that it doesn’t matter what you do to meditate. Through studying holistic wellness, psychology, sport psychology, and spirituality I’ve discovered five key practices to ease into meditation.
Set an intention
Before you begin your practice, think about the purpose. What brought you here? Do you want inner peace? Guidance regarding life’s stressors? Strength to move forward? Courage to speak your truth? Starting your practice with clear intentions is important and will help you remain grounded in whatever experience you are looking for.
Simply thinking about meditating or hoping that it will happen achieves nothing. Designate a time to mediate that works with your schedule and do it. However, also, know that it’s okay to meditate in the moment. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, simply take a few minutes to quiet your mind, take a few deep breaths, and invite peace into your mind and heart. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Quieting the mind is one of the hardest things to do. Focusing on your breath and intention and blocking out distractions are key practices of meditation. This is challenging. Try a guided meditation so your mind has something to focus on. Maybe listen to soft music to help you focus on your breath. Finding quiet and stillness is hard, so know that perfection doesn’t exist and your mind might be your most challenging opponent. With this in mind, it’s important to…
Trust the process
You will get distracted and interrupted. When thoughts distract you, don’t judge yourself and think, Ugh I’m terrible at meditating! It’s impossible for me to focus! I should be doing more productive things! Simply acknowledge these thoughts, dismiss them, and let them go.
It’s okay if you meditate and no big revelation comes to you. Simply trust the process and continue showing up. Know that it’s not about having big breakthroughs every session, but giving yourself the space to experience breakthroughs when they occur.
When it comes meditating, the most important thing is to start with these principles and discover what works best for you. Consistent meditation can increase your self-awareness, quiet your mind, decrease stress hormones, increase creativity, and help you feel more grounded. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out this original guided meditation inviting hope into your heart even on the darkest of days.
Katie is a blue belt training at Elite Team Visalia in California under Professor Tom Knox. When not training, she works as a Life Fulfillment Coach helping people discover their purpose and reach their full potential, facilitates training to improve team dynamics, and co-hosts a podcast called Life Off the Mat with fellow teammates. You can connect with her on social media @legitkatiewilliamson and learn more about becoming your best self at www.katiewilliamsoncoaching.com