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Meditating has been hard for me

Someone recently told me you are so lucky; you get to meditate at least once a day, sometimes more. Well, if you consider teaching meditation – practicing meditation – that isn't luck. When I am teaching, I am not practicing. Not in the way I want to practice, which is paying attention to myself, my thoughts (yes, I have brain chatter), my space, etc. Sometimes, I have difficulty finding time, just like you, to meditate. Here are some helpful suggestions to help you put thought into this practice:

  1. Make space and time for your practice. I usually meditate in the morning and use meditations from the Mindful Way Coaching membership. These are usually 5 to 10 minutes in length. Perfect for the beginner or for someone who has limited time. Some people like midday after lunch, and others like to bring presence to the end of their day. You have to prioritize this new habit, so what time of day and where works best for you?

  2. Set an intention for your meditation practice. I make it a goal to include meditation as part of my lifestyle. If you meditate regularly, even for four minutes a day, you will feel positive benefits, which will help you honor your intention. Sometimes, my intention is very specific; other times, I am more relaxed.

  3. Your body breathes on its own - use a conscious breath meditation. Bring focus to the air moving in and out of your nostrils. As you pull your breath in, it might be cool, and as you exhale, the air is warmer. Use your mouth and your nose - breathe in through the nose and exhale through your mouth. Count as you inhale, pause for a few seconds, and then exhale.

  4. Set aside any expectations – if you are new, you might expect some big revelation. From my perspective, change was gradual. Little by little, I noticed changes - my world was less hectic and a little sunnier. I wanted to be around positivity and started watching the news less and less. I moved away from gossip and people that did not share my values. I started noticing I was living more in the present moment. I paid more attention to myself, which reverberated positively toward my relations with others. I noticed concrete shifts in my life when I wasn't paying attention and getting attached to an outcome. All of this came about over time and in subtle ways. Meditating consistently will bring you to this positive place.

  5. You bring perspective when you sit and pay attention to the moment. You bring love, patience, kindness, trust, curiosity, non-judgment, and acceptance to your mind when meditating. Consider bringing one of these perspectives to your meditation. When I set an intention, I think of an attitude or perspective I want to bring into my life. This week, I intended to meditate beyond my teaching with an open heart and little to no judgment. Sometimes, I visualize a person or situation that I want to bring this "no judgment" "open heart" to. Sometimes, I use affirmations or breath awareness. I focus on my breath, say love in on an inhale, and love out as I exhale.

  6. These pictures of me show you that you don't have to be inside on a mat to meditate. You can be outside, get creative, and be with yourself. Focus on the beauty outdoors and rest your awareness at that moment.

I believe there is no right way or wrong way to meditate. Meditating is a practice – like mindfulness – which requires consistency. Use the tools outlined above. In time, with regular exercise, the benefits become so noticeable that you will not think twice about your daily meditation practice. You will have formed a new habit that you enjoy giving time to.

To learn more about meditation, mindfulness, and working with Chantal:

  • Click here to email me.

  • Click here to find classes.

  • Click here to work with me.

  • Click here to sign up for 21 Days of Mindfulness.

And if you are not on my email list, do so. I write one blog post weekly; they are usually pretty good motivators.

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