I’m sure we’ve all heard the expression “don’t take life too seriously.” That’s often what I think about when people tell me that they don’t know how to meditate (please note, I will be using the word “mindfulness” “practice” and “mediation” interchangeably throughout this blog post) or that they have a hard time staying focused when they try meditation, and that they can’t stop their thoughts so therefore meditation is not for them. I think mindfulness can look different for everyone yet I think we all feel we should sit like the ancient buddah himself when we meditate. While I’m not a mindfulness expert, and I’m not 100% versed on the history of the Buddha; I do feel comfortable saying that the Buddha did not reach nirvana over night. Neither did The Dali Lama or any Buddhist Monks. It took years of practice and patience and that’s the one ingredient I think we are all fogetting when we meditate. Patience! I’m not consistent as I use to be (or as I would like to be) with my mindfulness practice. Mediation is a practice that I’ve engaged in off and on for about 10yrs now and it took years and lots of reading before I found out what works best for me.
There are many forms of meditation, one of which includes guided meditation–sitting in a comfortable position as someone guides you through your practice. Guided meditation is not my favorite because I find that it distracts me from what I really need to focus on. I prefer to sit in silence and focus on my breathing or repeat a mantra in my head. Meditation can also last for as long as you need it to. For those who have difficulty sitting in one position for too long an extended meditation (a practice that roughly last 10mins or more) may not work for you. Maybe a walking meditation, a 3-5 minute guided practice, or a practice that involves any other forms of movement may work best for you. I encourage you to do your research online, read, talk to people, and try as many practices as you’d like until you find your meditation niche. Mindfulness is a powerful way for us to connect with ourselves emotionally. One of the things I love the most about meditation is, it keeps me grounded. When I feel challenged, stressed, frustrated, sad, angry, out of control, etc. when I’m consistent with my practice, it helps me be more rational when dealing with those feelings of discomfort. This is why I hate it when I’m not consistent. Meditation is an essential tool. For this week’s challenge, I want to provide you with a list of different types of mindfulness options that you can use each day this week or that you can use to help find your meditation niche.
Sunday–Tonglen Meditation If you’re not familiar with tonglen meditation (also known as “taking and sending”), it’s a practice where you inhale the pain of others, and sending them whatever will benefit them when you exhale. You can read more about it on this site. You can modify this practice to release your affirmation by inhaling the hurt, harm, trauma, etc that’s going on in the world and on your exhale repeat your affirmation in your head and the benefits that you received from it. This option is an incredibly powerful way to release your affirmations in my opinion. If you need a visual, hopefully the video below will help you.
Monday–Walking Meditation A walking meditation is designed to bring body and mind in sync while we’re out and about. And if you don’t like to sit and close the eyes to meditate, this is a great alternative that still trains the mind in awareness. Walking meditation, also known as kinhin is a practice within several forms of Buddhism that involve movement and periods of walking between long periods of sitting meditation. Learn more about it HERE and HERE.
Tuesday–Guided Meditation Guided meditation describes a form of meditation which utilizes a number of different techniques to achieve or enhance the meditative state. It may simply be meditation done under the guidance of a trained practitioner or teacher, or it may be through the use of imagery, music, and other techniques. Guided meditations are an excellent tool for beginners, as they provide a focal point and gentle instruction to help you connect and let go of self-judgment. Learn more HERE and HERE. Check out this practice by my sorority sister.
Wednesday–Loving-Kindness Meditation (or Metta Meditation) The original name of this practice is metta bhavana, which comes from the Pali language. Metta means ‘love’ (in a non-romantic sense), friendliness, or kindness: hence ‘loving-kindness’ for short. It is an emotion, something you feel in your heart. Bhavana means development or cultivation. The commonest form of the practice is in five stages, each of which should last about five minutes for a beginner. You can learn more about it HERE. With this practice you usually repeat the following phrase:
May I be happy,
May I be healthy,
May I be safe,
May I live with ease.
May you be happy,
May you be healthy,
May you be safe,
May you live with ease.
Thursday–Silent Meditation This is the exact method I use when I meditate. Silent meditation is the technique referred to as Vipassana (which means to see things the way they are), one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques. The basic idea is simple. Every time your mind begins to shift its focus away from your breath and you get lost in thought, you simply — and gently — bring your attention back to your breath. And then you repeat this again and again until your meditation timer rings. Learn more HERE.
Friday–Sound Bath Meditation A sound bath is a meditation class that aims to guide you into a deep meditative state while you’re enveloped in ambient sound played by instructors, or sound therapists. Sometimes participants stay in a seated position on comfortable cushions during sessions, though some instructors ask attendees to lay on yoga mats. Learn more HERE.
Saturday –Shower Meditation Shower Meditation is also known as waterfall meditation, mind cleansing and water meditation. It is a practice of using the water as a mechanism to wash away the stress, tension and anxiety within your body. Learn more HERE.
Self-Care on the go are essentially bite size versions of my self-care challenges. It’s open to anyone but it’s specifically created for moms and other working women; who may not have time to participate in all (or any) of the challenges that I provide weekly because of their mommy duties or busy work schedule. You can access the infographic HERE. I’ve been posting them every Sunday since the beginning of the year and I really enjoy creating them. If you’re one of my readers who participate in, or enjoy these options because you find them convenient, leave a comment and let me know what you like about them or what you think I should change. Thanks for going on this self-care journey again with me this week.
By the way, if you’re interested, my Newsletter and Self-Care Accountability Worksheet is now available. The worksheet will act as a supplement to my daily self-care challenges. The purpose is to help you stay on track with your daily self-care routines. If you’re interested in receiving these items weekly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The self-care worksheet is FREE, but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email once per week.
- Instagram: @selfcareatforty
- Twitter: @playingblogger and @naturaldo
- Pinterest: @tam33ks