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How do you start to meditate


How often do you hear "I'd love to meditate but it's not for me" or "I don't know where to start" or "I haven't got time to meditate"

I have often heard it said if you haven't got 10 minutes to meditate you need half an hour! We find time to go for a walk, read a newspaper, scroll though Facebook or Instagram, have a long soak in the bath. Maybe there is a spare 10 or 15 minutes in our day to really look after our mind.

My sister thought she couldn't meditate as 'that's for people who sit cross legged or hug trees!' (she has overcome that now). I didn't think I could meditate as I was way too busy and I needed to do so much. My mother didn't think she could meditate as it was all of that 'focus on your breath' and she didn't think she could change the way she breathes after all these years!!

So we can all find excuses but you know it makes sense to meditate. There is plenty of research and science saying its benefits are so far reaching. It can reduce blood pressure, make you less reactive, help improve your immunity, aid sleep, aid digestion, reduce cellular ageing, reduce inflammation and so much more. Who wouldn't want some of that?

So, you brush your teeth twice a day, you know why you do it, you make time to do it, you set aside a time of day and a space to do it. Other people leave you to do it as they know what you are doing and why. Take the same approach with meditation.

Let others know you are doing it and why, hopefully then you will not be disturbed. Have a regular time and place, it will usually help you to stick to it (although you can meditate anywhere at anytime). Remember it doesn't have to be silent. There isn't a perfect light, sound, atmosphere for meditation. Even if you think it didn't go as you hoped or it didn't feel like you did it right.... You probably did and you will have got something out of it for you mind, body or both. Don't be hard on yourself. Enjoy it. Find an app and a voice that works for you, or an instructor or video, book or CD. Find something that will keep you coming back for more. Make it yours and make it enjoyable not endurable.

And remember, you would not expect to go to the gym once and be bench pressing 100kg. You would not go for a jog and expect to run a marathon the following day. It takes time to develop the body and mind. Little and often, grease the groove.

Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, Tai Chi, pilates.... All of these bring awareness in the present moment. They bring huge benefits and are really worth sticking with. Fishing, Jigsaw puzzles, art, sewing, musical instruments, as long as they don't cause stress, can again bring about real focus in the present moment.

Breath, relax, enjoy, don't get lost in thoughts, reflecting on the past or planning future events. But if you do, notice that you got caught up, thank yourself for noticing and come back to the practice. Thoughts of the past or future all have their place but sometimes it's good to just feel, to be. Just be in the here and now as much as possible.

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