Meditation – Unlocking the Secrets to Inner Peace
Samantha

May 12, 2024

Meditation – Unlocking the Secrets to Inner Peace

 

Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? You spill coffee on your new shirt, miss an important meeting, and then get stuck in traffic. It’s like the universe is conspiring against you. In these moments, the stress and frustration can feel overwhelming. But what if there was a way to regain control and find a sense of calm amid the chaos? This is where meditation comes in – a powerful practice that can transform your response to life’s challenges and guide you toward a path of balance and peace.

Life is a journey filled with unexpected turns, especially for women in their transformative years who find themselves at pivotal crossroads throughout the many areas of their lives. Whether it’s due to life-altering events, changes in relationship status, or years of putting others first, this phase can be quite chaotic or stressful at time. One powerful tool to navigate this transition is meditation—a practice that not only brings inner peace, but also empowers you to rebuild and refocus. In this article, we’ll explore the essence of meditation, its benefits, various forms, and how to integrate it into your life.

What is Meditation and What Does it Do?

Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. In short, it helps one to get into the very present “NOW” moment. It’s also very helpful for quieting the “inner critic” or as I like to say, the “monkey chatter”.

This ancient practice, rooted in various cultural traditions, is more than a stress-relief tool; it’s a path to deeper self-awareness and improved mental health.

Key Benefits of Meditation

  • Enhances Emotional Health: Meditation can lead to an improved self-image and a more positive outlook on life. Regular practice helps diminish the levels of stress and depression.
  • Reduces Stress: Perhaps the most well-known benefit, meditation reduces stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. For instance, many find that a few minutes of deep breathing meditation before a challenging meeting can significantly reduce anxiety.
  • Improves Concentration: Meditation helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention, helping you focus better and for longer, like how a photographer focuses on capturing the fine details of their subject.
  • Promotes Emotional Health and Well-being: Practices like mindfulness meditation can reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain, similar to how a calm sea allows sailors to navigate smoothly.
  • Improves Sleep: By helping you relax and control the runaway thoughts that can interfere with sleep, meditation improves the quality of your rest, akin to how a gentle lullaby soothes a child to sleep.
  • Helps Control Pain: Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and meditation can diminish the perception of pain in the brain, just like turning down the volume on a loud radio.
  • Can Decrease Blood Pressure: Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart. Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function. It’s like easing the pressure off a garden hose to maintain a steady, healthy flow.

Understanding Different Kinds of Meditation

Meditation comes in many forms, each offering unique pathways to inner peace:

Mindfulness Meditation
Originating from Buddhist teachings, mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You observe without judgment or involvement, much like sitting by a river and watching the water flow by without getting wet. This practice can be done anywhere, from a morning shower to a quiet minute with your coffee. This is one of my favorites for moving you into gratitude which takes up all the space so there is no room for any other emotion.

Guided Meditation
This form uses imagery and visualization guided by a teacher or an app. You might visualize walking through a lush forest or sitting by a serene lake to find relaxation. This method is particularly useful for those who find comfort in vivid mental imagery, helping them to explore peaceful landscapes without leaving their living room.

Music Meditation with “Floaty” Music
Music Meditation, especially through the use of ambient or “floaty” music (my number one go to!), is a soothing way to immerse yourself in deep relaxation and mindfulness. This type of meditation involves listening to soft, ambient music set to specific frequencies, often incorporating binaural beats to enhance the experience. The gentle soundscapes are designed at certain hertz frequencies, such as 432 Hz or 528 Hz, which are believed to promote healing, relaxation, and emotional release.

The harmonious sounds help synchronize the brainwaves, leading to profound states of calmness, similar to the tranquil and expansive feeling of floating on water. This practice is particularly beneficial for those who find peace in auditory experiences and are looking to alleviate stress, improve sleep patterns, and enhance their overall emotional well-being. 

Breathing Meditation
This is a fundamental, yet powerful form of meditation that focuses on the rhythm and depth of your breath. By simply observing and consciously controlling your breathing, you can quiet the mind and bring about a deep state of calm and focus. This practice involves taking slow, deep breaths to create a sense of stillness and relaxation in the body, much like the gentle ebb and flow of the ocean waves. It’s particularly effective for those seeking a quick way to reduce stress, center their thoughts, and restore energy, especially during hectic moments.

Mantra Meditation
In this style, you silently repeat a calming word, thought, or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts. For instance, repeating the word “peace” or “calm” (or the much family “ohm”) can center your thoughts, akin to a musician tuning their instrument before a performance.

Transcendental Meditation
This is a more structured form of mantra meditation, where a personally assigned mantra is used. It’s practiced twice daily for 20 minutes each session, offering a ritualistic approach similar to preparing tea in the morning—a precise, calming routine. If you love routine, go for it. But if you are more like me dealing with ADHD, you may find guided and mindfulness get you further with less antsy-ness.

Yoga
Yoga practitioners perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment, similar to a dancer focusing on their movements during a performance. Qi-Gong or Tai Chi are great for those who are a little less flexible and don’t want to go there.

How Exactly Does One Meditate?

Meditation is a personal experience that flourishes with practice. Here’s a simple way to begin:

  • Find a Quiet Space: Choose a peaceful place where you won’t be disturbed. This could be a corner of your bedroom, a private spot in your garden, or even a secluded park bench.
  • Set a Time Limit: Especially for beginners, starting with short sessions, like 5-10 minutes, can be helpful. This is like setting a timer for a brief walk—long enough to refresh but not so long that it feels daunting.
  • Sit in a Comfortable Position: You can sit on the floor, a cushion, or a chair with your hands resting on your lap or knees. It’s similar to finding the right chair for reading a good book—you’re looking for comfort that supports focus.
  • Focus on Your Breath: Close your eyes and breathe naturally. Focus your attention on the breath and how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. This might feel like observing the waves at the beach, noticing how each wave comes and goes smoothly.
  • Notice When Your Mind Wanders: Your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you notice this, simply return your focus back to your breath, much like gently redirecting a puppy that strays off the path. Again, my puppies go wild so having some floaty music (ambient with hertz) may assist you.

How Do I Know If I’m Actually Meditating?

It’s common to wonder if you’re “doing it right.” Here’s how you can tell if your meditation is working:

  • You feel more grounded and less stressed: You may notice a sense of calmness and relaxation during or after your session, like the quiet after a storm or a sense of feeling one with oneself – self-possessed.
  • Improved focus: Regular meditation leads to an enhanced ability to concentrate, similar to how an artist might focus intently while sculpting. You’ll find you can dial into the meditative state more easily every time.
  • You’re more aware of your body: You become more mindful of your body’s needs and sensations, noticing how your clothes feel or the temperature of the room, akin to a chef being aware of every ingredient they add to a recipe.
  • Emotional balance: You find yourself less reactive to situations that previously upset you, maintaining composure like a seasoned diplomat in negotiations.

How Do You Think While Meditating?

Meditation isn’t about stopping your thoughts or emptying your mind completely; it’s about observing them without judgment. During meditation, you acknowledge your thoughts and feelings and then let them pass without getting attached to them, like clouds drifting across the sky without affecting the blue beyond them.

How Often Should I Meditate?

Consistency is key. Many experts recommend meditating for at least a few minutes every day. Start with a manageable routine, perhaps 5 minutes each morning, and gradually increase the time. Or you may find that there is a perfect time and place for meditation in your routine. For instance, I always meditate for 15 minutes prior to a client session so that I am fully in the present moment and my heart, head and higher self are all in alignment. The more regularly you practice, the easier it will become and the more benefits you will notice, akin to watering a plant regularly to see it flourish.

For women navigating the challenges and changes of life, meditation offers a path to finding balance and calm in the storm. By understanding and practicing this ancient tradition, you can discover a stronger, more resilient version of yourself. Remember, the journey of meditation is deeply personal and progressive; it’s about finding what works for you and integrating it into your daily life. No one is standing there handing out awards for longer durations, consistency or style of meditating. Do what works and feels best to you.

Whether you’re looking for a way to reduce stress, improve your emotional well-being, or simply find a moment of peace, meditation can be your guide to a more balanced and reflective life. Embrace the practice, and watch as it transforms your mind, body, and spirit.

INTEGRATION: Release and Relax Into Ease Meditation

I created this meditation as a multi-purpose tool for my clients. That being said, it’s main focus is to move you into a peaceful state of being. Once there, we begin to release you from all concerns you having going on in your head and replace them with the concept that everything is being taken care of by the universe. Give it a try!

Click here to watch/listen!

*portions of this post were written with the assistance of Jeeves (AI)

The above blog post serves as a foundation for the insightful podcast episode titled
“Manifesting Momentum: Feelings and Intentions Shaping Reality.”
YouTube Link: Click Here!
Weekly Wanderlust Integration: 
This is an accompaniment to the discussion to assist in integrating the concepts herein and can be accessed via the Facebook group>
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In the podcast, the hosts expand upon the ideas and findings presented in the blog post, engaging in a more comprehensive and dynamic discussion. They delve into real-world examples, current events and emerging understanding related to this topic. Through lively conversation and real-world examples, the podcast episode offers listeners a richer understanding of the topic while fostering thought-provoking dialogue among any participants and audience. Together, the blog post, podcast and the integration of the “Weekly Wanderlust” activity create a multimedia experience, that informs, stimulates and utilizes the topic at hand to create a deeper learning and discovery experience.

Mentioned in Podcast…

Affirmations to Use

  • Positive Vibes Only – Fuck Negativity!!

Videos to Watch

Office Space
This movie was referenced because we were talking about how when you move into that space of relaxation, you release from worry. The main character’s transformation came from an incomplete hypnosis session. But you get the idea. Such a fun movie.

Abraham Hicks – Induced Meditation
Abraham Hicks
Abraham helps induce meditation. Use this 15 minutes meditation in the morning or throughout the day, to align and feel good.

Box Breathing & The Shakes Active Meditation
Jamie Butler The Everyday Medium
This meditation is designed around getting rooted, centered, and is an interactive one. Not only will you be following a breath work pattern and later doing some shoulder & neck rolls followed by shaking out your hands and legs, but your ears will also be listening to a 60 bpm (beats per minute) rhythm. While you are listening, on the subconscious level you will be entraining your heart and respiratory to shift in alignment with that steady rhythm.

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