When assisting my life coaching clients with meditation techniques I find their idea of meditation to sound so new age and hippie, They always want to know what is it about meditation that is so fantastic?
Yes, people have been doing it for thousands of years, but those people didn’t live in such busy times, so they had time to do nothing and stare at the wall. What value can it provide me, today, when I have so little time to spare?
Meditation does not belong to a certain religious group or cult. It has no attached dogma and no strict rules. It is about spending time with yourself in the present moment and BEING present and mindful. Too much of our daily life is spent in the past and the future. Our minds trap us in this whirlpool of manic thoughts going from past to future and back again. Like the old saying goes : Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it The Present! All you have is right now. This very moment!
You are probably thinking : “Well that’s nice, but who cares. What is the value of meditation?” Many stress management consultants and life coach’s highly recommend meditation as a means to calm the mind, reduce stress and get grounded. Here’s where the magic of meditation comes into play. When you focus on the present moment and only the present moment, then everything else will slip away. You will become one with yourself, in this very moment. Your concentration will be so focused that everything else will cease to exist. There will be no past and no future. There will be no stress, anger and frustration. This very moment is all we will ever have and you will be experiencing it 100%.
If you still think it is a waste of time, just remind yourself how much time wasting junk you consume your life with on a daily basis. Reading glossy magazines that just gossip about celebrities. Watching soap operas. Staring at Facebook. Judging and criticising yourself and others. Eating junk food. All time wasters and bad for you.
Still Not Convinced?
One of the easiest meditation methods to practice is to follow your breathing. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Just in case you are concerned that is can be more boring that watching pain dry, fear not because this breathe that goes in and our of your body on a daily basis is the common thread that every living being must take part in if they want to live. This breathe that you are breathing in and out is your life line. It is the very thing that sustains your existence.
Take a deeeeeep breathe in. Feel that cool air enter your nasal passage. Notice how your chest expands to fill in that very same air that passed through your nose. Listen how your heart beat speeds up a little as this happens.
Now breathe out slowly through your nose and feel the exchanged warm air that has come from your lungs pass back down your nasal passage and out into the void of space.
If you followed along with this short exercise, you would have noticed that you were “in the zone”. Everything else disappeared. Try it again for 3 in-breathes and 3 out-breathes. Notice how your breathing will get deeper, your heart rate will slow down and your body will relax more. In 6 breathes, you were able to calm the body down. Your stress would have lowered, along with your blood pressure.
Are You Seeing Some Value In Meditation?
Now try a 10 minute meditation. Follow the breathe in and out for 10 minutes, only focusing on your breathing. Try it every day this week. You will notice that your mental clarity will get sharper, your stress will decrease, you will feel more awake and aware and you will start to feel a bit more in control of your life. Sounds to good to be true? Try it. What have you got to lose?
Meditation is a learnt skill, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get the technique correct first time. That is why you practice. With anything worth attaining, practice and diligence will be the important factors to adhere to.
How To Meditate
Below is a simple life coaching exercise that you can practice with your meditation :
- Step 1. It is best to do this while in a quiet space, on your own.
- Step 2. Sit on a chair or a cushion on the couch.
- Step 3. Sit up straight, but stay comfortable. Tilt your head slightly down and close your eyes. Feel yourself getting into the moment and feel all distractions starting to ease up a little.
- Step 4. Close your mouth and breathe through your nose.
- Step 5. Become aware of the spot that the air enters your nose. The point where it starts to touch the skin. It should be about 1 cm or so above your lip.
- Step 6. Breathe in and breathe out. If your mind starts to wander, just notice it wandering around and gently bring your attention back to that point at the base of your nose where the air is coming into your nasal passage.
- Step 7. Repeat step 6.
Things To Remember
- Set a gentle alarm that will go off after 10 minutes, which will bring your meditation to an end.
- This is about practice. You will probably struggle in the beginning to shut your mind up. Don’t feel despondent. Keep trying. Keep practising.
- Switch off your phone and inform those around you to not bother your for the next 15 minutes.
- If while you are meditating and you suddenly have a light bulb moment or remember that something must be done urgently, don’t cancel your meditation. Keep going until your alarm goes of. There will always be distractions and things to do. You can get it done when you are finished meditating.
- Practice. Practice. Practice.
If you don’t have time to meditate, THEN YOU MUST MEDITATE! Okay, but seriously, if you feel you really, really, really can’t put aside 10 minutes to meditate then this is what you can do. Do the dishes! Focus on your breathing. What dishes you are cleaning. Be 100% in the moment. Ta-da!… You are meditating. Work in the garden. Meditating… with mindfulness.
Stare at the contours and shapes of the structures around you. Be fascinated by what you see. Meditating. Say your prayers. Meditating. Just people (just don’t criticise or judge anyone). Just watch what they do. Meditating. Come up with your own ideas.
When you open your mind a little and you will find that meditation can be a big part of your life. It doesn’t have to be separate and time consuming. Meditation is about being present in the present moment. Good luck with this venture. I hope it brings you much joy and peace of mind.
Thanks for reading,
Donovan – Life Coach