You just can't meditate. You want to, you've tried to, but you just can't seem to switch the brain off or relax enough. You know how good meditation is for the mind, body and spirit and have read about it on health and wellness websites, social media and medical reviews.
You are not alone, and there's nothing wrong with you! As a yoga and meditation teacher I can say that many of my students feel exactly like this. By the end of this article, you'll feel a whole lot different about meditation!
Meditation can take different forms, but at its center it's about being really present and aware. Aware of what is going on inside and outside of yourself and accepting that. Meditation is also about learning to allow yourself to flow with life and being centered so you aren't at the mercy of your thoughts, emotions, people or events.
So let's dive right into how you can start meditating right away, without even knowing it!
1. Do an everyday task.
Choose something you already do every day, like brushing your teeth, having your morning cup of coffee or ironing your clothes. The next time you start this task, focus on it. Bring your awareness to what you are doing using all your senses.
If you're having your coffee, smell the aroma, feel the warmth of the cup as you wrap your hands around it, taste the warmth and follow that warmth as you swallow. When you bring all your senses to a task and focus on this, you're in the present moment. That's the essence of meditation!
2. Take a bath or shower.
Bathing is one of the few times we're happy to be alone and have privacy. We don't have computers, phones, or interruptions, and we can just be. A quick note here — if you do have computers or phones in the bath or shower with you, then you may need meditation more than you think!
Bring your awareness to the task at hand and mindfully focus all your senses on what you're doing and feeling. There's something about water that slows us down, relaxes us and cleanses and purifies. Use this state to help you unwind, enjoy and become aware of the joy of being. If you practice this you'll be amazed at how light and clean you feel on the inside and on the outside!
3. Do something creative.
When we engage in a creative interest or passion, we are in fact doing a form of meditation. Creating allows us to focus on what's in front of us and stops us from thinking about the past or worrying about the future. We are just in the midst of an absorbing process, full of the joy of creating and all its potential. Whether you paint, rock climb, pole dance or garden, anything you love will help transport you to the now.
So keep up your hobbies and passions, or start something today if you've let life crowd out your time for creativity. Start where you are, scheduling in creative time once a month, a week or sprinkle creativity into your everyday life!
4. Go for a walk.
You can walk anywhere, but if possible choose places you love, such as the ocean, forest or mountains. There's an energy that calls to us in these types of places. Regardless of where you walk, the point once again is to really be there. Feel the weather around you (the warmth of the sun, the breeze, the snow), be aware of how your feet connect to the earth and how your body moves.
What can you see and hear? What is the quality of your breath flowing in and out of your nostrils? How do you feel in this moment? When we do this, we truly experience what it means to be alive and mindful.
5. Join a meditation group.
OK, so with this one you'll definitely know you're meditating, but it won't be difficult or scary. Joining a group is a fantastic way to go because you're with like minded people and are more likely to follow through on practicing due to peer support and accountability. There's the added bonus of making new friends! There are plenty of groups for you to choose from, so it won't be difficult to find one that suits you and your lifestyle.
So there you have it, five super simple but powerful ways to begin meditating today! Get to it and watch what happens!