How I Redefined Meditation To Be An Attainable Daily Practice
Years ago, before I had ever built a business, crossed an ocean, started up an Instagram account, or even considered the idea of a "personal brand," I would ride my bike for hours along Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago. I did this practically every day.
I had just moved to the city to become an actress and was waitressing at night, providing me what felt like endless time each day to, well, be with myself. I didn't realize at the time just how precious that was. Looking back, I now see, my bike rides were my meditations. I felt so connected to my body, my mind, and most of all, my heart during those rides.
As I have gotten older, my time has become more limited, while the emphasis on the importance of meditation has only increased. I often feel legit pressure to sit cross-legged, close my eyes, breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth and, you know, clear my head.
Sometimes I do that, or at least try. But to be frank, I find many traditional meditation practices limiting, confining, and honestly, downright hard to do.
How I redefined meditation for myself.
The times when I feel the most connected to my body—which leads me to connect to my breath, which leads me to become deeply present, and therefore, in my heart, and ultimately, in my joy—is when I simply do what makes me feel good. This is my form of meditation.
Sometimes it's still a bike ride. Other times, it's a deep, juicy yoga class. Often, it's me sitting on a meditation pillow mentally chanting a mantra. Every now and then, it's a powerful breathwork meditation.
Most of the time, my meditation is an everyday act like cooking my husband a delicious dinner. Or losing myself in a novel. It's also losing myself in the warm fur of my dogs as I snuggle with them for hours. Every once in a while, it's losing myself on the dance floor, at a sweaty nightclub filled with house music, alongside my girlfriends.
I have found that the more I try to label meditation as right or wrong, the more confining it is. Break the rules! Breathe in silence or scream at the top of your lungs. Stay still for an hour or gyrate until 3 a.m. It doesn't matter.
Change your vibration, change your life, and find your own edge. Do what makes you feel good. This alone is a revolutionary act.
How to find your own form of meditation.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What actually decreases my stress?
- What gets me out of my head and into my heart?
- How can I increase my ability to connect to my intuition?
- What does it take for me to show up as my highest self?
Write out your answers to these questions. There are a million possibilities here. For some, this might look like getting up at 5 a.m. to meditate. For others, this looks like clocking an extra hour of sleep. Whatever it is, let it be your version of meditation. And then, practice, practice, practice.
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Jessica Zweig is the CEO of the SimplyBe Agency, a premier personal branding firm based in Chicago, serving clients across the globe. She was named a “Personal Branding Expert” by Forbes, a Top Digital Marketer To Watch by INC, and honored with the Gold and Silver Stevie® Award for “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2018 and 2019. Zweig facilitates sold-out workshops and speaks on the power of personal branding to several corporations including Google, Nike, and more. She also hosts the top-ranked marketing podcast The SimplyBe Podcast. Jessica’s debut book, Be: A No Bullsh*t Guide to Increasing Your Self Worth and Net Worth by Simply Being Yourself launched in February 2021 with Sounds True, an imprint of Macmillan.
Zweigh has brought her life-changing and trademarked methodology to clients around the world, taking many from unknown expert to recognized thought leader. In her free time, she loves traveling, meditating, journaling, working out, and reading. She currently lives in Chicago with her husband and two dogs.