Life can bring ups and downs, joys and sadness, stress and ease. Sometimes, life can make you feel like the universe loves and supports you and other times it can make you feel like a universal punching bag. You can feel like you are falling from a cliff and have no control over if you will be saved or not. You can also catch a breathtaking view of the ocean and know it’s all going to be okay.
One thing that always helps me in almost any situation is meditation. Meditation has played a huge role in my sanity over the past ten years, and has probably saved my self worth and a LOT of negative self talk. I feel the most connected to myself when I meditate and I feel the most connected to that “something bigger’ (that can have so many labels). Sometimes, in meditation, it can feel like I’m an eagle, flying high above the sky, gazing down, down at my life, noticing what’s going on, and tapping in to see what’s really important, what really matters. It’s like the eagle can simplify what the bigger picture is, and how I can work towards shifting it. For me, a lot of the big picture questions are: “How’s my inside voice? Can I take a step back and be the inner witness? Am I coming from love or fear right now?” Lord knows, ain’t nuttin good gonna come from from a human with a fear based vibe.
That being said, when I first started practicing yoga I was really intimidated by meditation. I would picture the sages by the ganges in perfect lotus pose, or that super cute yogi on that super cute meditation cushion with that calm face on the cover of Yoga Journal. I remember thinking “I can’t do that, I can’t be that person, I don’t have time for THAT, I mean, how long does it take to get zenned out? Can’t I just buy enlightenment on a Roll Back special at Walmart?” So, off to my yoga mat I would go, and would sort of fake it when my yoga teacher would lead a short meditation in the beginning of class by thinking about what color my next mani would be.
I started to catch on.
As time passed, and many drenched lululemon leggings later, something started to shift in me. I started to wrap my brain around slowing down, getting still and started experiencing being present. Things started to simplify and my demeanor became a bit more peaceful. I started to realize that meditation can be practiced anywhere anytime, and even lying down or in my parked car (please don’t M&D: meditate and drive). Meditation became a regular part of my life but maybe not in the way you’d think.
To me, meditation really seems to be about just being totally present, without judgement. So, how I started was I would get the yoga studio parking lot a bit early, sit in my car, turn on high vibing music, and just get quiet. I would start with focusing on my breath and that would slow things down. I would get present in my body and ground for teaching. I would even sometimes hear messages about what that particular class was needing, I would hear things like trust, space, or faith. Whenever I would theme my classes from the messages I would get and somebody would come up to me after class and say “That class felt like you gave me exactly what I needed. It was like you were talking to ME.” I would feel the epitome of connected. I would feel connected to myself, my students and something bigger. I was sold!
After taking many yoga and energy healing trainings and with a lot of practice, it’s still a work in progress, but I can promise you, it gets easier, and you will FEEL it. You will feel your essence and the universal love that is always there and that runs through us and connects us all. It may come in waves of just seconds, those waves will get bigger, so big they will wash away some of our human doubts and worries.
Now, I do all sorts of meditating. I do it sometimes to ground, to move energy in my body, to slow down my thoughts or to tune in to my higher self and see what I hear. One of my favorite quotes is: “Your ego shouts and your intuition whispers.” So, if you are needing clarity or guidance meditation is the key to stillness and going a bit deeper. In the stillness, sometimes you can hear the whisper.
How to start.
I say, don’t be a hero, start small, don’t get too overwhelmed. Afterall, it is about slowing down so what’s the rush ;)? Also, don’t take it too seriously! Try and be lighthearted about it, maybe even have a bit of fun with it. Try it when you are feeling good, and when you are feeling it. You can’t force it or you will feel stuck.
I believe it’s about self-study (in sanskrit the word is svadhyaya which translates to virtuous observance). There are so many ways to meditate. You can do present moment awareness, guided, visual, counting breaths or even ask a question to gain clarity. You can even go to YouTube and find what’s calling you that particular day. So go inside and find the avenue that suits you best. Find the style that you feel pulled to and go from there. Walk through the gateway and see what happens and where it leads. All you really need is a place for you to feel comfortable, preferably where your spine can be long, but I think just doing it is a start. Eventually, you will naturally prefer a neutral posture.
Reap the rewards.
Just like so many other things this process takes time. It’s like strengthening a muscle. Eventually, you will see and feel a difference and ultimately feel more aligned to yourself, the world around you, and that something bigger, that ever loving presence. Overall, a peaceful steadiness about how you approach life starts to awaken.
Meditation is yoga. It’s one of the 8 Limbs (sort of like a tenet). If you do the math, meditation is 12.5% of yoga! Truly, it’s about being aware and present in any moment. It’s about tapping in to all that is at a specific time. If you don’t have time to set aside daily, can you start a habit where a few times a day you slow down, find awareness and get present?
If you believe in the law of attraction, then this practice is for you. The more you meditate the higher your vibe, therefore the more desirable experiences you attract. Your vibration shows the world how to treat you and meditation can truly help lift your energy. SO in closing, meditation can make your life better. Alright, let’s get still!
**Look for Jennifer's Meditation Workshop coming soon!!**