Each year I practice something hoping to become better at it. I decided for 2015 that meditation is going to be MY THING! Why would you want to meditate? The purpose of meditation is to calm our minds and to create inner peace. That sounds nearly impossible, but I am willing to try almost anything to get that! The thing that makes me the most curious is how something that sounds so easy can sometimes be so hard! It seems my mind is like a busy train station and to quiet it is an incredible task! In a world filled with stress and busyness, I need something more to calm my mind and to get clear on what is essential. Can sitting still for a few minutes each day really bring peace- this doesn’t sound possible?!

I saw a glimpse of something really awesome last time I did Oprah and Deepak’s Meditations. It took about 2 weeks into the 3 week program and I noticed my mind started to process differently. After 40 years of thinking the same way, my brain was getting trained to think in a more clear, slow way. How can that be? It wasn’t like I was getting good at this 20 minutes of quiet time, but I was trying. I realized there is really something to this meditation stuff. I also noticed that it was helping me save time throughout the day because I was more focused and balanced. So in my practicing, I have come up with 10 amazing tips to help you start meditating.

1. There are no rules. Right off- doesn’t that sound like something you want to try? There’s no set time you have to do it, no certain way you have to sit, nothing you have to listen to, unless you want to. All you have to do is do it, and do it consistently.Meditation is about receiving information. Praying is sending out information.

2. Set a timer. This way you won’t feel you need to check the clock every few minutes. Decide on how long you have- 5 minutes, 15 minutes and press start- simple as that. Start small and get good and comfortable with it, then start adding minutes.

3.. Sit on something comfortable, maybe a yoga mat or a pillow or my favorite is in a warm bath. If you are sitting on a cushion, have the back of it higher than the front.

4. Sit with your legs crossed or if that bothers you, sit or lie any way that makes you feel comfortable. This is just for you, so try different things each time to find what works for you.

5. Posture- sit up tall so you can feel your breath better. Keep your face relaxed. I keep my hands on my knees or together in my lap. I learned in yoga years ago if your hands are facing up, you can receive energy. If your hands are down you are releasing energy. Play with that!

6. A guided meditation works great. They talk you through everything and help you breathe and keep your mind clear. There are of tons of meditations on CD’s, Itunes radio, YouTube, Google and meditation centers/ yoga studios. Sometimes they have you think of a few words or a mantra– this helps keep your mind focused. Words like Love, I am grateful, Yes, Peace…

7. Close your eyes or find something to focus on such as a candle, a figure or something that makes you happy.

8. Focus on your breath. Notice it coming in and leaving. Don’t try to change it- just watch it and feel it. Sometimes it helps me when I breathe to count slowly 1 to 5, then count to 5 again as I breathe out.

9. Anytime thoughts come into your head, and they will, let them go and focus again on your breathing. I watch my thoughts come into my head and think of them like a cloud that come and then go by and go back to my breath. Don’t be too concerned when thoughts keep entering your head- this is what your brain does. Just learn to let them go. This is why this is called a meditation PRACTICE.

10. Be aware of creative thoughts that come into your head either when you are meditating or throughout the day. You have opened up your head to think more clearly and given it room to expand.

That’s it! Easy right?! Remember each day is different, so be kind to yourself. I have had really incredible experiences while meditating like answers, ideas and thoughts that have never come to me before. I have also had nothing happen while meditating except chatter in my head and thoughts about breakfast. But overall, it does help me feel centered, and I don’t get distracted as easily. I have heard that meditation strengthens your attention muscle.

If you haven’t ever tried meditation, I highly suggest you try it. It is easy, well kinda, and uplifting! What I have gained is inner peace, now who doesn’t want that?!

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