WTF is mindfulness meditation?
I've got a confession. I have NOT always been a person who meditates. But it's always intrigued me. As a teenager, I got a book on meditation at the library. The book made it clear in the first chapter that my goal was to have no thoughts. WHAT? I was a 15 year old girl who talked a lot. I still do. My mind is always going. I'm sure yours is too. That's the POINT of a brain, to think! So I returned the book, because I had zero success sitting down and not thinking.
Fast forward to a few years ago when I first heard of mindfulness mediation. Finally, I found out that it's OK to have thoughts while meditating, the point is to recognize them, and come on back to the present. Modern society has us constantly thinking about what's to come, what's happening right now that we don't know about. The term FOMO (fear of missing out) has become commonplace. But I truly cannot overstate how freeing it is to not give af about what you're missing out on, even if just for 20 minutes.
So what exactly is mindfulness? From wikipedia:
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training.
It's all about living in the now. Not what has happened or what's going to happen. That sounds easy enough, right? Yeah, I thought so too. But it can be challenging. So I'm going to give you a few tips on how to get out of your brain and into yourself.
1. Find a nice comfy, quiet spot. You don't have to dedicate a whole room or anything, just a place that you will be not disturbed. I have an amazing, yet silly and playful dog, so I've taken my meditation to a yoga mat in the backyard. Being outside has really made my practice so much better.
2. Take a load off. I prefer to sit on the floor with my legs crossed (I even sit like this in restaurant booths, but I'm kinda ridiculous). You want your hips to be higher than your knees, so grab a pillow or a folded blanket/towel.
3. Put your hands on your legs. Face up, face down, whatever. Just feel normal. Sit straight, but not rigid. Imagine your spine is a tree you're leaning on.
4. Grab your phone. Yes, your phone. I personally really love guided meditation. A soft, soothing voice that helps to bring me back to my breathing and to the present. My favorite is the Guided Meditation album on Spotify, the track titled "Guided Meditation and Healing Music for Serenity and Sense of Peace". Her voice is LIFE and the way she pronounces "anxieties" is adorable. If you choose to go with a guided meditation, grab a pair of headphones. It really helps to "take you there".
5. Close your eyes and be kind to yourself. Yes, your mind will wander, yes you may be a little fidgety at first. This isn't a failure. Mindfulness Meditation is a practice, meaning you're learning and you will never be perfect at it. That's not the point. What you want is to slow down, and be in the now.
Join me Wednesday, May 24, on the HoopCubed Facebook page for a LIVE guided meditation! I'll give a quick overview and then lead y'all through a beginner session. Check out facebook.com/hoopcubed for all the details. Have an amazing day y'all :)
From the mind of a hooper <3