It happened. I missed a day. I didn’t miss a day of creating time to be still + present, but I didn’t quite get a post here done. I’ll blame it on my staff holiday party last night. That’s totally fair, right? Plus, there’s no reason to have the pressure to be perfect. It’s just to be aware, accept it, go with the flow, and start over again. Ultimately, that’s what the living in the present moment is all about, isn’t it? Acceptance, flow, awareness, and moving on.
Not that it’s as easy to do as it is to right. Acceptance, awareness, + moving on are tough stuff. So, how do I actually do that on a daily basis? I said I didn’t miss my meditation time in the morning, but I did miss blogging… so, how do I stay in the meditation flow every day? What are my tips + tricks staying focused, for making that time? And what do I actually do?
I actually ended up talking with about 3 different people yesterday, at different times, about just this thing. So, today, I thought I’d spill the beans on what I do + how I do it. Here come my favorite tips, apps, and beliefs about creating your own meditation moments.
WHAT I DO
→ Get to Know Myself: I know who I am + what works for me.
You see, I’ve tried meditation many, many different ways. Everything from YouTube videos to guided meditations to podcasts to music-only meditations to chanting to silence to kundalini yoga to writing + reading. And you know what? I love all of the different ways. The most important thing I’ve learned, though, is to do whatever I really feel like doing. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, to create space to pray and be. The only things that I believe are super important are creating a consistent practice + practicing it.
There is no better way to begin incorporating a time of stillness into your life than to just begin – and to trust your soul to guide you. But, be patient. It is slow going getting into the groove. Stay with it, though, over time you will know the difference that this grounding time makes in your life. It will begin to ooze into every part of your being.
→ Prioritize: Put it into practice.
If I don’t make meditation a priority, then I don’t do it. And that’s just a cold, hard fact. So, the easiest way for me to prioritize mediation is to literally make it the first thing I do every day. And, in order to do that, I had to make it prio one. To begin with, I adjusted my sleeping/waking routines in order to make sure that I make it happen. Then I had to decide that after making coffee, getting on my mat was the first thing I’d do before getting dressed. It’s too easy to stay in bed, to hit snooze and/or scroll through Instagram, grab a shower, and rush through my morning, heading out the door without taking the time to ground myself.
So here are my morning priorities: meditation every morning. sufficient time to really enjoy my coffee. window-gazing for a couple of minutes. cleanliness/hygiene. stretching. inspiration (reading/writing). silence. sloooooow mornings.
With my priorities decided (and, again, it’s what you value + want for your morning/evening/night/lunchtime to be), I can much easier practice what I preach. And, the more I practice meditation, the more that I wake up + follow the way I choose to create/live my life, then the more that it all just becomes like breathing to me. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time that that happened. I truly, literally meditate every single day before work. And it has changed my life.
→ Create a Routine: It’s not a schedule + it’s not boring if it has meaning
Once I knew who I was and set my priorities, it was easy to create a routine to support my goal. I know that the words priorities, routine, and goal seem to have a boring sound to them. At least I think they do. But, it’s about committing to a way of life that supports me in living my as my highest self + living my life to the absolute fullest.
This is why having a routine isn’t morning. This is where I find the meaning behind what I do. If what I do comes from the priorities that I have affirmed and my priorities come from the soul of who I am + who I want to be, then that’s all the magic, meaning, and motivation I could ever need.
So, I’ve taken all of my priorities + put them in the order that I need them to happen in order to create the mornings that my soul craves. That’s it. The only thing left to do is to follow through.
My morning routine: wake, drink water, start the coffee, window gaze, wash my face, sip coffee, stretch/meditate/breathe/read/write, get dressed, walk to work + take lots of photos along the way. No tv, no sounds, only candlelight. Slow, silent, simple.
And, just a tip, I don’t actually use the word routine to describe how I set up my mornings. Instead, I prefer the word ritual. These are the rituals that I have created that allow me to begin my day from a place of grounding, peace, and presence. And I could not imagine beginning my days in any other way. (and I am speaking of my desire to have slow, intentional mornings; not the ways that I accomplish that. Because that just might change from year to year, month to month, or even day to day, based on the situation of my life. However, the intention is always the same).
HOW I DO IT
→ My meditation ritual: Light candle. Roll out my yoga mat or meditation blanket mat. Breathe + stretch. Sit in yoga position. Breathe. Meditate.
Now, how I meditate, as I said before, looks different sometimes from day to day. Usually I go through phases by meditating a certain way for a few weeks at a time. Sometimes I enjoy a guided meditation. Sometimes just silence. Sometimes music. And sometimes I go straight to reading/writing. Here are some of my favorite meditation tools that inspire my soul.
→ 3 podcasts: Meditation Oasis, Meditation Minutes, and Tara Brach (she has soooo many podcasts!).
→ 2 apps: Calm (voted 2017’s best meditation app!) + Centering Prayer
→ 1 newsletter:
On the Center for Action + Contemplation’s website you can sign up to receive daily emails, which are like little daily devotionals. Rooted in the Christian tradition, the emails are relevant to all types of spirituality, I believe, bringing in thoughts, beliefs, and ideas from other religious traditions; in addition to discussing how we actually all united in oneness.
I use this newsletter/email every single day to get me thinking. Often times, it inspired me to get out my journal and write down my own thoughts + musings. Reading the words of other theologians, mystics, and spiritual writers gives me a sense of connection + reminds me that I’m not alone in my ponderings. Of course, their words almost always introduce a new thought that sparks me to have a different thought, and so on. So. Inspiring.
So, that’s how I do it. Those are some of my tips for getting your own meditation ritual started. What about you? Do you have any tips or thoughts? Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to me + start a conversation. It’s always more fun to share thoughts + ideas. And I am always willing + ready to soak up your knowledge and tips!
In the meantime, I’m wishing you a cozy, inspiring weekend. It’s gonna be a big energetic one as we head into the last few days before the winter solstice, Yuletide, and the end of this year. So, hang with me here + and let’s stay present together.