i had every intention to write this post this morning, but that didn’t quite happen. you see, i started a new meditation series + then i got stuck. i got stuck wondering about my life and my future. i got stuck thinking about dreams + desires + goals + wishes. i journaled for a while, sat for a while, and just let myself feel everything i was feeling. and, when i couldn’t come up with any kind of closing feelings surrounding my morning meditation + what to write here, i just moved on to the next thing that i was going to do today… sometimes, you know, we don’t have the answers. or we don’t feel settled. and when that happens, sometimes the best thing to do is to just move on. so, that’s what i did.
i showered and prepared lunch. and all the while, i thought about meditation – how the past 3 months of dedicated meditation have affected me. and i concluded that i wanted to share that meditation time with you. i wanted to focus more on meditation on this blog… so i have now decided to create meditation mondays.
meditation mondays are a little bit like the dalai lama series that i did this past spring. only, this time i’m going to do shorter series/themes. sometimes there will be 3 or 4 or 6 mondays in a row that are focused on a theme; and sometimes a meditation monday post will be an independent one – just for that day.
basically, i am setting aside mondays to write about meditation for me – and for you. i invite you to read each monday’s post and follow along with the theme of the week. most likely i will only talk about the theme of the week on monday, when i introduce it, along with a meditation for you to do with me – in the comfort of your home, in your own way. but, throughout the week on my Facebook page and instagram, i will be posting other inspirational things related to the theme. so, be sure to check there to keep help keep the theme fresh in your mind all week. (links to my Facebook page and instagram are at the top of this page)
so, it’s still monday and time to get started with this week’s theme!
i’d like to welcome you to what i call native november! about a week ago, i created a playlist with the same name – music that is inspired by all things native american, earthy, wild, free + spiritual. i decided that i wanted to spend novemeber focusing on all of the gifts and lessons that indigenous people have contributed to this country. of course, there are indigenous people in all countries, people + tribes who seem to be a bit more grounded to the earth + connected to each other, than others (i’m talking about me here. maybe you can relate, but i am only implying me. hehe).
so, in addition to listening to my native november playlist, i thought i’d let the native american culture inspire me to become more grounded over the next 3 mondays. I mean, we could all use a little grounding just before the holiday season starts up + things potentially get crazy. so, for the next 3 weeks i hope to incorporate native american ideas, quotes, + images into my daily routines – giving me a chance to not only appreciate the native american culture, but to strengthen my wild side.
first things first. do you meditate? is it not for you, you think? or does it intimidate you – as it has me? well, i am here to tell you that how i meditate is just that… how i meditate. i do not follow any strict rules, but i have taken on some suggestions by others. mostly, though, i have created my own way of meditating. you know, what works best for me + my soul. i encourage you to do the same. meditation should not be resereved for only those who seem to be “holy”, but it should be something that we all apply in our daily lives – if we believe that it will add something to our lives. regardless of who we are, finding ways to get in touch with our souls, in whatever way works for us individually, is something that can make life much more rich + an bring us a deep sense of peace.
so, what is my mediation definition? for me, meditation is simply time that i set aside for myself. it is a dedicated, committed time of being alone + silent with the purpose of connecting with my soul, with the source of all being, the energy of the universe. it is my time with the divine mystery and inner light that i believe is within us all.
now, how do i meditate? well, i can guarantee that it is not what you are thinking. i am no guru – sitting cross-legged on the floor for hours in totally silence with my mind calm + quiet as i reach an enlightened state. uhhh… nope. it goes more like this: sit cross-legged on the floor, if it’s a good day, on a pillow, leaning against something. some days i sit in a chair. i plug in my headphones, find a guided mediation, + let it lead me in anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes of meditation – most of it with someone talking to me the whole time. sometimes i simply listen to music. and sometimes i read a book and make notes. what i am saying is that, for me, meditation involves anything that inspires me. see… not so scary, huh?
i promise that you can do this. and, i am here to help you along, if you join in + need a little guidance. that’s the joy of meditating “together”. and the way we are going to do that for the next 3 weeks, is by using a simple little outline for out meditation time. one of the powerful things about meditation is the ritual of it – the intentional slowing down and returning to a simple place. i believe that that is easiest done when we follow a few rituals, to remind us of what we are doing, to set the stage, so to speak. so, here’s the meditation pattern we are going to follow:
- create a special place just for you – a place you can return to every time you meditate (more on that later!)
- light a candle to center yourself – a symbol that this is the beginning of your sacred time with yourself
- breathe in. breathe out. breathe deeply + slowly. land. settle. relax.
- read or listen to the meditation. just let it soak into you without thinking or analyzing. feel the words or music – and notice if anything really sticks out + speaks to your soul.
- reflect on what you have seen, read, heard. what did you notice? what was new or important to you? what inspired you? what questions or challenges or insights it raises for your life right now. write and take notes, or just think for a minute.
- sit. just be. don’t do anything. don’t write. try to calm your mind. let inspiration soak into you. this is a good time to close your eyes.
- breathe in. breathe out. let your awareness return to your everyday life. prepare to reenter your everyday life. but, before you do, bow your head, or clasp your eyes, or look up to the sky, or put your hand on your heart. whatever feels good. give thanks for this time that you have given yourself. and whisper a little namaste, if you wish.
ok, back to the theme for the next 3 weeks: native november… let’s get started!
since it’s almost tuesday, and i’ve already shared so much information about meditation and such (= i have been very long-winded. hehe.), i am just going to introduce the theme for the week + give us an assignment. we will save the meditation ritual for later on in the week, how’s that sound?
this week i want to to explore vision quests with you – as you probably guessed by my image above. a vision quest for native americans is when a young child (a boy back in the day) is taken to a place far away to spend time all alone. usually it was a few days, and it was a time of learning to survive and fend for yourself. but, there is a deeper meaning to vision quests… it is also the time when one seeks to discover one’s purpose in life – or as i like to say, a very intentional time to discover + listen to one’s soul. once one’s authentic voice and soul are found, then it only makes sense that one’s life will be filled with meaning + purpose. in the end, because of this quest + discovery, the individual and all of society will benefit from someone who contributes to the world through doing something that they love.
so, guess what we are going to focus on this week? our own personal visions for our life. i don’t know about you, but this is something i really need right now.
the first thing that we are going to do, as we begin this little 3 week native journey is to create a space where we can begin to find our visions. we’re not going to go spend days out in the wilderness (i mean you sure can, if you want to! i’d love to, but life just doesn’t allow that for me right now – but that would be ideal), but we are going to create our own little sacred space.
find a spot in your home, inside or outside, and gather things that inspire you all around you. if you can, set up a little altar and put some candles, images, or other special trinkets there. or, if you’d like, you use kitchen table, any place you wish, just make it your own – and make sure it is a place you can retreat to every day, if even for only 5 minutes.
here’s a photo of my little altar area. i sit on the floor beside these things + spend some time alone every day. use tonight and tomorrow to find your place… and once you create it, snap a photo and post it on instagram or on my Facebook page.