My meditation practice started about 4 months ago. I tried it a few times in 2015 and 2016 but never really could get into it. I downloaded the Headspace App and listened to a few sessions but well that was that. I kept hearing about it and seeing other people on social media talking about it but it took me a few months to really give it a shot. It was over the summer when I couldn’t shake off the fear and uncertainty of the new autoimmune diagnosis and well the life of being a busy mom of three. There’s so much going on in the world and then we have our own personal issues and the pressure of being the best mom and holding it all together. We are always on the go. Drop off, pick up, soccer practice, basketball practice, play dates, doctor appointments. Even in my sleep my brain never stopped thinking about….life.
In July I attended a FemCity Miami meditation on the beach. I was exhausted and really didn’t think that I could make it to the beach by 8 a.m. But I had to go, I planned the event. The actual meditation lasted only about 35 minutes. It was pretty good but it was the conversation that the six of us had after that made me release all my preconceived feelings and fears and just surrender. I told them how I wanted to start a practice but I had a hard time being consistent and my friend Ana told me to just do it.
So I figured if it worked for Oprah, Gabby Bernstein and my FemCity friends well I better give this meditation thing a try. I began reading articles and looking for books that would help guide me. I came across a Russell Simmons’ book and paid closer attention to the Glow Maven. Yes, I was looking for people that looked like me. I was a little confused with prayer versus meditation and I was wondering did black people really do this? I know I am crazy for thinking that but hey I am keeping it real. I was raised in the church and all I know is that we pray. We pray for everything and keep it moving. But there is power in stillness. It is amazing what it can do for you.
I kept reading that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Good or bad. I pledged to give it a try for five minutes twice a day for 21 days and if I didn’t feel a difference then I would try something else. Well I made it to day 20 and Hurricane Irma started traveling towards Miami. I was so rattled and frustrated with the storm due to surviving Hurricane Andrew that my namaste turned to oh hell no let’s get up out of here. We packed up the car and headed north. It only took me 2 days to realize that I better find a quiet place real quick or I was going to be messed up. The anxiety and tension levels were extremely high everywhere we went. The hotel, grocery stores, the mall and the gas stations. We were all on edge. But once we got settled into our second hotel, I found a space to meditate. And so far I haven’t skipped a day since.
Meditation has changed my life. I still get a little rattled some days but I feel so much better. Whenever I get that anxious feeling I start to connect with my breath and try to find a quiet place. Sometimes it is in the car during pickup time or in a bathroom because I am hiding from my kids lol. I wish that I learned this in my twenties. But hey we live and we learn. The benefits of a daily practice include reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, aids in fat loss, better skin, increases fertility and better memory. Here are a few tips to begin your practice.
- Start small (a few minutes a day makes a big difference)
- Focus on your breathing.
- Find a book, app, or website that will help guide you.
- Get comfortable ( try a meditation pillow or even lay down)
- Expect your mind to wonder
- Be consistent
Let me know what you think, or if you have any questions.