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I don’t know about you, but not every day can be spa day. But I still need a way to feel the same healthy relaxation I do after an hour or two of steam and scent. After attending my weekly yoga class for a few months, I asked my instructor how I could benefit from daily meditation at home. Her advice was excellent, and I’ve been enjoying my thirty minute sessions every day since. Here is what I have discovered.
- It’s like cleaning a room. That may not sound like fun, and it’s certainly the opposite of day at the spa, but meditative house-cleaning is different. You know how dirty your house or room can get when you are frazzled and busy? Dishes pile up, messes go uncleaned, laundry sits in the hamper until it overflows. Just being in a dirty house is stressful, so we (try to) keep them clean. But we easily leave our minds cluttered and overstuffed. I’ve found that meditation is a chance to clear out my mind. I start with scattered thoughts. I brush as many to the side as I can. Then I focus in on things that might be bothering me. I examine the situations till I find out what the problem is and decide how I’ll work on it later. Then the things that are bothering me are out of the way. And I’m left with still and quiet. That’s where I stay for the rest of my session. The whole process is like taking thoughts off the floor and putting them up on the shelf. The rest of my day is easier.
- There’s no right or wrong way to do it. When I was first learning, I got distracted by wondering if I was doing it right. Was I just sitting there, doing nothing? But then I started to just do it. Gradually, I found myself enjoying the process, finding little projects to do, and finally achieving a quiet mind, where I wasn’t thinking about much at all. My daily meditation sessions don’t always go like this. I just go with the flow. Sometimes I’m mentally active, figuring stuff from my life out the whole time. Other times I completely “zone out” and finish up after a lot of time has gone by. Meditation can be what you need it to be.
- Yoga seems to help. I know that people talk a lot about the mind/body connection, and it’s something I’m learning more about, but I think I have experienced this with meditation combined with yoga. There’s something about using your body well that makes your mind work better. Once I’m all loosened up (and maybe sweating a little bit) my thoughts come so much clearer. My yoga instructor says this is normal, and that one is never supposed to be apart from the other. I’m sure this applies to all kinds of exercise, whether you like hiking or whatever. Yoga seems to work for me. Teton Spirit Connection is one source I plan to try in my travel plans in the near future. They offer a lot of meditation and yoga opportunities, in a truly beautiful natural atmosphere. I’m honestly really excited about this one, and I think a lot of you will be too.
So, like I said, every day can’t be spa day. But it’s possible to clear up your mind the same way I’ll clean out my pores. Meditation is a great way to clean house, so to speak, in a cluttered mind. It’s made a difference for me, and I think it will for you, too.