Day 7 ("Week of Hugs"): Meditation is a Great Vacation

So, lovely loves, we've come to the last day in my "Week of Hugs" blog post series. Yesterday, I spoke about my days of anxiety and panic attacks, and the breathing exercise that saved me in my college days. You can read about that here, if you missed it. Today, I'd like to share another wellness practice that I started doing back then . . . 

I started meditating. 

In our world today, it's more important than ever to meditate. It's the best way I know of to create a solid foundation of inner peace, improve our lives on all levels, and bring on those healing vibes. BUT we have so many excuses.

See if any of these sound familiar . . . 

- I'm too busy.
- I'm too tired. 
- I don't know how.
- When I try, my mind just wanders.

That last one kills me. It's like when someone says "I'd do yoga, but I'm not flexible enough." I mean, that's kinda the point. Your mind WILL wander. That's WHY you meditate. Same as my yoga example - yes, in the beginning you're not flexible, but as you carry the practice forward, you get more flexible, more relaxed. Stronger. 

So, here's a meditation exercise that's easy and quick enough to do everyday. And I suggest resisting the temptation to procrastinate because you're busy. It's a funny thing about meditation - the act of taking extra time to do it makes the rest of your day more efficient and smooth. More productive, really. So, kick off those excuses and give yourself one of the best self-hugs on the planet - Quality YOU time in the form of meditation!

OK, ready, kids? Here we go . . . 

1. Get into a comfortable position. This can even mean lying down (if you're confident you won't fall asleep). I personally like to sit in a comfortable chair with my feet up. Yes, there's that old stereotype about having to sit in a lotus position, but I find that if you're not truly comfortable, you can't relax. And you want your attention to be on your inner being, not a sore back.

2. Make sure you have at least 10-15 minutes of private time where you won't be interrupted. Turn off your phone, close the door, tell the kids to go live their lives. You get the idea. 

3. Take a few deep breaths. It's not a bad idea to use yesterday's breathing affirmation exercise to get started. Just allow yourself to relax on each exhale. Breathe in deeply through your nose, hold it for a second, then exhale through your mouth.

4. Take a few moments now to observe your thoughts. Without judgment, just become more aware of the thoughts and images that are present in your mind. It's like watching a train go by, seeing everything about it, but not getting on board. It can be oddly empowering to create more awareness around the thoughts/images in your mind, even if you don't "do" anything about them. 

5. Then, repeat an affirmation of your choice. Personally, I find it's helpful to focus my attention in my forehead (at the third eye center) while I do this. Don't worry if you don't know exactly where that is. Just put the effort in, try to keep your focus above your eyes in your forehead, and all will flow from that. Repeat your affirmation over and over again, slowly. As much as possible, FEEL the truth of the words. Here are a few suggestions if you don't have an affirmation already:

- I am totally alert, totally aware, and in control on all levels.
- I love myself and I approve of myself.
- Every day, in every way, my life is getting better and better.
- I allow healing. I am open to healing. I am thankful for the healing I will receive. 
- I let go of the old and I embrace the new.

6. Stay in that peaceful state, repeating your affirmation for as long as you like. When you're ready, take a few deep breaths and finish. 

So, I hope you'll find the time to do this exercise. I promise you, meditation is one of the very best things you can do, and it has a pretty powerful ripple effect on the rest of your life too. : ) 

Thanks SO much for joining me on this journey of hugs over the past week, loves. Please let me know if you have suggestions for future recipes or blog topics. I'm here to help!
Much LOVE and appreciation for YOU!
xx Tess