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5 Ways Meditation Helps with Everyday Life

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Life gets busy. Super busy.

Even when I compare what I’m doing today with what I was doing just 5 years ago, there is a definite increase in the amount of work that I’m doing. It’s not just professional responsibilities either. Every aspect of life is more active than I can ever remember it being.

Life might seem like a non-stop race, but even racers get to take a pit stop every now and then to refuel. This is what meditation can be for each one of us. When you decide to take the trip down pit lane to make a stop for meditation, these are the 5 benefits you’ll be able to potentially receive.

#1. There’s a deeper connection to who you are. When you meditate for just 4 days in a row, you’ll begin to notice that you have a better, deeper connection with your body. You notice when you start slouching in your posture. You feel each breath you take. Some people even report better digestion and more energy. Others say they understand their thoughts better. The bottom line: you’re spending time with you while meditating, so the end result is a feeling of embodiment.

#2. You can implement coping skills with more regularity. There are a lot of good reasons to be angry in this world today. War, abuse, socioeconomic injustice – the list is seemingly endless. The only problem with anger, even when it is justified, is that it is like an iceberg. You see a teeny tiny bit of the emotion on the surface, but miss the bulk of it hiding below. Anger causes reasoning to be reduced. With meditation, you can counter the negative effects that anger brings and be able to implement the coping skills needed to restore your balance.

#3. There is more confidence. Meditation allows each one of us to take control of our lives. We’re empowered to embrace the truth that is around us. Moments of perfection are in everything, but we often miss them because we’re so focused on what we’ve decided is more important. You will have the confidence to embrace the positive things life has to offer much more often.

#4. You create a place of peace for yourself. There are many shades of chaos that hover around us. It pushes us toward these environments where we feel like we’re out of control. Whether it’s a chore that needs to be completed or a work project, I know I’ve often placed needless deadlines upon myself and that restriction created havoc instead of peace. With meditation, we can all find that place of peace we need from the storms life tends to generate for each of us.

#5. There is calm. How many tabs are up right now on your internet browser? Personally at this moment I have 6 open. That means there are six different opportunities to have my focus distracted. Each is demanding my attention. Meditation takes all of those open tabs in life and closes all but one of them. You focus on one thing only: thoughts, emotions, breathing, a single point of light – it doesn’t matter. This single point of focus creates calm because the multitasking mind finally gets to take a break.

Life is always going to be busy. There’s nothing we can really do to change that fact. What we can do is adapt to those changes so we can maintain good health. This is why I’ve embraced meditation for everyday life. It has helped me find the calm path on my journey through the storms of life.

Common Misperceptions About Meditation

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The alarm clock sounds. You stumble downstairs, grab a cup of coffee, and make your way back upstairs to take a shower. After downing half of the coffee, you hop into the stinging warmth of the water. You take a deep breath, maybe a few more, and your muscles begin to relax.

You start to feel awake. Your mind begins to organize itself for the rest of the day. And through this process there’s a good chance you’ve been meditating – maybe without realizing it.

There are several common misperceptions about meditation that continue to thrive in society today. People picture monks dressed in elaborate robes, playing with meditation beads or incense, and spending hours in solitude.

Meditation isn’t a luxury experience or one that requires a deep spiritual nature to enjoy. Anyone can meditate. All you need to do is be willing to take a few deep breaths in a moment of silence to really start the process. Well… that and you need to be willing to dismiss the misperceptions of meditation like those that follow.

#1. Meditation requires a clear mind. Even those who consider themselves experts at meditation admit that they’ll get 1-2 minutes of clarity in a 30-minute meditation session. It’s virtually impossible to complete clear out your mind. You’re always seeking, striving, and thinking. The goal here should be to engage your focusing mechanisms back to meditation when you feel your mind start to wander.

#2. Meditation requires a lot of time. Many choose to avoid meditation because they feel like they don’t have 30 minutes to dedicate to its practice. The fact is that if you make meditation a priority, then you’ll find time to do it. A good way to increase the priority level of meditation in your life is to include it a little bit at a time. Start with 5 minutes each day. Increase it to 10 minutes after a week or two. Then just keep adding 5 minutes every 7-14 days as you feel comfortable until you reach your target time.

#3. Meditation is expensive to do. It’s true that there are a lot of expensive trends available to people in the world of meditation. Many people are seeking instant solutions in a world of immediate gratification, so money gets thrown at those who offer that possibility. The fact is you can sit down anytime, take a few deep breaths, and you’re meditating for exactly $0. Fads come and go. The chance to meditate is always there.

#4. Meditation accomplishes nothing. Science proves that meditation does tremendous things. It helps to decrease anxiety, helps with chronic pain, compliments anxiety and depression treatments, resolves insomnia, and may even help with cardiovascular disease. Even if it did none of these things, you’d still be getting to take a break from the stresses of the day and that’s a worthwhile benefit for sure.

Maybe meditation isn’t necessary for some, but it is a skill that can be learned in a relatively short amount of time. It requires no tools, yet can improve your health, sleep, and stress relief. That’s why it is so important to recognize and then dismiss the common misperceptions that still exist about meditation.

What have been some of your struggles in beginning a meditation routine? I’d love to hear some of your stories about how meditation has changed your life.

4 Ways To Increase the Strength of Your Willpower

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I love to meditate. The process helps me to figure out my day, plan for uncertain situations, and give myself confidence to face the unexpected. I can label thoughts, sort emotions, and handle stress effectively because I’ve taken time for myself.

The only problem is that I don’t always love the process that is required to get myself into my meditation zone. I might be running late for work. Or there might be a TV show on that I want to watch. I might be hungry. Summoning the strength to actually meditate tends to be more difficult than actually meditating.

Here’s how I work on improving the strength of my willpower so that I can enjoy the process of meditating that I love so much.

#1. Getting enough sleep every night is important.

Whenever I get about 5 hours of sleep or less, my decision-making skills go out the window. I eat snacks I shouldn’t and I don’t care about the consequences. My attitude tends to be one of anger first if something doesn’t go my way. Should I meditate? Of course I should – but that cheesecake at the store looks so good…

Without enough sleep, there isn’t enough impulse control. This means you’re tempted to do things you normally wouldn’t do because the fatigue you carry in your body drains you of energy. Instead of long-term goals, you’re focused on short-term survival. So when I get enough sleep, I noticed a dramatic reduction of the cravings that can tempt me away from meditating.

#2. Be willing to forgive yourself.

Not every meditation opportunity goes perfectly. There are times when I focus on the neighbor grilling hamburgers more than the stressful issues I’m facing. Or maybe my leg falls asleep and all I can focus on are those pins and needles. If I can forgive myself for not being perfect, I find that it is a lot easier to reach my daily goals.

It doesn’t take long for meditation to be effective. I shoot for 90 minutes each day, but 10 minutes can be good enough. If you aren’t meditating right now, I would highly encourage you to give it a try. It was very difficult for me to forgive myself of my failures when meditation wasn’t part of my life.

#3. Get outside and take a walk.

I’ve found that my self-control increases exponentially when I can find time to exercise. Whether it’s a walk around the park or 60 minutes on a treadmill, every little bit counts to strengthen my willpower. What’s great about exercise is that the strengthening process is also contagious. When you feel strong, you want to work on becoming stronger.

#4. A good input is required for a good output.

 There’s this old song I was taught growing up that goes something like this: “Input. Output. What goes in is what comes out.

When it comes to my dietary choices, that is very true. If I eat junk food, I get junk results from my willpower. If I take care of myself by eating healthy items, even if I’m craving Skittles like mad crazy, then my willpower is stronger because I’ve made a stronger eating choice.

By avoiding caffeine and sugar spikes, I can avoid the crashes that come which can demotivate me to meditate.

Finding ways to increase the strength of your willpower might seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Something as simple as getting a little exercise each day and substituting one sugary item for a healthy one can give you the energy that is needed.

What are your strategies for keeping your willpower strong? I’d love to hear about what you’ve discovered that has made a difference in your life.

The Stuff About Meditation That No One Discusses

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Meditation is supposed to be a simple, calming process. The only problem is that it tends to be frustrating and complicated for many, especially in the first days of starting a regular meditation routine. I’ve found that some of those frustrations may not go away for quite some time, even when fully committed to the process. It makes me wonder about the validity of all those meditation blogs out there.

The problems caused by humanity can also be fixed by humanity, so let’s get that process started today. Here is some of the stuff about meditation that I wish had been discussed with me when I first became interested in this ancient practice.

#1. Meditation isn’t always relaxing. This was especially true for me in the first days. I wasn’t expecting to find a personal nirvana, but I was hoping to have my anxieties and stress melt away from my body. I could sit there for 30 minutes, however, and think more about why my butt was falling asleep than finding any clarity. So if you’re struggling through a meditation session, my best advice is this: don’t give up. It’s just part of the journey.

#2. Clarity is different than a blank mind. How many times have you heard that meditation is supposed create a “blank mind?” I would sit for minutes trying to suppress random thoughts that would come my way while meditating. Some of the thoughts were about things I hadn’t thought about in decades. The fact is that you’re never going to have an empty chalkboard up there in your head. Thoughts happen. It’s more important to observe those thoughts than try to suppress them. Over time, you may find that the time between thoughts expands and it is in those moments that clarity can be found.

#3. There doesn’t need to be a specific meditation position. Whenever you see meditation posts online, you see someone in the lotus position. That made me think that I had to do the lotus position as well. Yeah – it didn’t work so well. It’s just not comfortable for me thanks to an old sports injury. The truth is that you can be in virtually any position or location and achieve a good meditation session. You can even meditate with your eyes open if you want. I know of folks who meditate in the shower, while lying in bed, or while hiding in a closet at work. Find your spot, find your comfort zone, and meditation will follow.

#4. You don’t always need to meditate for 30+ minutes. Now I will say this: there is a definite improvement in my overall day when I can meditate for 30-45 minutes. That doesn’t mean every meditation opportunity must be that lengthy. I’ve found that meditation times tend to be accumulative in nature. This means if you meditate 6 times during the day for 5 minutes, then you achieve similar benefits as someone meditating once for 30 minutes. It’s more important to put in whatever time you can instead of demanding a specific amount of time out of your schedule.

#5. Meditation works better when it’s a habit. The struggle is in making it a habit in the first place. I know when I skip a day, it becomes easier to skip another day. Not every meditation opportunity is going to feel awesome, which can make it even more tempting to stop, but I would encourage you to keep going. Daily meditation creates a routine that eventually you’ll look forward to enjoying.

I think we don’t talk about these things a lot because we want to present the good side of meditation to everyone. We want to show everyone how perfect meditation can be. Yet there is also beauty in imperfection, which is why I think we should discuss this issues more often.

What has been your greatest challenge to establishing a daily meditation routine? I’d appreciate hearing your stories and be able to learn from your personal experiences so together we can keep improving with each opportunity.

How To Meditate When the World Says No

Meditation Rock 

If someone said it only took 10-20 minutes per day to improve everything from memory to the functionality of your immune system and you could do it for free, most people would be skeptical about the claim. Yet that’s exactly what meditation can provide.

This ancient spiritual practice is seeing a resurgence across multiple sectors of society because of the many benefits it can provide. It’s not a religion. It’s simply a new way of looking at the world, at yourself, and finding ways to manage life better.

Many may be trying meditation, but not everyone is succeeding at it. I’ve been there myself. In the early days of my practice, back when double cheeseburgers were my main dinner priority, I couldn’t even sit still for 5 minutes. Try to focus my thoughts? Please. The moment my mind didn’t have to deal with all the issues the world was throwing at it became the moment that random thoughts began flooding my head.

I wonder who is going to get promoted next week.

What will my life be like next month? Next year? In 10 years?

Is that the smell of a double cheeseburger in the air?

The struggles are very real and dismissing them does no one any good. When the world says it is impossible to meditate, I offer you these three ideas to help you fight back.

#1. Redefine What Success Means

Like many people these days, I expected instant success. If I decided to start meditation, then I’d be a master at it instantly. Except it didn’t happen that way. I wanted something specific from meditation and it offered me something else, so I thought I was a failure.

I’ve spoken to many people who have had a similar experience. Clarity can happen during meditation – sure it can. In the early days, what is more likely to happen is a series of thought observations and solitude. There’s nothing wrong with that.

As long as you are working toward moments of clarity, you are creating a successful meditation time. See your thoughts. See your feelings. Begin to let them come and go.

#2. Redefine Your Atmosphere

I used to go all-out in creating a meditation atmosphere for myself. There was incense burning, fancy yoga outfits being worn, and let’s not forget about the mantras. Then there was the perfect lotus position, the ultra-quiet surroundings, and a memory foam cushion for maximum sitting comfort.

And it didn’t work.

There are many meditation techniques out there, but all of them follow 3 basics: be comfortable, be observational, and be accepting.

You can meditate at the beach. You can meditate at the library. You can park your car in a rest area and meditate in the parking spot. As long as you are willing to accept the experience, avoid judging how your experiences are different than others, and just focus your mind toward the end goal, you’ll find that many places offer the right atmosphere for meditation.

With or without the incense.

#3. Redefine the Commitment

I couldn’t meditate for 10 minutes when I first started my efforts at meditation. It made me feel like a failure when I couldn’t make it that long because everyone was telling me that I need to achieve that time goal. Only when I discovered the build-up process did my meditation times begin to improve.

Let’s say this is your first week meditating. Instead of 10-20 minutes, try shooting for 3-5 minutes. If you can go longer – great. If not, lower it down to two minutes. Sit quietly and work on focusing your mind throughout that time.

Then, as you become more comfortable with meditation, start increasing how much time you can meditate. This eliminates the guilt and regret that come from not making the time goals of experts and helps you begin to experience the benefits meditation can provide.

These are my methods to help start the meditation process. What are some of yours? I’d love to hear about your approach to meditating and what has worked for you.

7 Ways You Can Meditate Better Each and Every Day

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Meditation requires a commitment. How we commit to it depends on each of us. What works for me, for example, may be the worst idea you’ve ever heard of at the moment. That’s okay. Without a commitment, meditation will unfortunately fade away as an idea that just seemed good at the time. If you’re struggling with your meditation times, here are some of the ways that I was able to adjust my approach. Hopefully some of these will work for you as well.

#1. Do it first. If you make time for meditation first, then the rest of the day just seems to fall into place. I know when I wasn’t making time to meditate be the first thing on my to-do list, there never really seemed like any time to do it.

#2. Keep it simple. I like to meditate in the same place each day whenever possible. If not, then I look for a place that is as close to my regular environment as possible. When you can establish a habit that involves the same time and the same place, that’s a recipe for meditation success.

#3. Make it something to which you can relate. I know when I first started meditating, I’d sit there for minutes on end, wondering what I was doing. Can you believe people actually do this stuff and think it’s awesome? And then one day, I compared meditation to watching a movie. The goal may be to receive entertainment, but there are deeper levels of joy that can come from the experience – like spending time with a loved one. That helped me to see how meditation could be thought of on multiple levels as well.

#4. Forgive yourself. If you miss a meditation time, it’s cool. No big deal. Don’t be your own worst critic. Just knuckle down and make meditation happen the next day. Otherwise I’ve discovered the temptation to begin skipping meditation becomes more difficult to ignore.

#5. Allow some flexibility when it makes sense. Your plans for a day can go in a different direction from the moment the alarm clock sounds. The kids begin screaming. The cat figured out how to get into the cereal cabinet the night before. Your boss calls and says they need you to attend an emergency meeting. Life happens. Put meditation into your schedule when you can during these moments. If it doesn’t happen, then try again the next day.

#6. Remind yourself of success. There are many positive attributes to meditation, from emotional stability to enhanced well-being. When you feel a little down, it can be easy sometimes to blame a bad meditation session. During the moments, remind yourself of those great benefits you’ve experienced in the past to make it through this difficult time.

#7. Be realistic. When I first started meditating, it’s almost like I expected rainbows and unicorns to celebrate my accomplishment. I wanted to feel awesome and I wanted that feeling right now. Except it didn’t happen. I felt disappointed. Was meditation really what it was cracked up to be? Over time, I did start experiencing what everyone else talked about, but it wasn’t immediate. Be realistic with your expectations. Give it time. Good stuff is going to happen.

How do you manage your meditation time? I’d love to hear some of the tips and tricks that you use to maintain your center on a regular basis.

5 Minute Meditation Practices That Change Everything

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There are a number of benefits that come with a regular time of meditation every day. The only problem is that getting started can feel pretty intimidating. I’ve been there. I used to think meditation was this far-off concept that could never be obtained, so I didn’t bother to try for the longest time.

What finally got me started was the idea that I didn’t have to meditate for 20-30 minutes to experience some of the benefits that meditation can provide. Just 5 minutes is enough to begin experiencing the wonders of what it can do. And who doesn’t have 5 minutes that can be set aside? Even 5 minutes in the bathtub can be a place for meditation.

So here is how I started my meditation habit and it has grown from there. If you’re at the beginning of your journey, then I encourage you to follow these steps to get your 5 minute meditation practice started right away.

#1. Set a specific time each day. Then set a 5 minute timer so you can stop worrying about how long you’ve actually been meditating.

#2. Allow yourself the privilege of relaxing. Close your eyes and shut out the world. Take some deep breaths. Feel your muscles begin to release their stored-up tension.

#3. Focus on a single point. This is where many people, including myself, get tripped up at first. The idea isn’t to clear your mind of all thoughts. It’s to focus on a single point and stay there in that moment. It can be a simple thought. It can be an experience. It can be a point of light or a specific sound. It must be something that is comfortable, but also easy to access so you can find your focus each day.

#4. Get into a comfortable position. If your leg fell asleep, it’s okay to move around a bit to become comfortable. Scratch the itch that happens. Find a way to be that is comfortable for you and then stick with that position – even if it’s a non-traditional meditation position. Some of the best meditation sessions I’ve had are me just lying down on the floor and closing my eyes.

#5. Control your environment. Sometimes there can be a lot of distractions around you which can be difficult to drown out. In those moments, I like to use some meditation music to help me focus. Aromatherapy can also be helpful, especially if the distractions are creating stress for you.

#6. Keep going if you can. 5 minutes is a great start. If you’re feeling good and you can spare the time, try to extend your meditation to 7 minutes. Or 10 minutes. Or 20 minutes. Whatever you feel comfortable doing. I would strongly encourage you to push yourself a little every day so that you can keep pushing yourself to be a little bit better each day.

Meditation doesn’t have to fit into some specific template to be successful. I started to get more out of meditation when I began putting my personal twists on how I practiced it and the same can be true for you. Give yourself 5 minutes each day, follow these steps, and you might just find the benefits of regular meditation are waiting for you.

Have you struggled to meditate successfully in the past? What helped you be able to overcome those difficulties?

7 Success Habits of Great Meditators

Learning how to meditate can be a rewarding experience. Meditation helps to reduce anxiety by teaching us to switch off from the worries that can plague us throughout the day. Meditation has the benefit of affecting your entire life, giving you the ability to better handle stressful emotions. Meditation allows us to be in tune with our inner self. When we live in the heart we can experience a sense of oneness with others, this brings a happiness that does not depend upon outer events.

Below are seven habits of successful meditators. Learning these seven habits will help your meditation practice to deepen and grow.

1. Make time.

Time should be set aside for your practice everyday. Twice a day (once in the morning and again in the evening) is preferred. Meditation can be done anytime, but it’s better to do it when arising and before that evening meal. Make a commitment to meditate at the same time each and everyday. After a while, your body will automatically want to meditate during those times. When you get into the habit of meditating everyday, it will be much easier for you to make progress in your practice. Developing a schedule not only helps to get you into a rhythm, but it also signals to the Universe your intent to meditate.

2. Pick a spot.

Equally as important as meditating the same time everyday is the need to meditate in the same place. If you plan to make meditation a part of your daily practice, you should have a meditation spot. Your meditation spot should be clean and uncluttered. The place you meditate should be quiet and free of distractions. It doesn’t matter where it is in your house, just as long as you are able find peace of mind there and can get access to it regularly. If you meditate in the same place every day it builds up a meditative atmosphere. When you sit down on that spot, your body will be ready for meditation. Your meditation place will develop a power of its own which will make it easier to meditate.

3. Be comfortable.

Meditation does not have to be an uncomfortable experience. You want to be comfortable, relaxed and focused when you meditate. While many people feel aches and pains when they sit cross-legged, with regular practice and stretching that discomfort can be completely alleviated for most people. Another option is to sit on a padded chair with a straight back. Since you want to clear your mind of all distractions when you meditate, you will need to find positions that are comfortable, yet not so comfortable that you might fall asleep. This is why you don’t want to meditate while lying down. Make sure the room temperature feels good. The room should not have extremely bright light since this can be distracting. The light in your room can affect your mood.

4. Learn to let go.

Meditation is the art of doing nothing. In today’s hectic, achievement-focused world we are almost always doing something. This “doing” mode is fueled by the belief that if only we did enough of the right things, had enough of the right experiences, earned enough money, or owned enough possessions we would be happy. As a result our minds are seldom, if ever, still. Instead we are busy fretting about what we should have done or said, planning what we should do or not do, say or not say, in the future, and worrying whether or not we will obtain the things and experiences we think we need to be happy. During meditation as the mind begins to settle down it discovers an inner calm and peace. The habitual mental chatter begins to fade away.

5. Sit with it.

After you finish your practice, give yourself at least 5 minutes in which to readjust to the normal world. Allow yourself the opportunity to begin to integrate the material that came into consciousness. Just sit and be still. Be in the present moment. If you start to think a lot of thoughts and become very active, you can prevent some of the meditative awareness from coming into your mind. You should not jump up from your meditation spot and run to your computer to check your email or the news. This is time for yourself to soak up the meditation experience you just had. While not all thoughts and feelings are going to be rosy when meditating, it’s important to not judge or criticize your experience. There is no bad meditation.

6. Be patient.

Patience is one of the key ingredients in meditation. There will be days when it seems like we are not making any progress in our practice. In times like these, it takes patience and perseverance to not quit and be discouraged. If we practice sincerely, we will progress. There is really no time factor. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Meditation takes time and patience. Don’t be in too big a hurry to get some kind of results. Learning how to meditate is a gradual process that takes time.

7. Enjoy it.

Meditation is taken very seriously by many people. Sure it should be held with a certain amount of reverence. However, it is also a source of great joy and lightness. A thing that can elevate the soul and spirit. Raise people up from dark spaces and bring them happiness again. Being able to take things lightly is a strong skill to have, one that can pay great dividends. By allowing yourself to enjoy a lighter element you can bring a strong and powerful source of energy into your life. Every time you allow yourself to feel joy you have a profound source of stress relief on tap. Opening up to joy can bring dimensions to life. Allow the wonder of life to flow through you and reconnect with the powerful forces that runs through the universe and bring the life that we are fortunate to be able to have.

4 Easy Ways You Can Meditate Like a Pro

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You sit in your meditation spot, day after day, but clarity just keeps escaping you. No matter what you do, there’s a distraction that hampers your efforts. Maybe your legs begin to tingle. The old knee injury begins to ache again. There’s the smell of your favorite food hovering in the air.

I can sympathize with this problem. As much as I might try to seek clarity, if the smell of a cheeseburger is on the breeze, my mind and my stomach start having different thoughts. In the end, when I can’t find clarity, I feel more stressed out than I did before I started meditating.

For so long, this made me question my dedication. Why couldn’t I meditate like so many other people? Then I realized that maybe I needed to make some adjustments to what I was doing to improve each session. I hadn’t fallen out of love with meditation. I had simply evolved and my meditation practices needed to do so as well.

Here are the 4 steps that I took to correct that process so that the chances to achieve clarity could return.

#1. Create a New Space

Your needs may evolve when you evolve. The fact is that we all change a little bit every day. Who you are today isn’t the same person who you were yesterday. Now multiply this effect over 1 year, 5 years, or even more and you might be a whole different person. I discovered that the meditation space I had chosen for myself wasn’t meeting my needs any more. It made me uncomfortable and there were bothersome distractions that I didn’t remember there being before. So I created a new space to inject some new life into each session.

#2. Change Your Expectations

When you’ve been meditating for awhile, you kind of expect your mind and body to react in certain ways. When that reaction doesn’t take place, then it bothers you. I know that if I couldn’t find any clarity at all, I would focus on that issue for the rest of the day. I wanted to figure out the issue so I could fix it.

Then one day I realized something. I had developed a certain expectation for meditation that I didn’t have when I had first started. In the beginning, I had no expectation of a positive outcome. Now, here I was, becoming frustrated because I wasn’t getting the positive outcome that I wanted.

#3. Be Willing to Forgive

It’s easy to judge yourself harshly when you feel like you haven’t met your meditation goals. I’ve discovered that sometimes you must be willing to forgive yourself for those times where you feel you have failed. Sometimes you even have to be willing to stop forcing your meditation sessions and just go with what feels natural at that given moment. Sometimes 5 minutes of meditation that is genuine is better than 30 minutes of forced meditation time.

#4. Find Your Anchor

Whenever there is something that feels bothersome during your meditation session, it is important to have a reliable anchor that you can come back to use to center yourself. My breathing has always been pretty reliable for me. Some might like to focus on a point of light, like a candle. Whatever it is, give yourself a reminder to use it so that you can begin rebuilding your awareness.

Even when you make changes like these, I’ve found that to meditate like a pro, you’ve got to stick to your core routines. Allow your meditation to evolve with you, but keep it on the schedule every day and keep infusing familiar elements into your practice. In doing so, the changes may be quite profound.

Have you worked to evolve your meditation sessions? I’d love to hear some of the ideas you’ve used to evolve your regular meditation practices into something even more beneficial.

Approaching Mindfulness With Mother Nature

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Meditation has always been something that I’ve prioritized in my life. Sometimes I let my priorities slide a little bit and put meditation on the back burner of life for a few days, but eventually I get back to it. Yet there are still days when I get into my comfort zone, begin to meditate, and struggle to find any clarity. Mindfulness? Forget about it.

To counter that problem, I’ve found that it can be highly beneficial to get back in touch with Mother Nature. Exploring the Great Outdoors really does unlock your mindfulness potential because there are so many small wonders that you can see if you allow yourself to slow down from the rigors of modern life. A cool breeze, the sound of the ocean, or even just the sunlight on my face is enough to change my perception.

Nature gets my attention.

Why Does Being Outside Unlock Mindfulness?

Human beings were born to be interactive with the outside. Our legs were built to explore. Our minds were built to observe. Our hands were made to interact with the perfect moments that surround us every day. There is a certain peace which comes when we’re on our own outside because our senses are always present. We get to engage our complete being in a way that riding the subway or commuting an hour to work in heavy freeway traffic just doesn’t allow.

But it’s more than that. It’s also about our relationships. People today are connected like never before. I can speak to a friend halfway around the world on a video call, talk to co-workers on Facebook, and check-in with my extended family at any time during the day. I can share my day with them and they can share theirs with me. This limits the amount of alone time we receive.

Going outside takes us away from the gossip and drama that relationships can provide. It takes us out of the city and into our hearts and minds. Instead of noise and movement, we receive quiet contemplation. When I struggle to find my clarity, this is why I make it a point of emphasis to get myself outside for my next meditation session.

How Can We Approach Nature in the City?

Living in the city makes it tough to have a conversation with Mother Nature every day. Tough, however, is not impossible. You might not be able to ascend to a mountain summit to meditate in the glory of the rising sun, but you could head down to your local park, kick off your shoes, and enjoy some time out there amongst the trees.

Many cities also have public gardens which make for wonderful meditation spots. If you share a building with others, maybe there’s a rooftop garden where you could find some moments of peace and clarity. If you’re willing to find a place where you can be still and listen to what your inner being and what Mother Nature are trying to tell you, then it becomes very possible to approach mindfulness even on the busiest of days.

Where do you go when you struggle to find clarity? I’d love to hear about some of your favorite places to meditate.

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