Habit: Demystifying Meditation

-Rosemary Barria

Meditation is often seen as one crossing their legs in lotus on a special pillow, at a special time of day and in special clothing, but meditation can be so many things. Candice defined it beautifully when we were working this weekend “Anything that can get you from thinking of the past or the future and can let you be in the now is meditation.” Some people think it best to empty your mind, some find it useful to visualize and to focus on one thing, some chant, some sing, some do any of the many variations of movement, such as yoga, tai chi or even running. Some people meditate while finding flow in their work. My friend Alison, an artist , made a piece that I thought was a beautiful visual of meditation where she knit in a performance. She called it active prayer.

I used to be strict about knowing the “best” way to meditate. I wonder now if that search for doing things just right kept me from actually meditating some days. A phrase came to me a few months ago “The practice should work for you, you should not work for the practice”  Now I think if  I wake at 5 am going directly to my mat sitting crossed legged because I am supposed to than this would defeat the purpose, so instead when I open my eyes, often times now while nursing my son I check in with myself and see what the best use of time that morning will be. I always meditate though. By this I mean that I always spend time in quiet.  Do I journal, do a guided meditation, just breathing exercises, do I chant, do I make something, do I jump right into yoga or walking, do I work with oracle cards? It depends on the day. More often than not it looks the same for a few weeks until I decide and feel that I need something else or Sage (my 6 month old) starts teething and I have to meditate with him. We did a lot of meditation together at first and laying down. I call it meditation because I wasn’t asleep.

Regardless of how you meditate,  I believe committing to some time during the day for quiet is so important. For me waking early is the best and sometimes at night too. Check in with yourself, experiment, but whatever you do make time for quiet away from your phone, away from anyone else, away from anything that isn’t giving you peace for the day. Commit to a time and make it non-negotiable. If you have to hide in your bathroom then do it! To me meditation is a way I heal myself so that I can heal others. By the way, healing is not this special thing only certain people can do. We are all healers and I believe that healing happens daily. Just as our skin regenerates, so does our soul or whatever you want to call that magic you have. You may not notice the affects of meditation right away, but you will definitely notice if you have been away from it. I know I do and I know my partner does! So find your practice, play around with it and quit being all serious with what you do, but be serious that about the commitment to do it. You deserve it! If you aren’t spiritual than do it for your brain.

We are doing an Instagram challenge. How do you find quiet? Find us on Instagram @radiantlifeproject and share a photo, tag us and we will send someone a gift basket to help you with meditation! Contest goes from today (Friday) June 10th to Monday June 13th. Winner will be announced Tuesday  June 14th!

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