How does your morning quiet time look? My morning quiet time is ever-evolving. Starting out years ago as just a few moments of prayer while standing at my cross wall. Asking for good health and continued blessings for all those I loved. Then I began reading the Bible (novel idea!). But because I was a novice to developing a devotional routine, I used Jesus Calling and the amazing workbooks of my friend Mary Clewley to help me find my way around the word.
From there, I began incorporating the Miracle Morning routine into my quiet time. And my quiet time became more time-consuming. Which isn’t a bad thing except I was spending a whole lot of my morning trying to work through the six steps of Miracle Morning…silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing….SAVERS. When I am not working, I can be more leisurely with my mornings. But when I was subbing and even now with my part-time job, they kind of like me to show up for work on time!
So, these days I am doing a kind of combo between Miracle Morning and my own quiet time routine. One of the things I want to bring back to my mornings is the practice of meditation. While standing in the check out lane at Walmart, I saw “The No-Excuse Meditation Guide,” a beginner friendly mediation guide by Sukey and Eizabeth Novogratz in this month’s The Power of Mindfulness, I added the magazine to my cart of healthy foods to eat while PC is out of town.
Just to clarify, it’s not that we eat junk when he is here, but I am trying to lose 6 pesky pounds while he’s gone. And starting tomorrow, Monday is always a great day to START, I am going to try adding mediation back into my mornings. Here’s what I’ve learned to make it more do-able this time ’round.
Linking up, a little late, with Lauren at Shooting Stars Mag for this Glossies Made Me Do It series.
No Excuses Meditation
The Novogratz gals begin their article by making anyone who has tried meditation with some resistance feel better about their lack of success. I laughed when they suggested that our minds often drift to other more important things we should be doing…like bleaching the tub. My mind never went there but I was always anxious to move on to breakfast!
As is the case with all things new, starting meditation can feel kind of awkward. And because it does, newbies often quit before they can really become comfortable and consistent at it.
The authors suggested 10 tips to make meditation more successful for newbies and oldies alike. Or in my case, an oldie newbie. These are some that resonated with me.
- KISS – keep it short and sweet
- Resist trying to make sense of it
- Allow yourself to be surprised by mediation
Get Started Today
- Sit. The meditation app I have been using is called Calm.com. Soothing sounds mixed with silence mixed with the calming instruction of Tamara Levitt. Her voice is so pleasant. A lullaby almost. But Levitt always begins each session by instructing the listener to sit, back straight, feet on the ground, eyes closed. The authors of this article say the specifics don’t matter. Just sit. I like that much better.
- Close your eyes. Or open them. If you open them, try to focus softly on something. But no need to bore a hole in the wall.
- Rest your arms and hands. Levitt says the same thing. I want to cross my arms but that body language is probably counterproductive to meditation’s objective.
- Feet on the floor if you are sitting in a chair. So I avoid that by sitting on a couch. Why can’t my legs be curled up under me?
- Keep a straight spine. Levitt suggests sitting straight, too. Guess that’s why my legs can’t be curled underneath me. But how I like to slump. If I do everything else right, can I just slump?
- Set a timer. With Calm.com you can select the length of time of your meditation session. The authors of this article recommend starting with 2 minutes. I guess I can sit straight for 2 minutes.
- Understand that meditation isn’t an activity to wipe your mind of thoughts and cares. It is a way to slow down for a minute or two or ten, and to pay attention to your body.
OR Get Started Tomorrow
That’s my plan. Tomorrow. It will be Monday. Always the best day to start diets, New Year’s resolutions, exercise programs and meditation.
I will remember to be more conscious of my breathing. Last time I meditated or sat still for a minute, I thought of my breathing in terms of waves lapping onto a beach, receding and then returning, rhythmic.
Having that image of the waves worked as an anchor for my concentration and focus.
I will be aware of my thoughts but will try to return to a mindfulness of my body and my breathing when I realize my thoughts are leading me off track. And I will be gentle with myself through the process. I am ADHD. Sitting still for 2 minutes can be an impossibility some days.
I ask again, what does your quiet time look like? Do you now or have you ever meditated before? If so, please share your tips and experiences with me in a comment below. If you are looking to begin meditating or begin again, check out Calm.com. If you are like me (bless your heart in that case), just listening to the sound track of the ocean can be meditation (sleep) inducing.
Please stop by to visit the blog of my friend Lauren who is the creative genius of this fun Glossies Made Me Do It series.
Have a gentle Monday, sweet friends.
Ok, had every intention of publishing this post this morning but ran out of time to proofread it before work. Also ran out of time to meditate. So, tomorrow is a new day, right? I will wake up 2 minutes earlier so I can get that meditation in first thing. No excuses meditation.
Hugs and kisses,