Oh, this is a good one. Meditation is a huge step in the journey to Recovery. I love meditation so much that I do it twice a day!
I’m sure the first barrier you have is Time. There just isn’t enough of it. Well – I meditate in the morning and I meditate at night. Quite simply I get up 10 minutes earlier and I go the bed 20 minutes later. Everybody has a morning routine and a bedtime ritual, well, WHY NOT, just add Meditation into it.
So how do I do it? It’s really quite simple. I find a quiet place in my home; for me it is usually the conservatory. I turn down the lights. I sit comfortably. I don’t recommend lying down as it is too easy to fall asleep and that kind of defeats the purpose. Speaking of which – what is the purpose? Well I meditate to find a quiet in my day, to create an oasis, to uplift my spirits by taking a moment to regroup and be still. Time spent alone and in silence is, to me, time well spent.
Back to how I do it. I’ve found a quiet spot. Then what I do is I set an alarm. One with a nice sound. 10 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at night is what works best for me. Then I close my eyes. I begin to “listen to” my breaths. I bring my awareness to breathing. If you are anything like me, this automatically changes the breath. I end up breathing deeply, and for a moment I forget how to breathe. I almost panic. But only lasts a moment. The breath soon comes back to automatic.
And that’s it; I just focus on the breath. But here’s the hook, within seconds my mind wanders. Within seconds I am thinking of all I have to do, or all I have done. Within seconds my focus comes off the breath. But I don’t worry. I use a simple technique to detach from these thoughts. I think in my head the word “Thinking”. And then I go back to watching my breath.
And, invariably my mind wanders again. So I detach and watch those thoughts from a distance and I think “Thinking”. I label those thoughts and I put them aside. Back to the breath.
By now my focus will be more on the breath, it gets easier as the calm descends. So I begin to count the breaths. A count is one inhale and one exhale. If I make it without my mind wandering, I count up to 20 and then back down to zero. Often my mind wanders and I go on to automatic pilot. I often find myself counting way past 20, up to 35 and beyond. When I take notice of this I can’t help but wonder how I got there. No problem, once again I think “thinking “ and I start from one again. No judgement, no chastisement, just observation.
Sometimes I play relaxing music in the background. Sometimes I do a Guided Meditation. I find these on You Tube. These meditations are often themed. Now I can focus on something specific. Like positivity or gratitude, even sleep. It is wonderful to focus your thoughts on instructions. Listening and doing is a pleasure.
And that’s it. Simple. Steal a few minutes out of your day. Start with 10 minutes. Make it easy for yourself. The vestige of the time invested in ‘YOU’ is an overriding calm. A true sense of well-being. And you can’t ask for more than that.
Have a great day. A day In Recovery Me.
About the Author – Kate Hull Rodgers is an expert by experience. She has been mentally ill since 1986, more than 30 years. She is diagnosed as bi polar and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) Every day she battles to be in recovery, many days she wins. She speaks in corporate workplaces with her company www.humourus.co.uk. She has spoken in 29 countries. Also she runs Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health www.steppingstonetheatre.co.uk with her husband, Bill- and she is still happily married. Mustn’t forget, she is the proud mother of Harvey and Dominic – and the dog, Zebbie.