Jenny's Meditation Journey
I have been practicing meditation on and off for years. On January 1st, 2021 when Love My Mat ran the Commit to Sit Challenge I set the goal of sitting every morning at the same time to try and improve the heaviness I was feeling from the world.
In order to keep myself accountable I reached out to some friends and family members and asked if they wanted to join me. The criteria was we would meet on Zoom and do a half guided mediation, half mantra meditation followed by stretching and we would pull an inspiration card for the day. This took us 30 minutes.
Being able to share something I knew would improve my mood with the people I loved already felt so good. I signed us all up for a 21 day challenge and off we went.
That initial 21 days turned into 42 day and eventually became 200 days! My small ground of friends and family sat every day together at the same time for 200 days. I wish I could bottle up that feeling and give it to everyone.
I watched things in my life improve, my anxiety and depression lifted, my moods improved, I was more adaptable. That 200 days of consistent meditation practice was such a benefit to my life and I have continued ever since.
I tend to work with a combination of meditation styles, it varies from day to day. I always start with a body scan before I even make it out of bed. I check in with my breath and my body and get a sense of how I’m feeling before my feet even hit the floor. This usually turns into mindfulness where I notice what is present in my body, breath, and thoughts.
When I am having a hard day and experiencing a lot of feelings I will try a guided meditation or a visualization meditation to help keep my focus on something other than the hard feelings.
Different Styles of Meditation I Enjoy
Chakra meditation is also another favourite of mine to guide and be guided. The purpose is to focus on opening up the energy centres in the body and connect to the divine.
Sound baths are another meditation style I like. They use sound vibrations to help the mind focus. This is really good when I have a lot of mental chatter going on.
Mantra Meditation is something I practice on my cushion and off. I repeat a mantra and/or positive affirmations during my day when I know that I am no longer present as a way to bring me back.
Here are some of my go to Mantras;
- Om mani padme hum
- So hum
- I am enough
- I have everything I need
Shelley wrote a great blog post about how to use mantras for meditations. Check out the blog post here and maybe you will find your go to mantra.
There are other types of meditation such as Vipassana Meditation, Metta (loving kindness) Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, Focused Attention Meditation, Zen Mediation, and Qigong Meditation to name a few.
Meditation has a big list of benefits which include:
- Reduce stress
- Improve sleep
- Lower blood pressure
- Emotional regulation
- Cultivate inner peace
- Connect to spirit
- Increased focus
- Elevated mood
- Decreased anger and aggression
- Greater adaptability
- A higher sense of empathy, compassion and connection with other
I stared meditation to help with depression and anxiety. It helped me manage my chronic pain. My relationships improved, as did my outlook on life.
I recommend finding a quiet dedicated space to set up. You can sit in a chair, on a sit set, a meditation pillow or you can lay on your yoga mat. I like to do this in the same place at the same time each day. It helps my body and mind know what I’m wanting to do and I find I can drop into my meditation faster when I’m familiar with my surroundings. If you need an accountability buddy, call a friend, or join a group of like-minded people who also want to improve their daily lives.
All you need is to show up with an open mind and learn to be present with whatever is. If you become aware of thoughts that are harmful, or beliefs that limiting, it is ok. We cannot change what we are not aware of. Once you have identified this you can begin the process to change.
If you have any questions about starting your own meditation practice, feel free to reach out to me anytime. You can reach my by email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Instagram here @msjennchester
The next series of my Morning Meditation starts this Monday, March 28, 2022 and runs until Friday, April 29, 2022. We meet weekdays on Zoom from 7:00-7:30am.
If you are looking for a group of like minded people and a space to keep you accountable, email me. I'm here to help you invite peace and presence into your morning and daily life.
You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day – unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour. ~Zen Proverb
List of recommended tools to level up your meditation practice: