Spiritually Blonde Guide To Meditation
A Step-by-Step Guide:
1. GET ALONE. Separate yourself from any objects or sentient beings that might distract you or divide your attention. Examples of distractions include your phone (airplane mode is your friend), your sweet dog, cat, baby, and other distractions. Bathrooms and closets make superb meditation spaces.
2. SIT. You can sit in a chair or on the floor or on a pillow. You can sit on the edge of the bathtub or on a pile of clothes in the closet. You can grab a big couch cushion, set it on the ground, and sit on top of it. I like to face a wall with a neutral color of paint, such as white (cleanliness and purity), blue (calmness), or green (concentration). Avoid staring at a red, yellow, or orange wall, all of which stimulate brain activity. This meditation practice is about training the mind. Stimulating the brain will give you more work.
3. SIT UP STRAIGHT, like a string is pulling your head toward the ceiling.
4. REST YOUR HANDS ON YOUR THIGHS. Don’t overthink this. Just place your hands comfortably on your thighs, palms up or palms down.
5. FOCUS ON A POINT IN FRONT OF YOU. Find a spot on the wall, like a scuff mark or a dent, just below eye level. You could also tap an ink pen, making a tiny dot. Or you could put a flower in front of you. Now you have your point of focus.
6. SET A TIMER. Use a kitchen timer or the timer built into your cell phone. I love the app called Insight Timer. Start at 1 minute. 60 seconds. Go.
7. BREATHE naturally and focus on your breath. No need to breathe loudly or in any particular style. Focus on the air filling your lungs and belly. Repeat this for the duration of the meditation.
8. RETURN TO THE BREATH whenever your mind wanders—to your plans for the rest of the day, a revenge fantasy, your breakfast menu. No need to judge yourself for getting distracted. When your mind veers off track, gently bring the mind back to your breath.
9. DON’T MOVE. Be completely still. (Yes, you can blink!) When your nose itches, resist the urge to scratch it. When a car full of kids screams by your window, resist the urge to turn your head and look out. Fix your eyes on one spot and keep them there for 60 seconds. If your nose itches so badly that you can’t possibly last a minute, make a conscious decision to slowly lift your hand to your nose and scratch it. But what you scratch will only itch again. Not scratching a torturous itch is a great practice for life: when a family member, friend, or colleague provokes you, you'll be less likely to retaliate, mentally or verbally.
10. REPEAT. It takes 90 days to form a habit. Meditate at least one minute daily for ninety days—or at least past the “fight through” stage—bumping up your practice by a minute or so each week. Don’t wait until you feel “ready” to increase your meditation time. Just go for it! If it were easy, everyone would meditate.
SO IMPORTANT: Don’t get down on yourself. If you miss a day of meditation, begin again. If you miss a week of meditation, begin again. If you miss a year of meditation, begin again. If you miss a decade of meditation, begin again. Whenever you begin again, I’ll be over here, rooting you on.