“If we’re not calm, we can’t listen deeply and understand. But when our mind is calm, we can see reality more clearly, like still water reflecting the trees, the clouds, and the blue sky. Stillness is the foundation of understanding and insight.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
I believe it is only in the stillness that we can hear our inner voice loudly. In the quiet space of our minds, we have the ability to tune in to our soul’s thoughts and align more closely to what is our true purpose and calling. I believe that our purpose here on earth is to love and be loved, and to exist in a joyful state of being; although we may all have a different calling.
A soul’s calling is the gift and talent we have to offer humanity that usually aligns with service; helping and inspiring others. Your calling may have to do with whatever your profession is or raising your children or sharing your artistic talents with the world.
I’ve always been in a career that is one of service, and I know that is what I’m here to do: to serve others in some shape or form. It used to be as a classroom teacher, and now it is as a writer and coach, and who knows what it will be after that.
Even though I have found my calling, it doesn’t mean I don’t get distracted with daily disturbances that cause me to lose focus on my goals and plans. We all have problems and issues that we are constantly having to battle or deal with that can cloud our thinking, our judgment, and deter us from hearing our inner voice.
I think listening to our intuition and inner voice is equally, if not more important, than listening to our logical minds. A majority of the time, our minds are negative critics that shame us, put us down, tell us we’re not doing enough and wreak havoc on our peace.
Hence the saying, “I don’t have peace of mind” which is exactly why meditating is so crucial to our mental health and well-being. Not only does it help us steer our ship steadily in tumultuous waters, but it helps us to navigate our course of direction in life too.
When you begin your day with meditation, you have calmed your mind, body, and spirit so that you are better equipped at handling what storms the day may bring.
I have found practicing meditation first thing in the morning works best for me as it sets my day; so no matter what kind of a hectic schedule I may have, I have grounded myself in a positive, happy, and calm state of mind.
I also feel expressing gratitude and setting intentions really honors my presence in my every day and welcomes in a state of joy each new day. Waking up daily healthy, happy, and grateful is a blessing to me, so I want to honor that and show my appreciation.
When I am meditating, my mind relaxes; especially on those days when I wake up anxious for whatever reason, and I find that focusing on my breath stills the chaos within.
With meditation and stillness of the mind, I have found my intuition has grown stronger. I listen to what my heart is saying, and I hear the guidance on what I need to do, and I align it with what is meant for me.
Following your intuition is like having an inner compass on where you should go next or what you should do next. If it doesn’t come to you, ask for guidance from whatever Source you connect to and with patience and time, you will start to hear your soul speak.
I also think it takes to time to prevent our minds from wandering, so be gentle and kind with yourself. Once you practice this daily, it will become easier and you can build upon your practice. It’s just like working out or eating a healthy diet.
Below you will find my 10 tips on starting a meditation practice. You can also download the PDF on the home page of my website.
I think too often we as humans ask everyone that we can think of to give us advice on what we should be doing in life when the most important person we should ask is ourselves. I have been told this countless times, and I know it to be true, but we all have the answers within us already if we just stop, quiet the mind, and listen to our hearts.
Then we can tread new waters, and set sail in unchartered territory by trusting ourselves, our inner compass, and our intuition. We can always look at maps and learn how to navigate this amazing, unpredictable life we lead, but in the end, it’s really up to us to decipher what we should do and what route we should take next. And it’s only in the stillness of our minds that we can lean in to the answer and hear it loudly.
My 10 Tips on Starting a General Meditation Practice
1. Set your alarm 10 to 15 minutes earlier than usual.
2. Use that extra time upon awakening to start your meditation practice.
3. Focus on your breathing and take deep breaths on the inhale and exhale.
4. On the inhale: breathe in any positive affirmation like gratitude, joy, happiness or unconditional love.
5. On the exhale: breathe out any negative feelings you may harbor like fear, doubt, anger or worry.
6. Visualize white light washing over your body and through your body clearing your energy of negative emotions.
7. Visualize your heart space (in the center of your chest) and see white light emanating outward from your soul and into the world, spreading unconditional love and light.
8. If your mind wanders, redirect to your breathing or to visualizing yourself immersed in radiating white light.
9. Think of 5 things you are grateful and appreciative for.
10. Set a positive intention for your day. I use one that I discovered from Gabby Bernstein which has the following components and you fill in the rest.
I want to feel…
I want to be a person who is…
I want to give…
I want to receive…
Mine for example might be: I want to feel happiness, excitement and peace today. I want to be productive and creative. I want to give love, light and joy to others. I want to receive love, light and abundance.
Note: You may alternatively start with a meditation app or a guided meditation of your choice or combine both practices.
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