As busy working mums, our minds are often tied up with the demands and needs of others – leaving us struggling to know what is right for us. Find out how meditation can help to calm your mind and put you in touch with your real needs.
Over the next few weeks we’re sharing six techniques to help you make more intuitive decisions in your life, work and business from Daring & Mighty founder Katie Phillips.
This week Katie explains why taking the time to practice meditation regularly can reward you in so many ways.
Meditation has many benefits
Meditation is a wonderful way to get in touch with your inner self – your spirit – and tune into your own wisdom. The claims for the benefits of meditation are vast. It’s shown to help to reduce anxiety, physical pain, depression stress and insomnia. It’s also reputed to help improve sleep quality and physical stamina, and slow down the ageing process.
Sold on the idea yet? As well as all these very desirable health benefits, meditation helps us to focus our mind and keeps us in the present moment. And by quietening our external stimuli, we can draw our attention inward.
For me, the ultimate benefit of meditation is spiritual. I get to experience my essential divine nature and to know that my spirit can never be absent because it is who I truly am. Meditation has an incredibly calming effect and it directs my awareness inward, until the only thing left is the awareness itself of the present moment.
Well that is the aim anyway! But of course we all struggle with the monkey that is our mind which is full of thoughts of the past, what ifs and shopping lists.
How to meditate
If you’ve never tried meditating before, it’s simple to get started. Just find somewhere comfortable to sit, and make sure you’re not too hot or cold. Then just relax your body and allow your eyes to gently close.
In order to achieve stillness, some people choose to focus on a particular sound, word or image. Some choose to repeat a mantra like ‘Om’ or a phrase such as ‘I am calm now’.
Many people focus solely on their own breath in order to find that place of quiet. There are all kinds of ways to meditate and lots of tools to help you create a practice that’s right for you. If one doesn’t seem to work then try others.
Guided meditations can help too
I like to vary my meditation practises and often I like to listen to a guided meditation. I find these a wonderful way to unwind and connect with the spirit, and I find the voice-led nature of the recording as well as the plinky plonk music very soothing.
There are lots of guided meditations out there on the internet and I have even recorded some of my own.
One helpful tip for calming the mind comes from Eckhart Toile, who suggests an exercise in his classic book, The Power of Now where you ask yourself, ‘I wonder what my next thought will be?’ Try it now, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “I wonder what my next thought will be?”
You may find that you draw an immediate blank – that moment is a moment of the peaceful present and in aiming to extend that moment of stillness your mind will become calmer and your intuition will develop.
Don’t beat yourself up when your monkey mind kicks in again and you begin thinking wildly. Just simply ask the question again and see if you can sustain that space a little longer and experience a peaceful nothing.
Practice makes perfect
Like many things in life, meditation may feel unnatural and difficult in the beginning. But over time it will become more easy, and will soon be something you look forward to – an oasis of calm in an otherwise-hectic life!
And the more time you spend connected with your inner self (your spirit), the easier you’ll start to find it to make intuitive decisions in your life, work and business. With greater access to your innate wisdom, you’ll just know what the right choices are, and will enjoy the increased ease and success that will come as a result.
Katie Phillips is the founder of Daring & Mighty, an organisation committed to sharing the importance of having a healthy, loving and conscious relationship with yourself.Katie Phillips