Post by: Tayla Jenkins-McCullough
Take the next few seconds and let your mind do the imagining. A steam- warm running bath. Pink Himalayan salt sprinkled throughout the water. Rain sounds playing in the background. Aroma-therapeutic candles serving as the light source and sweet scent of the bathroom. Healing crystals aligned alongside the tub. Is this a place you would consider sacred? Where is your special space to gather your thoughts? Is it your morning commute to work? An ancestor altar? Or is it simply lying in bed at night?
When thinking of stillness, or mindfulness as some say, meditation is the concept that often comes to mind. Meditation is a state where we disconnect from the noise or external energy around us and nurture our internal energy.
How much time do you spend meditating? 1 minute? 10 minutes? Any of us out there like, um girl none! HA! Trust me I get it… A suggestion that stood out to me proposed that we should be meditating for at least 20 minutes a day and if you’re too busy to do that…then it should be for 1 hour. How is it that we can find the time to do everything else but give our most important organ a break to just be still.
If you are thinking okay sis…how can I incorporate this journey seamlessly into my schedule because I really don’t have any extra time in my day?? Well, I am no expert, but I do have a few tips that helped me gain consistency and reach a higher level of consciousness. So if you’re still here with me, read below some things that might help you get started:
Learn the Benefits
Let’s face it. No matter if something sounds like it would improve our daily life or overall wellbeing, we still want to know why, when, and how it will help us. According to healthline.com, meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress, enhance self-awareness, improve sleep, and control pain. In essence, this simple act can have satisfying effects on your mind, body, and spirit. Check out the chart below from The Huffington Post to see some of the benefits of incorporating meditation into your daily practice.
Find the Time
Decide a time where you can dedicate at least 20 minutes to clearing your mind. I tend to meditate in the morning/night during my baths. This is where I am most peaceful and the energy & ambiance of the area helps me clear my mind. There are so many other times you could meditate, such as before/after a workout, or during your morning commute to work/ school. Honestly, you just need a few minutes to just be present with your mind. Ideally, building it into your routine will help gain consistency. So when you find that perfect time, stay consistent. You choose that time for a reason.
Limit Your Distractions
Locate an area with limited distractions, that will allow you to easily regain focus. My favorite places to meditate are in the bathtub, my ancestor altar, or the balcony of my apartment. I have designed these areas to instantly bring me peace.
The majority of us have a hard time meditating because we have about three thousand thoughts going on in our conscious and subconscious minds. One form that has helped me focus is guided meditation. This is where someone guides your thoughts through music/instruments, or words/affirmations.
Using affirmations help center the mind and focus on breathing. For instance, while breathing in, you want to absorb “calmness, balance, and clarity” while breathing out “negativity and toxins”. Even if your mind starts to venture to that shopping list you didn’t finish or your birthday plans, realize that that’s okay to just simply bring your mind back.
I also use healing crystals to help ground myself and steer positivity. Healing crystals have been used for centuries and have ancient healing properties that assist in the flow of good energy and the elimination of bad energy. Many crystals have different characteristics that might help focus on certain things such as conquering self-love, power, motivation, compassion, and/or clarity while others help expel negative spirits, self-doubt, and aggression. It's worthwhile to look into what elements you need from your crystals as you explore meditation.