Meditation – Why and Where

by Her Happy Balance on July 9, 2014

I mentioned a little while back that I’m working to incorporate meditation into my life consistently. I think everyone that meditates has a different reason for doing so, and I figured I’d share a little glimpse into why I’m practicing meditation.

Meditation Quote

Why Are You Practicing Meditation?

1.) For starters, I’ve always been a very driven person. I’m constantly trying to set new goals for myself and then I make a clear plan for how I am going to attain them. Well, as much as it pains me to admit it, you simply cannot plan everything or every moment in life. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes there isn’t a plan. A lot of the times unexpected things that aren’t in my “plan” cause me to become stressed. I’m looking to mediation to help me relieve that stress and work through those anxieties.

2.) As a planner, I’m constantly thinking in terms of the future. I want to focus on being more present in the moment. Think about breathing – you cannot breath for the future and you cannot breath for the past, you can only breath each breath in the moment. So I want to work towards personifying a human being, not a human constantly doing. Sometimes you just need to be.

3.) Having just lost a loved one, I am in need of some healing and catharsis. I’m hoping meditation can be one of the ways to help me accept and work through some of that grief.

4.) As a fitness hound, I’m constantly worrying about my physical health. Our society has become so go-go-go! that we forget to slow down and really relax. Our bodies can become so accustomed to being tense, that we don’t even notice it anymore. Tension and overlooking it can lead to injury. I’m in the midst of training for a half marathon and I want my body to be in top condition for this feat. I want to incorporate more real relaxing moments into my life for health’s sake.

5.) I think meditation will help me become a better person. It teaches patience, which is something I could really stand to improve upon. It also stresses being nonjudgmental, not only with others but with yourself. Give yourself a break every once and a while, no one can be perfect.

6.) And finally, I’m looking to meditation to enrich my spirituality. No matter your creed or denomination, meditation reminds us that we are all one and it can help your mind transcend physical barriers. I’m looking to become closer to my faith.

Meditation Quote 2

Where Will You Practice Meditation?

One of the things that was stressed to me as a newbie, was that it is helpful to meditate in a calming place. Experienced meditators can mediate anywhere, but the idea of a beginner trying to go into a state of complete relaxation and mindfulness in a big and noisy public place is daunting. The book I’m using as a guide recommended creating a single place in your home where you go each time to mediate. For me this will be a particular corner in my bedroom. I created a little space for myself that would be most conducive to relaxation. Here is what was important to me for that space to have…

Meditation Essentials

1.) A Cushion. I am choosing to mediate on the floor, the cushion will help support my posture. The idea with meditation is to make yourself comfortable enough to sit for extended periods of time, but not so comfortable that you would fall asleep.

2.) My Guide. This book is my constant reference. It includes written out sequences that are helpful for beginners to follow for each meditation technique. For example it would say something like this – “Softly close yours eyes and become aware of the darkness in front of your closed eyes…Notice the feeling of your breathing…” and etc. I’m actually considering recording myself saying these and playing them back so I can follow along. At least in the beginning stages, it is easier to hear someone telling me what to do instead of committing the exercise to memory. I’m sure that as time goes by, these will become more natural and I’ll know what to do on my own…at least that is the hope! This just happens to be the book that works for me, you may find a different guide more helpful.

3.) A Cherished Photograph. Photos, pieces of art, trinkets, whatever can bring you comfort and peace is a great additive to a meditation space.

4.) A Plant. This one goes along with number 3 – seeing something green and being reminded of the earth and how everything on the planet is all interconnected was important to me. The succulent is actually faux, mainly because I don’t plan on meditating near a window where a plant could get sunlight, but the idea remains the same 🙂

5.) An Aromatherapy Candle. I really like the smell of lavender and eucalyptus and find both to be very calming scents. Plus, there are many other benefits associated with aromatherapy. I light this candle each time I meditate to help me relax. It doesn’t hurt that the candle is called “Be Peaceful” which is what I’m striving to do!

Buddha Quote

These are the things that help create a tranquil environment for me. The important part is having a specific place to go to meditate each time and having it be ritualistic. After a while, just smelling lavender or sitting in my designated area without meditating may help my body relax. Muscle memory and mental associations are definitely a real thing.

Overall, my experience with meditation thus far has been a pleasant one. I used to think that things like meditation, yoga, and mantras were kind of hippy dippy, but there is a reason so many people across the world since the beginning of time practice and use them. So maybe I’m a little granola, but it works me for 😉

Thoughts??
Do you meditate? Have you ever tried?
What types of items bring you comfort? A specific family heirloom, a specific color, a scent?

What activities bring you peace of mind?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Stacie @ SimplySouthernStacie July 9, 2014 at 7:04 am

Nothing to do with meditation, but did you switch up your blog a bit? It looks different, and I really like it!

On the meditation front, I don’t specifically try to meditate per say, but I do have times throughout the day when I try to mentally relax – normally through the form of yoga poses.

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:03 pm

You are awesome! I totally did move things around a bit on the blog, I think it looks a bit cleaner looking. Thank you so much for noticing, Stacie!

Stephanie @ My Freckled Life July 9, 2014 at 10:03 am

Awesome! I’ve never really tried meditation before, because I have such a hard time stopping my brain from going a million miles a minute. But maybe that’s exactly why I need to START! I love this idea, and I’m definitely going to have to look in to this book to learn more!

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Yup, I completely understand. You should definitely look into it. It’s not exactly easy for me to meditate, but I can already feel the benefits.

Jessica Corson (Healthy = Happy) July 9, 2014 at 11:02 am

Love this! I just started trying meditation as well and am trying to incorporate it more often. Love your tips, I’m going to have to check out that book. I also prefer the guided meditations for now as a beginner. I need to pick a spot in my apartment and get a nice candle haha.

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:05 pm

That’s awesome! I hope you absolutely love it and it enriches your life. It’s still very difficult for me to turn my brain off and be mindful of how my body is actually feeling instead of usually thinking and over thinking every thought that pops into my head. I wish you all the best with it 🙂

GiGi Eats July 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I am beginning to be more IN THE MOMENT too – what’s been helping me achieve this is my boyfriend who is a spur of the moment dude. He doesn’t really plan AT ALL and I plan SO MUCH – I want us to meet 1/2 way but at the moment, I am going beyond 1/2 way, ha ha! However, I do think it’s good for me to get out of my comfort zone! ha! 😉

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Oh my goodness the control freak in me is just crying out for you! Haha! But I am sure that being more spur of the moment is both really fun and also liberating. It’s never a bad thing to leave one’s comfort zone, all the good stuff happens outside of it, right?!

Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner July 9, 2014 at 2:47 pm

I’ve done some yoga but not meditation. In theory it sounds good now just need to do it.

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Definitely try it. It’s hard to set aside the time for it, but just a few minutes – anything you can spare, really – will be beneficial. I do it before bed. It’s the last thing I do each day. It’s very cleansing.

Bezzymates July 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm

I’ve tried to meditate in my Kundalini yoga class. This form of yoga focuses a lot on breathing and being in the present. I find it very difficult to shut off the world and stop thinking about the past and future. It is so hard to be in the now.

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

I completely agree, it really is very difficult to just shut all of your thoughts off about the future and the past and focus on now. Also, I’ve never tried Kundalini yoga! I need to look into that.

Caitlin July 9, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I’ve always loved the idea of meditation, and I have a strong feeling it would be good for me ha, especially with how crazy everything is right now. I wonder if they have this book of yours in the library. Checking out after I hit submit 🙂 I think I would pick something green and a picture of Joe and I in my little space for sure with either sandalwood or eucalyptus. Both are calming scents to me.

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:43 pm

The craziest moments in your life when you feel like you have absolutely zero time to spare are the most perfect moments for meditation. I meditate right before bed, so it’s cleansing at the end of the day. You should try! 😉 And your little place sounds lovely 🙂

Ginger Harper July 9, 2014 at 11:43 pm

I love this! I try to meditate as often as I can. It really helps me relax and separate the important from the not-so-important.

Her Happy Balance July 10, 2014 at 3:36 pm

That’s exactly what I’m hoping it will do for me too 🙂 So glad it’s working for you!

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