126: Meditation For the Holidays

Don’t let the word meditation scare you.

I avoided it for years even though I had heard all the positive benefits that come from mediation.

I thought that there was NO WAY I could stop thinking.

I mean, for reals there was a circus going on inside my brain.

Monkey brain is a real thing!!

Then I realized what it really means to meditate.

And since the holidays are coming and there’s not anything you can do about that…

And since I’m your friend and I want to help you deal with all the things you dread about the holidays…

And since I’ve seen the positive effects of meditating for myself…

I’m going to help you with a little meditation today that you can use even when sitting in a room full of people.

So, find a place to sit down if you’re not and let’s get this meditation started!!

Let’s start with a simple definition.  Meditation is a practice in which an individual uses a technique to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.

Another definition of meditation is: an art of being serene and alert in the present moment, instead of constantly struggling to change or to become.

What I read into these is that meditation brings peace.

And who needs peace more than when you’re put in a room full of people that don’t always see eye to eye or at the very least, are noisy and lots of stress is involved.

That’s what I’ve found when I use a very simple technique of meditation that takes my focus out of my head, out of my emotions and into my center.

When you begin to realize that the thoughts that pop into your head aren’t always true, you can separate yourself a little easier.

What I mean is, you don’t have to listen to what your thoughts say.

Our brains are always trying to solve one problem or another, that’s it’s job after all, but there isn’t always a problem to solve.

Meditation can help you separate yourself from the thought and put your attention somewhere else.

When you can do that, you begin to defuse from the thought and realize you don’t have to get sucked into it.

I could go into all kinds of theories and tell you about studies that have been done that explain why this is so, but I just wanted to give you an easy thing to do when you start to feel your thoughts and/or emotions start to swirl around you.

I’m going to be teaching you more in-depth about the why’s and how’s in later episodes or even more in-depth inside my new Membership that’s coming in January.  Email me if you want to learn more about that.

Today, let’s just keep it as a simple “How-to” and be glad it works!

Here we go.

I want you to send your attention to the part of your abdomen that is right below your belly button.  This is the area that expands when you breathe in, and contracts when you breathe out.

As you feel that spot on your abdomen moving, put your hand there and really think about how much your hand is moving.  If you breathe very shallow, it might not move much at all.  If you take a deep breath, it will move a bit more.

Can you feel that?

Take 5 breaths in and out right now.

You don’t have to match my breath if you can hear it, but if it helps you, then go right ahead.

(breathe deeply 5 times)

As you’re breathing, I want you to keep your focus on your hand moving out and in.

If your mind wanders, as soon as you realize you’re doing it, just gently bring your focus back on your hand moving in and out.

Next, let’s move our attention away from your hand and to the sound of your breath in your head.  Keep breathing in and out.

Can you hear it?

Can you hear how it sounds like the ocean waves?

Slow your breathing down until it sounds like the ocean.

I taught you about Ocean Breath in Episode 25.  If you haven’t listened to that one, go back and give it a try.  It’s a pretty cool practice.

When you start to listen to that ocean sound, your heartbeat begins to slow down, your thoughts stop spinning, and your nervous system gets a nice little break.

And all your doing is listening to your breath.

If you practice this when no one is around, it will get easier.

Then, because you’ve practiced, you can actually do it in a room full of people.

When your mind starts spinning with thoughts that make you feel yucky, you know, like judgement, anxiety or anger or any of those things that only hurt you when you start to feel them, you can stop the spinning by taking your focus down to your belly or into your breath and just start breathing.  If you can do this for about 90 seconds, you will actually feel those negative emotions fade away.

If you need to pull yourself away, maybe into a spare room or even the bathroom, do it.

Get to where you can access calm within yourself, just by focusing on your breath.

And yes, that is considered meditation.

No singing bowls, bells or ohmmm sounds needed.

Let’s do it together.

I’m going to time 90 seconds for us.

Just breathe in and out.

Your only job is to listen to your breath and if your mind starts to wander, as soon as you realize you’re doing it, don’t get frustrated with yourself, just go back to listening to your breath.

Give it a try.

Here we go.

90 seconds of listening to yourself breathe.

Let’s start now.

(Breathe for 90 sec)

How do you feel?

Has your heartbeat slowed down?

What happened to your thoughts?

If this was your first time, it may have been difficult.

That’s ok.

Just keep trying.

Have this little meditation practice ready to pull out whenever you need it.

I know it’s helped me.

Thanks for joining me today and remember…

I see you,

I know how hard you’re trying,

And I’d like to help however I can.

Have a wonderful day, and I’ll see you back here again next week.

126: Meditation For the Holidays