Sit tall. Close your eyes. Inhale deeply. Exhale through an open month.
Meditation is not easy.
In a busy, hectic society where we are praised for never slowing down, and especially as we’re in the middle of the holiday season, it can be a challenge for some to sit still and clear one’s mind. But it can be a simple practice that reaps wonderful rewards; reduce stress, increase calmness and clarity, and promote happiness. Sign me up! These benefits will also ooze out into other parts of your life. You’ll feel more conscious of the present moment and possibly be able to process emotions smoother. Even the scientific community has recognized meditation as a reliable method for stress relief and a tool to help with anxiety and processing traumatic experiences. Studies over recent decades have repeatedly shown improvements in everything from memory to pain management. And the best part is this is a practice you can easily implement in your daily routine.
I prefer to meditate in the evening. I feel my body and mind is hardwired to go a mile a minute in the early hours that I would probably benefit immensely by meditating during this time but I find it is very calming for me to practice at the end of my day before bed.
When you’re first starting out, certain tools and apps can be very impactful for keeping you committed to a consistent practice. I use to just use my iPhone timer to have a set time, this way my mind wouldn’t continue to wonder how long I’ve been meditating for and I can completely surrender. But after a while, I realized that the timer sound was very intrusive, so I moved on to some meditation apps that could be a bit more peaceful. I personally prefer the Insight Timer app. With this app, you can utilize the sound of different bells or gongs and even dive into some of their guided meditation options for a small fee. I’ve also tried out the Headspace app and Calm app but have stuck with the Insight Timer the longest.
Setting up an altar can also be helpful to truly dive in and commit to your meditation practice. You may even find yourself getting excited to visit your set area. Finding a secluded, peaceful space can be a game changer in your meditation practice. I’ll be following up with another post on tips for setting up your altar.
If you’re newer or feel like a beginner to meditation, start with 5 minutes and find a time during your day where you can practice consistently. It is different for everyone, so even though I enjoy the evenings, it might feel more beneficial for you to practice in the morning or mid-day.
As for the practice, I thought it would be a fitting time to share a guided meditation for Joy. Joy is the highest vibration in existence and is a kind of electricity. As we are celebrating at our many holiday parties and shopping for gifts for our friends and family, let’s take a moment for self-care and love. This season isn’t only about giving to others but also remembering to give back to ourselves.
If you practice the following meditation I would love to hear about your experience in the comment section!
Namaste & Happy Holidays
Meditation for Joy
- The meditation is best done lying down. Find a peaceful, comfortable area away from distractions.
- Start with connecting into your breath. Deep 4-counted inhales and exhales through the nose.
- Close your eyes.
- Visualize a ball of golden light before you. Say the word yes aloud to this ball three times, and tell the ball that it is joy, also three times.
- Imagine the golden ball expanding and encompassing the entire room you are in. Then encompassing the house, building, or coffee shop you are in. Then move onto the yard or block.
- Now place your attention on your physical body. Feel every nerve, from the tips of your fingers and toes to your joints and the top of your head. Notice the movement of your breath. Notice the shape of your body.
- Call forth ultimate power by saying aloud: “I call forth all of the magnetic resonance particles in the universe that love joy! Woo-hoo! I am about to throw the best joy party you have ever seen. Please help me. This party is in my [area selected]. Everyone meet there in five… four… three… two… one!“
- Clap your hands together three times and imagine the entirety of the joy ball condensing into your physical body.
- Now, sing or hum aloud to a joyful song or sounds.
- Slowly wind it down while still keeping the joyful feeling, moving into a rest period.
- If possible rest for at least ten minutes to feel centered.