Meditation is becoming less “woo-woo” and more mainstream. There are many well documented benefits of meditation. Among them are reducing stress and increasing our feelings of compassion. Meditators have more gray matter in brain areas that regulate attention, emotions, and mental flexibility. It improves focus in 2 different but important ways: it allows you to focus on something specific while ignoring the distractions around you; and, you can increase your awareness of what’s going on around you, giving you a fuller perspective of the moment. (Kelly McGonigal)
Anyone can do it, so they say. Just sit still, focus on your breath, and clear your mind. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that last part is the reason I’ve avoided it for years, despite knowing the benefits. My mind not only isn’t interested in being still - it tends to run in overdrive!
I’m delighted to tell you that thanks to my friend, Justin Michael Williams, fellow yogi and business coach turned recording artist, I too am now reaping the benefits of meditation. In the short time I’ve been meditating, I’ve noticed an increased feeling of connectedness with others, and, a possibility of connection with the Divine within me.
Justin shares his take on meditation, which he says gives us direct access to the source of who we are, and, gives the mind the space to rehearse and practice for life.
This format actually deviates from the traditional methods in that you don’t have to sit still, make your mind blank, focus on breathing, or, control anything! What you do is get comfortable (you can move), and create a mantra you love. A mantra is a word or phrase that captures what makes you feel good, and what you’d like to have more of in your life. Then welcome all thoughts, emotions, feelings, and sensations. You may not even feel relaxed during meditation, and that’s ok.
Justin likens the benefits of this practice to something I can really relate to: you may not enjoy the process of cleaning your house, but after you’ve finished, you really enjoy the cleanliness.
If you want to know more about this type of meditation, and how to do it, you can check out Justin’s online course, which includes 11 short audio teachings, and a PDF guide. Justin is so committed to making this available to others that he has made this whole program donation based. You decide how much to contribute – how much having the benefits of meditation is worth to you. Get it here.
With the excitement and anticipation of the holidays bringing increased stress and scattered energy, this might be a great time to give it a shot. Please share your comments on meditation below this blog post.