Meditation. The word itself can be scary, intimidating, overwhelming, and some people just don't believe in it altogether.
That is absolutely okay. You must do what works for you; how can you succeed in something that you don't believe in?
Many people think that meditation is only for people with Buddhist or Hindu beliefs; they believe that meditation is better left to people following mainly Eastern world religions. This is not true. Meditation, though it is a fundamental part of yoga and many Eastern world religions, is just as beneficial for living within a Western world religion.
Meditation is focussed on breathing, relaxation and balance, but it is not limited to just that. Some people use it to even contact dead loved ones, some use it as a rejuvenating ritual, but many use it to relax and find inner peace.
I have read books upon books on different forms of meditation, but my favourite form of meditating is sitting in lotus pose, burning a cinnamon or cassia-scented candle, listening to my "meditation music" (Tom calls the songs Buddhist Lullabies) and focussing on my breathing. I use this time to visualize goals, achieve balance and become one within myself - it is a bit difficult to explain. However, meditation has become a pivotal experience for me and has really shaped the person that I am becoming... which feels insanely amazing.
My tip for beginner meditators:
Visualize a white light around you: this can be provided be your deity of choice, your profound sense and confidence in yourself, or your spirit guide - this will protect you from anything that may hurt you (when I say this, I mean emotional or psychological- ie. bad thoughts)
Get comfortable! You can't meditate if your butt is numb... just sayin'. This would also be a time to bring in comforting things; this is my list:
1. A glass of water - water is refreshing, cleansing, and protective. It will provide a harbour to keep things that may try to weasle in at bay, or, if you have an extremely soul searching session, you can drink it afterwards for replenishment and cleansing
2. A cinnamon or cassia- scented candle - cinnamon and cassia get my brain going, but the scent is not over-stimulating. Remember, you want to be relaxed, not focussed on your nostrils burning from an unpleasant scent. Another beneficial scent is vanilla - it relaxes and cleanses your mind and soul.
3. My yoga mat - I associate yoga with health, and, since I do yoga on my trusty mat, when I bring the mat into my meditation session, I bring the feeling and promote health and clarity into my session
4. Music - Make sure to listen to the full tracks before you bring this in to your session. Music can also help shape what you may or may not encounter in your session; if you listen to "Thriller" you may meditate on whether or not to wear your rhinestone socks to the party later
Breathe. Focus on your breathing and posture to begin with.
Visualize your goals, anything that will bring positivity and balance to your life.
Research. Look it up! See what works best for you - if you prefer a Zen approach, try it!
Cleanse. Drink water afterwards - you may not have been on the treadmill, but your energy will be depleted.
Meditate often. Practise makes perfect - even for 10 minutes a day.