Showing up for yourself, self-care, and where to start.
I can think of a hundred reasons not to meditate. I have used all of them. “I’ll just fall asleep”, “I don’t have the time”, “There’s no point” and so on. Frequently, they’re the same excuses we use to do other tasks which will benefit our mental health, like exercise. Yet, unlike exercise, meditation does not require being entirely able-bodied, nor moving from your bed. Meditation is a free, accessible way to heal and better your mental health and you can come as you are. Pyjamas and duvet included.
As I said, I haven’t been one for meditation, or really any form of spirituality. I could understand the point, but it ‘wasn’t for me’. Nonetheless, a few weeks ago I began Deepak Chopra’s ‘21 Days of Abundance’. Without expectation or even belief in the process, my mood was instantly lighter, and I felt better equipped to tackle each battle and bounce back quickly.
The programme involves a task, an affirmation, and a 5-minute guided meditation, mantra included. It is really a lot simpler than it sounds. “Today I focus on what I want to attract into my life” and “Today and every day, I give what I want to receive” are two affirmations which summarise the whole process. Each day of the programme, you are dedicating time to yourself, and time to self-belief. Taking that time every day for your personal progression, is already a step in the right direction for bettering your mental health.
Ultimately, there is nothing to lose. At worst, nothing happens; maybe you could have spent that twenty to thirty minutes watching another episode of your favourite Netflix sit-com (but hey at least now it lasts longer). At best though, meditation has been proven to benefit your stress levels, focus, mood, compassion, aggression, self-love, and pain. Plus, you know that every week you have made an active step to better yourself. The ultimate tick on your to-do list.
Eat Pray Love, Goop, and other self-care-for-Karen shows depict meditation as requiring saris, avocado toast, lemon water, and crystals. This isn't the case. Meditation can be for the average Joe. Taking away the mantras and the vibrations and frequencies, meditation is getting off your phone for twenty minutes. It is sitting down with yourself and enjoying your own presence. It is believing that you can make your life a bit better with the power of your mind. You don’t need a paid programme to do any of these things. You don’t need anything apart from dedication to doing it a few times and showing up for yourself.
So try it. Write down a sentence in your journal, or notes on your phone, about what you want to center your day around. ‘Today I am capable of achieving anything I chose’ or ‘Today I am grateful’ could be starting points. Put your phone in the drawer, find a guided meditation on YouTube, or just some calming music, and breathe. Distractions are fine, feeling sleepy is fine, it is all part of the process, just let them pass with time. The main thing is, you are showing up for yourself.
If meditating is something you are interested in, here are some great resources to begin your journey:
Deepak Chopra’s ‘21 Days of Abundance’ (Link to separate mind mapper page w audios and tasks). This free 21-day programme is a great introduction to meditation and manifesting. Each day offers a task, affirmation, mantra and guided meditation surrounding the theme of self-belief, and being capable of all that you desire.
This interview battles the common misconceptions or taboo surrounding meditation. Will Williams, founder of Beeja Meditation, talks to influencer Estee Lalonde, convincing her and the listener that meditation can change your life; just as it did for him. There are questions from the listeners too, keeping it grounded and understandable despite the jargon.