Meditation and Mindfulness, the Keys to Being Conscious Strong™ in 2018.

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As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve chosen to become Conscious Strong™ in 2018 and as part of my journey, I’m inviting you into my world. It is not easy for me to be vulnerable. But I want you to know that if you’re struggling on your path, wherever you are, you are not alone. So, I’m putting myself out there.

Here’s the thing I know best about journeys, they start with small steps. And one of my goals this year is to focus on those small steps because, as we all know, they add up quickly. Every step of the way, I’m going to check in and offer status updates. I want to let you in on my secrets. I’ll tell you what’s working and what’s not working. I’ll let you watch as I try to make corrections because maybe watching my thought process will help you with yours.

Are you ready….am I? Ready or Not. Let’s dive in!

My Journey: 5 Minutes of Meditation Daily

Last time, I said my real focus this year is making small daily efforts toward improving self-care. My first step is to create a daily meditation practice. I’m starting with a concrete goal of just 5 minutes per day.

I’ve been meditating on and off now for about 20 years. But before January, it had been months since I had a consistent meditation practice. As much as I instruct my students to spend more time in quiet focus, I rarely make the time for my own contemplation.

I have found so much ease comes from consistency, so that’s why I’m starting with a small goal, rather than sitting down and setting my timer for 60 minutes. I know I can find 5 minutes, even during the craziest of days to sit and be still.

 

Favorite Meditation Tools:

The tools of meditation can be very simple. All you really need is a relatively quiet place to sit and close your eyes. But for beginners, especially, it can help to have some support as you figure out what works for you. Here are some of my favorite tools:

  • The Headspace App: Headspace is an app that’s designed to teach you how to meditate in just a few minutes each day. It offers daily meditation and mindfulness exercises, plus, helpful sessions on everything from sleep to stress.

  • Mantra: A mantra is simply a short phrase that has special meaning for you. You can choose something as simple as the word “love,” or something more complex like Gandhi’s saying, “be the change you want to see in the world.” To use a mantra, simply sit in a quiet space, close your eyes, and repeat the mantra in your mind or out loud. Go back to your mantra throughout your day.

  • A Comfy Cushion: Another helpful tool to have is a comfortable cushion to sit on. I always recommend meditating while seated. But in order to get deep into the mind, your body must be relaxed and comfortable. Find the right cushion or blanket and set yourself up for success in your daily practice.

 

My Status Update:

I have completed my daily meditation practice 5 out of the past 7 days. On the days when I didn’t sit for 5 minutes, it was because I wanted to take a few more minutes of sleep in the morning and never found spare time once my day got started.

As far as my concentration levels, I give myself a B. I only managed to get deeply focused about half of the time. But I also know focus gets easier with practice, so this will improve as long as I’m disciplined about keeping up with my 5 minutes each day.

It feels amazing to be committed to my daily meditation practice. Before the end of this month, I won’t be surprised if I find it to be as natural as brushing my teeth.

Are you starting a daily meditation practice too? What does your 2018 Conscious Strong™ journey look like? I’d love to hear your story and share more of my experiences with you.

Would you like to make the Conscious Strong™ movement an even bigger part of your 2018 journey?

 

Your first opportunity is to join me at Antonia’s in Hillsborough, NC for an Aperitivo Hour and Italy retreat info session. I and my past attendees will be sharing some of the highlights of the Conscious Strong™ Italy retreat.

There will also be FREE wine and appetizers for all! RSVP here to reserve your space!

 

Lauren McClekrinComment