A daily mediation practice is essential to living a balanced life that you love! Here’s a step-by-step morning meditation guide to set you up for success!
1. Set your alarm clock to get up 15 minutes earlier. (Meditating will make you more focused and productive throughout the day. You will gain these minutes back with more joyful time later.) Meditating first thing in the morning ensures nothing later in your day will get in the way of it, and sets your day up for presence, calm, and success.
2. Get up, go to the bathroom, walk immediately to your meditation place. (Don’t check your email, pick up toys, or allow yourself to get distracted along the way.) I keep a sweater or blanket near where I meditate in case I am cold.
3. Do your meditation-prep ritual: light a candle or incense, apply some essential oil, turn on background wordless music (I like RelaxMelodies free app), say thank you for being alive for another day on this beautiful planet, or just take a deep breath to signify to your mind that it’s time to begin.
4. Sit tall and comfortably on a folded blanket, stack of towels, rolled up yoga mat, or something to lift your hips higher than your knees. Check in: Am I comfortable? If not, adjust. Then stop fidgeting and commit to stillness.
5. Set a timer for 10 minutes and close your eyes. Place your hands palms up in a receiving gesture on top of your thighs or knees.
6. Notice where your body is connected to or touching the ground or your seat. Notice the weight or warmness of your hands on your thighs. Use these physical cues to anchor you to this moment.
7. Breathe in and out through your nose and notice the subtle movement in your body your breath creates.
8. Continue “watching” your breath.
9. When thoughts arise – and they always will! – bring your attention back to your breath. If you notice you’ve started telling a story in your head about the thought, no worries! Come back to watching your breath.
10. Do this again and again. You never fail at meditation. We always have the opportunity to start over again and again recommitting to watching the breath. It gets easier with time and practice.
11. When your timer goes off, softly open your eyes. At this point I always pull out my daily affirmation to read and believe!
12. Have a fantastic day, reconnecting to this seat of calm strength and presence whenever you need to!
Final point: People often ask, “What should I do if a great idea pops into my mind while meditating, like an answer to a question I’ve been struggling with or an idea for a short story?”
Answer: You treat it the same way you treat any thought in your meditation: You notice it, then bring your awareness back to your breath. If the idea is important enough or something you are meant to act on, trust that it will come back to mind when you are done meditating, or even later in the day. You might keep a journal handy and jot down what comes to mind when you finish your daily meditations.