Sorry it’s been a while – uni has started up again and despite my good intentions (and often thinking I am “so” much more organised this semester) the content on this site has been sparse. And it’s not for lack of ideas either – I have a whole lists of posts I intend to create but just have to get my slack ass around to them. Which kind of leads me back on topic…
Meditation. Let’s chat!
I’m sure that by now you’ve heard SOMETHING about this mystical brain hack, but if you haven’t started practising it yourself then there’s probably a lot more that you need to know.
I was first introduced to meditation a few of years ago whilst following Wellness Coach, Melissa Ambrosini online. Mel released her first series of guided meditations (which are still available on iTunes btw) and being in the total limbo that I was I decided to give them a whirl. With having no background knowledge on meditation or what it was supposed to do, I lay down on my lounge room floor and tried to become immersed (I wish I could remember which one, but I simply can’t).
Mel’s voice was dreamy, but I was lying down and I was getting sleepy, and the track kept mentioning about being grounded and all I could think was that I wasn’t very grounded because I was on the top level of a two story house, and how on earth could this possibly change my life after 9 minutes?!
Needless to say, that was my first and only attempt at meditation lying down.
Fast forward to 2016, and meditation was popping up more and more on my instagram feed. Everyone from magazines to bloggers to celebrities to the everyday gals we all follow but have never met in real life were talking about it. Whether it was spoken of genuinely or discarded as simply being too hard, it was always in my head. It got me curious to say the least, but how the hell could I learn it and how was it going to benefit me?
In bounced Rochelle Fox; digital entrepreneur, Youtuber, influencer, and now meditation teacher in training.
As the months went by I followed Rochelle’s journey as she furiously studied to get her meditation teacher qualification, which was soon followed by the opening of her latest venture, Mindspo. An understandable, easy to digest, 4 week online course that was going to get me meditating for 20 minutes daily.
The benefits of regular meditation go far and wide but the ones I was keen to tackle were: sleep consistency, anxiety, energy levels and productivity, being more mindful and generally being a lot less stressed and a lot more chill. I knew I wasn’t going to notice the difference after a quick 5 minute meditation, but I had high hopes. I’ve seen so many testimonies from people who swear by it, and genuinely say it has changed their lives for the better, so aside from a cheap $90 I really had nothing to lose.
I started Mindspo’s month-long course in December, wanting to end the year on a high, but also being realistic in the fact that I was probably going to miss a session here or there (which may not be the best mindset for some, but I wanted to be realistic considering it was Christmas/Birthday week for me). The course is broken into 4 weeks, and each week you increase the time you spend meditating (i.e. W1 – 5 min, W2 – 10 min, W3 – 15min, W4 – 20min) in your daily practise. The step-up technique was something I really liked, as it was only adding an extra 5 minutes onto what you already felt comfortable doing, so it didn’t feel as much of a big deal as jumping straight into a 20 minute session.
Ideally, by the end of the 4 weeks you will have mastered meditating for 20 minutes every day. Rochelle was a really great teacher in the way that she was totally realistic about newbies, and didn’t expect us to be able to shut off our thoughts immediately. Seeing how passionate she is about teaching meditation made me believe that it was worth it, and although sitting thoughtlessly for 10, 15 minutes is actually way freaking harder than it sounds, I know it’s making a difference.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it here and say I am the pinnacle of students and deserve 100 gold stars, because I still suck with my consistency. I am yet to turn my meditation into a solid habit, and although I have good intentions, some days I genuinely just run out of “free time” or more recently, by the end of the day I’d rather just sleep.
But please don’t let my laziness put you off! Despite my inconsistency, I’ve still noticed pretty huge differences.
I find myself being a lot more mindful and grateful with everyday life, particularly when it comes to appreciating other people. My sleeping patterns have improved a lot, and although I still have nights where i simply CANNOT get to sleep, they are rare. My anxiety has nearly disappeared. I’ve never been a serious sufferer, but have been one to let ideas or thoughts consume me and result in panic attacks in the past. Since meditating, I haven’t had a panic attack (so far), so yay for that!
I prefer to meditate in the mornings after breakfast and a cup of tea, and after I do I definitely feel more energised for the day. Being more energised usually results in me being more productive (I meditated this morning so maybe that’s why you’re reading this finally-produced blog post!) and being productive makes me feel happy and accomplished.
On the flip side, my mind still lingers on negative thoughts. Not nearly for as long as before, but still too long for my liking. I’m constantly torn between thinking “I’m allowed to have feelings and be pissed, goddammit!” and “I wish this crappy thing wasn’t getting to me as much”, but it would be nice to have my brain chill out a bit more and just not let it get to me in the first place.
The verdict? Yes, oh my god yes you need to learn meditation. I probably did a really bad job of explaining all the benefits, and since my experience wasn’t exactly textbook perfect, there’s a heap more info here on the Mindspo site, including a free 5 minute meditation to see if Rochelle’s voice is your jam.
It’s definitely a hard practice to learn, especially since our brains are on constant overdrive and never seem to shut up – but that’s exactly why we all need some meditation in our days. It really does help bring things into perspective, and even if you are crap at it, well at least you’ve made 20 minutes to do something for yourself, and surely that counts right?
All the best,