Finding the Great and Powerful Oz Within

I recently asked my readers to tell me what topics they would like me to blog about this month.  There were a surprising number who asked to learn more about meditation. There are hundreds of sites and articles on the topic, but I wanted to find ways to overcome the common obstacles, like not having enough time and/or not having a quiet place.  Fear not, because I learned A LOT and you will too!

What:  Meditation is a focused effort to quiet the jumble of thoughts in our mind.

Why:  The main purpose of meditating is to insert some calm into your day.  Settle down your mind for a bit.  We could all use a little of that, right?

How: While most of us conjure up sitting cross legged in a quiet room, you may be surprised to learn that there are many ways to meditate.  My favorite compilation of options came from the Mayo Clinic:

  •  Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.
  • Mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.
  • Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. You broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment.
  • Qi gong. This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong (CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Tai chi. This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-chee), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.
  • Transcendental meditation. You use a mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase repeatedly silently, to narrow your conscious awareness and eliminate all thoughts from your mind. You focus exclusively on your mantra to achieve a state of perfect stillness and consciousness.
  • Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you’re encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.

Where:  If you can find a quiet room where you are certain you won’t be interrupted, great.  But don’t rule out meditation if that’s not the case.  You can practice some forms of meditation in your car or in a meeting room at work (with a do not disturb sign on the door if necessary).  You can also meditate while out on a walk or sitting in a quiet corner of your yard.

When:  Meditate as often as you can.  Don’t worry about “rules”!  If twice a day is an option, great.  If twice a week is all you can muster, that’s fine.  Also, you don’t need an hour to meditate.  That’s something you could certainly work towards if you wish, but there are fantastic guided meditation recordings that average only 3-10 minutes.

Here are my favorite sites on the subject:

Sure, we all want to find that Great and Powerful Oz within, but we are so busy putting out all the external fires of our life, that we neglect this man (or woman) behind the curtain.  Don’t you deserve a little self-love?  You bet you do!  Meditate on that!!

Have some tips that make meditating enjoyable for you?  Did you try one of the techniques listed?  Share your results.  Either way, I’d love your comments!

Comments

  1. This is great, April, thank you for sharing the different types of meditation. I find that my yoga practice and sitting quietly in the morning for anywhere from 5-15 minutes prepares me for my day of kids, work, life, etc. I agree that self care is key! If we’re not fueled up, there’s nothing left to give to those who depend on us.
    Lots of love,
    Natalie

    • Thanks Natalie! I completely agree with you. Whether it’s planned time (like yoga) or just taking a few quiet moments, those we care for will benefit from our calm and rested state.

  2. Great list, thank you! I tried meditating myself for a while but always thinking about the time. Now I go for a daily walk and that is my meditation – and I am not watching the clock then 😉

  3. Love love love this!

    I am launching my first e-course this Wednesday and its exciting and also nerve wrecking, and I found this super awesome timing because I think I just a need a time out during this exciting times!

    Thanks for being stellar

    • Thanks Yasmine! I’m so glad the timing was right for you! Good luck on your exciting launch, as I have NO DOUBT it will be a success! <3

  4. I had fallen away from meditation and its been calling me back. I found a great resource to gently bring me back into practise while keeping me accountable, I’d be happy to share the link if you are interested. Different styles of meditations are like food, it depends on what I’m needing for nourishment.

  5. Thank you very much April. It is a concise and useful introduction to meditation. Thank you very much as well for links.

Leave a Reply to mark lee Cancel reply

*