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Commit to Meditation for 7 Days with the Wholistic Belly Community

A few days ago on Instagram, I posted a confession I had. The confession was this: I stopped meditating for about two months. Why? Because a little over two and a half months ago, I suffered a big loss combined with a few life changes, and one morning soon after when I tried to meditate, I came out of it balling my eyes out. So I stopped.

I was still doing a form of it, you could say, through my yoga practice, through breathing exercises, through writing, through just sitting with myself, but I had put away my formal meditation practice. Just for a little while.

Then I got too “busy”. I started skipping my morning routine all together to run out the door and start my day. My morning routine, which had been my piece of solace the last few years. Last week a client of mine said they wanted to start a relaxing morning routine. As I’m sitting there helping them set one up, I’m making a note for myself saying internally “get back on track, Rachael.”

And, so, I did. The best time to make or break a habit is actually when you’re removed from your regular routine. I was traveling for work last week, so I thought, why not restart now? I meditated every morning using my preferred guided meditation app, Headspace, while my parents and brothers dogs licked my feet, holding onto my hot lemon and apple cider vinegar tea, listening to the birds chirp, breathing in the fresh river air. Then I started my day.

It felt really good to be back.

In that Instagram post, I threw around the idea of holding a 7 day meditation challenge. I don’t much like the combination of the words “meditation” and “challenge”, but that’s essentially what it would be: challenging one another to mediate for 7 days in a row. For me, it’s about getting back on track. For you, it could be the same, or it could be starting it for the first time. It doesn’t really matter your level of experience, it just matters that you commit to it for 7 days.

Haven’t meditated before? Here are the goals of meditation as I see it:
  1. To be able to sit with yourself. This is important. We busy our minds all day long, with work, workouts, T.V., aimlessly scrolling through social media apps. Why? To distract ourselves from our own thoughts. Meditation trains you to be able to sit with yourself, even if for a few minutes. The more you do so, the more comfortable you become with yourself.

  2. When you can sit with yourself, you have an easier time listening to your intuition. You know those gut feelings? They are a lot easier to depict and feel when your mind is quieter. When your mind is quiet, it’s easier to listen. You and your body usually know the right answer — it’s just a matter of, you guessed it, listening.

  3. Myth busted: meditation isn’t about clearing your mind to think about “nothing.” Hi, yes, that’s quite impossible. If you DO know how to do that, please message me and teach me your secrets. Often times when I tell people I meditate in the mornings, they say “o, meditation isn’t for me, I can’t clear my mind.” Well, great news, that’s not what it’s about! I actually learned this analogy during the starter pack in the Headspace app. Imagine yourself sitting on the side of a highway, the cars being your thoughts. When meditating, allow your thoughts to pass by. Sometimes, you might want to stop on a thought, but check in and say “huh, there’s that thought again” and let it continue to move on. Just like you observe cars passing by while sitting on the side of a highway, while meditating, observe your thoughts as they come and go.

  4. Stress relief. “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.” — Zen Adage. SO. TRUE. Have you ever been so busy and you feel like you can’t step away from whatever task you are doing because you’re afraid you won’t finish on time? Have you ever been that way, and then stepped away for a few minutes, and then come back to said task and found that you could complete it in half the time because you came back to the task with a clear mind? Yeah. Me too. Meditation is like this for stressors. If you clear your mind for a few minutes it makes it easier to deal with whatever stressors life throws your way, I promise.

So, how do you start a meditation practice? Below are a few places to start for a guided meditation.
  1. As mentioned a few times above, my favorite app to use is Headspace. They offer a free 10 day starter pack before charging a fee. I keep it at 10 minutes a day.

  2. Another app that I’ve heard is pretty nice to use is Stop, Breathe, and Think. I haven’t personally used it, but I know others that have and enjoy it.

  3. My friend Stevie P created a 7 Day guided meditation challenge. He teaches you to utilize the time between snoozing your alarm clock for meditation.

So -- join me and the Wholistic Belly community starting this coming Monday, June 26 for 7 days. All you have to do is show up for yourself for 10 minutes or more a day for 7 days and meditate. Or just breathe. Use hashtag #WB7DayMeditation on social media so we can encourage one another.

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