Meditation for Me
As part of sharing my 12 Daily Intentions for High Performance, let’s move on to Daily Intention, #3, “meditation.” Again, with full disclosure, I am far from an expert on meditation, however, several years ago I became extremely interested in the subject and wanted to begin incorporating this along with breathwork into my daily routine. I have to say over time I have grown to be one who can appreciate many of the benefits of the daily practice of meditation.
What used to be an awkward physical and mental struggle has become a daily ritual that I feel incomplete at the end of the day if ignored. Now with several years of experience, If there is any advice I can offer, it would be to first try it and second, be extremely patient. The benefits of your efforts will be well worth the effort.
The first thing most people tend to overlook is the first step of committing to regular daily practice. This includes a specific time and place that you can commit 10 to 15 minutes each day of the week. I even set up a backup place and time just in case things went a little crazy and I must make adjustments. I also made the commitment that I would stick with the program for a full month regardless of the fact that I could or could not see or feel any legitimate growth in my efforts.
Initially, I learned that there are two general forms of meditation, “guided and unguided.” Guided meditation has dialogue added to the practice. This dialogue assists you in reaching that deeper state and helps you stay focused during meditation. I found this to be incredibly helpful, especially when I was first starting out. Over time. I have added increasingly more unguided practices. However, I still often use the guided meditation practice to help me when I am working on specific intentions during my meditation.
As a health and life performance coach, I can tell you that the greatest resistance to meditation is the fact that there is a time commitment. This is terribly interesting because the individual who says they do not have time is the one who needs it the most. Carving out a small section of the day may seem difficult in the beginning, however with time, this becomes less of an issue as your practice becomes more of a priority.
As I mentioned in my blog pertaining to breathwork, meditation takes us from the sympathetic “fight or flight” into the parasympathetic “rest and digest” state. This balance of the two is so important to both our physical and mental health. Research also shows that with daily breathwork and meditation, you can completely change your physiology. Measurements with heart rate variability, HRV, and other biometrics have consistently shown the benefits of these two practices.
The question that I often receive is “what’s really in it for me?” My response is always the same, “whatever you want it to be,” Meditation allows for your practice to be unique to the goals and intentions of everyone. If you choose for your practice to be a midday boost or a nighttime unwinding, you choose. If you decide that you would like to use it as a tool to help you focus more clearly on your goals, the practice allows you to do exactly that.
In today’s world, it is increasingly easy to find apps that can assist you with your practice. I use different apps, depending on my intention. A few of my favorite apps include Synctuition, which I often use to help me unwind prior to sleep, and Brain FM which has several pre-scripted sessions that include binaural beats combined with both guided and unguided practice sessions. You can also find help with your meditation sessions on Spotify or anywhere else you get your music and podcasts.
In summary, I would suggest to you that the return on your investment with a daily practice of meditation is well worth it. You must be willing to work through the awkward moments in the beginning and trust that the value of the practice will come. If one method or form of meditation is not working for you, I would challenge you to seek out another method but do not give up. There are also some amazing books that include “best practices” and can provide you with some great insight into the world of meditation.