Creating a Meditation Practice You Love

 
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What is the purpose of a meditation practice?

Honestly, it’s whatever you want it to be. Personally, I meditate because the conscious time spent noticing my thoughts and energy gives me a sense of peace and a feeling of being grounded. It’s easier to be kind, patient, confident, and playful when I’m feeling peaceful with myself.

Sometimes my head feels like a war-zone, but when I practice meditation that feeling of chaos and malice fades away.

I think fancypants perfection-focused meditation is overrated. Meditation can be really fun and satisfying, and you can do it without having thoughts like “I should do ____ better,” “I’m not good at this,” or “am I doing this right?”

You are doing it right. It’s your practice, so whatever you say goes. Here are some easy ways to start crafting a more playful meditation practice that helps you feel free and grounded, instead of restricted.

1 | Meditation in Action

Meditation in action is doing what you’d normally be doing, and just doing it with awareness. Oh of my favorite ways to do this is while I’m washing dishes. Until about a year ago, I used to feel really tense when washing dishes. My jaw and knees would lock and I didn’t even notice it- and when I did, I still couldn’t consciously relax them. It was so weird, like why am I getting worked up over dishes?

As I started approaching dishes with awareness, I learned to settle into the moment and over time the tension dissipated. Now it doesn’t come up at all.

You don’t have to use meditation in action to fix anything-

when I started, I had no idea that’s what was going to happen. I was just looking for a mildly monotonous task where I wouldn’t be interrupted by people talking to me.

(And to any mamma’s reading that and laughing, I love you. Motherhood hasn’t happened for me yet but I definitely appreciate these moments! Maybe meditation in action is possible with littles demanding your attention too. Let me know!)

2 | Use an app or guided meditation

I use Headspace on occasion and I do find it helpful when I don’t meditate for a few days and then feel kinda groan-y about starting again. I just use the free version, but if you try the app and love it there’s a paid version that has more focused meditations for specific areas.

There are lots of guided meditations on YouTube that are fantastic too. I’m less keen on these now that there are so many ads, but if you can catch one without ad breaks in the middle they can be really interesting.

3 | Make your own bead prayer

This is my favorite method of meditation right now. Since leaving the Catholic faith I once felt so much love and devotion to, I’ve missed aspects of my faith- especially a prayerful connection to a loving entity, and a community of people with similar beliefs to me.

I wanted to find a way to incorporate prayer into my days again, even though my beliefs are more universal now and don’t adhere to any religion, so I came up with my own rosary prayer.

I built it up using phrases I love, like verses from some of my favorite songs and lines from poetry.

If you’ve never done any sort of beaded prayer like a rosary, the way it works is just by repeating the same prayer or set of short prayers over each bead, moving your fingers along each bead as you go.

The reason I enjoy this for meditation is because, with the short phrases, my mind settles into a rhythm and it’s easy to notice my thoughts coming and going while remaining detached and present at the same time.

My prayer on the beads right now is actually from an Ariana Grande song. It’s “Just keep breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’.” These don’t have to be heavenly and profound.

Simple truths are plenty.

Keep it simple, and don’t be afraid to have fun with it.

Do you meditate? What is your favorite resource for growing a meditation practice?