That’s right, evidently May is Meditation Awareness Month. In all fairness, May also celebrates Mother’s Day, National Burger Awareness Month, Memorial Day, and my Dad’s birthday. I couldn’t find any hard data about May Meditation Awareness Month, but I love a good alliteration and was looking for some inspiration for my May newsletter, so decided to go with it.
I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a meditation pusher. Because of the transformational role that meditation plays in my life, I’m convinced it will serve a similar role for others. But the truth is, I can only share my experience and the tools I’ve found helpful. The opportunity then exists to let others take in the information in whatever way resonates for them at the time.
When I’m speaking about the technical aspects of having a seated practice, I tend to focus on the tremendous benefits the various techniques have on our brains and bodies. But sometimes I get so caught up in the neuroscience and logistics of cultivating a practice, that I don’t always share about the spiritual benefits. At the end of the day, my meditation practice is really about embracing that deep seated presence that lies within. Some may call it love, light, universe, source, or even God. But whatever the label, it infiltrates my body and mind with a sense of peace and acknowledgment that I’m not alone.
It is this presence that allows me to mindfully meet and respond to the challenges of life with more ease, flow, love, connectedness, and compassion for myself and others. These are like seeds being planted and permeating my being in my practice and showing up for me in the times I don’t even know I need them. But again, this is my flavor and intention of meditation that may or may not resonate for you. Just to clarify, this spiritual lens of which I continue to live my life is not all about rainbows and unicorns. Although I will admit that you do see a lot more of those, especially given it is spring storm season and rainbows seem to be all around. And let’s not forget the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuchino that is having its trending moment. But I digress. The point is, my meditation practice becomes the daily exercise to experience this presence so I can respond with love versus react from fear in any given moment, whether a challenging circumstance or a joyous one.
So I am officially stepping off of my meditation soap box (for May at least:). How about if we just let May be the invitation from the universe to explore what meditation looks like in each of our lives? I invite you to strip away everything you think meditation should be and consider what makes your heart flutter, feels nourishing, brings a smile to your face, feels easy, and DO THAT! Everyday, even if it is for just a few moments. Let that be your starting point and allow yourself to simply observe yourself with kindness and love to see what unfolds.
For those looking for more tangible ways to make the most out of Meditation Awareness Month, check out the tips below. If nothing else, may May bring you the opportunity to plant your own seeds of awareness and let the gifts of love, light, goodness, and whatever else your soul desires radiate within yourself and those around you.
1. Choose a present moment practice: These can be practiced anywhere, anytime.
- Close your eyes: Going within produces a sense of balance and relaxation.
- Feel your breath: By simply feeling where the breath is coming into your body (nose, chest, belly), you access your parasympathetic nervous system which naturally calms and relaxes us.
- Smile: Releases endorphins that reduce stress and help us feel better. Even faking a smile can produce the benefit.
2. Grab my freebie meditations: I’ve gathered some of my favorite meditations, all available for FREE here.
3. Sign up for a meditation group class: Just turn to Google or Siri to help you find a class in your area. If you are in Austin, I’ll be teaching at the Peace Box on Mondays and Fridays and Meditation Bar on Thursdays. But all of their classes are awesome.
4. Looking for a bit more of structure or 1:1 attention?: Check out my Learn to Meditate Bootcamp or Mindfulness Mentoring Programs. For those looking to bring mindfulness and meditation into the workplace, check out my Workplace Offerings.
5. Be kind and loving to yourself: Cut yourself some slack. We are all doing the best we can, and it’s important to acknowledge that. By simply stating “I love you” or “thank you” to yourself every day, you are programming this kindness and love into your being. Cheesey – perhaps. Effective – absolutely. In the words of Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”