Meditation. We hear about it often. It’s good for us, we’re told. It helps us relax, focus, reduce stress. “Take a deep breath and release the struggle. Meditation is simply a way to be more of who you are.” – Chopra Center Meditation page on Facebook.
When I was new to meditation, none of those things were really true. I wondered if I was “doing it right”. I wondered when deep revelations and insights would make themselves known to me. I kept fidgeting. Then I stumbled across a Deepak Chopra 21 day meditation “challenge.” Sign up was easy. All I had to do was put in an email address and think up a password. To make it simpler, I could have signed up through Facebook. I thought, “why not, I’ll give it a try. What do I have to lose? It’s free.”
The first 21 day challenge I did was Creating Abundance. Many people meditate first thing in the morning. I’m a night person, so I like to meditate before I go to bed. There is no right or wrong answer here. The bottom line is just do it! The first night, I fidgeted. My mind wandered a bit. It felt like FOREVER but in reality was only about 15 minutes long. By the conclusion of the 21 days, I noticed a change. I didn’t fidget as much. My mind didn’t wander (often). I was actually calmer, more focused, more relaxed. I ended up purchasing the series and now pick and choose my favorite sessions.
That first 21 day challenge led to others. Chopra, along with Oprah Winfrey, offer a 21 day series approximately every three months or so. I have gone on to purchase another series. I’ve also started exploring other meditation gurus, looking specifically for free ones. YouTube has many, many meditation videos. The Mentors Channel offers a series several times a year. Usually, they are free during the 21 days. After that, you have to pay to download them. The Wild Divine is another site which delivers Monday meditations right to your inbox when you sign up for their newsletter. Google “free meditations” and there are several sites from which to choose. Add “video” to change the focus just a bit and there are even more. So many free meditations of varying lengths of time available, so little time to do them all!
I just started a new series (21 days, March 31 – April 20, 2014, for free) through the Mentors Channel called “On Becoming Fearless.” Arianna Huffington is the host. Here is a quote about it: “We’ll be reflecting on a single, powerful truth: that fearlessness is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of fear. We will never completely eliminate fear from our lives, but we can definitely get to the point where our fears do not stop us from daring to think new thoughts, try new things, take risks, fail, start again, and be happy.” The first meditation was less than 13 minutes long, yet has a powerful message. Chopra and Winfrey have a free 21 day experience starting on April 14, 2014, called “Finding Your Flow.”
When I first started meditating, I was skeptical about the outcomes of calm, focus, reduced stress. Now, I’m sold. The other day, it was just one of those mornings when nothing seemed to go right. I found myself thinking, “As soon as I get to work, I’ll take a few minutes and meditate.” That’s exactly what I did. Within in a few short minutes, my mind stopped racing, my mood became lighter, my focus was back on my work.
Meditation doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out time of silence to have a very positive effect on your day, your life, and the people around you. Take a few minutes and try it!