Maybe it is just me but doesn’t meditation seem to be trending? My FB feed is often filled with celebrities who swear by it. Have you seen the Hugh Jackman video? I’ll listen to anything that man says.
A few years ago, my husband and I attended a 4 week meditation course for beginners.
Why did we do this? It wasn’t because we saw celebrities raving about how they start their day with meditation – except maybe Oprah. I think we both were really stressed out, looking for something that we could do together in our quest for living a healthier, happier life…..and it was FREE.
We did a beginner course at Inner Space Centre in Abu Dhabi and it was eye opening. Quite literally – it was Open Eye meditation. We weren’t expecting that and it took some getting used to. There were moments when we did fall into a laughing fit as the experience was so new. The idea of open eye meditation is so that you can have a centered awareness and be able to meditate anywhere, in any situation. Hint: Great for standing in long lines at a busy grocery store.
We did the course and found it useful, however, when I did my practices at home – it was usually in bed with my eyes closed (which was not recommended). What started out very relaxing was not very productive as often I would fall asleep, but what a great night sleep I would have! I did leave the course with a new found appreciation for presentness. It also gave me a different perspective on connection with others and how we are all connected.
We did not continue with the meditation after the course finished. We made some effort. I would try but after the move to Switzerland, I had a hard time finding the CDs we bought at the course. Once I did find them, they didn’t work properly because well…they’re CDs. Even my Mac book was like “What the heck is this? Is this a CD?!” At the time I had downloaded a few different meditations I found online and used them but it seemed too advanced for me – so I binned it.
Fast Forward to January 2017.
Someone on instagram is using this meditation app. Say what? What is this? I was curious so I asked. The app was Insight Timer. I had already tried HeadSpace once but just didn’t do it again. At this point I wasn’t really into meditation but January was a very dark month for me. It was always gray and cold outside. The days were so short. I was not enjoying my first Swiss winter. I think I was at a point willing to try anything to bring up my mood. I treated myself to a spa day for my birthday. At the spa – with no kids around I decided to try the app while I ran on the treadmill. There was an running meditation – A running meditation?!! I listened and it actually made running on the treadmill fun.
Afterwards I explored around the app. It has everything from beginner to advanced, whatever you are in the mood to listen to – it’s there.
At the time I was also having trouble getting to sleep. You know that special time of day when you finally get to sleep but have a million thoughts running through you head. I started using this app listening to the sleep meditations. Wow. Bring on the good nights sleep.
From there I ventured out into the other meditations as I was getting curious if this really could help in other areas of my life. I mean, there seems to be a lot of successful people out there that swear by meditation (according to my FB feed). What I realised was that after a while I would not need to do the night meditations, so I would try a couple in the morning, then perhaps another time mid-day (to keep me sane amidst children playing/fighting/not listening).
There are so many benefits to meditation but these are just some that I experienced from meditation via app:
- Clarity – Somethings are not as important as what they once seemed.
- Stress reduction – Calms nerves and reduces anxiety
- Positivity – puts me in a good mood to for the day. You have a choice to be positive and negative.
- Habit Change – Being more aware of actions and feelings that lead to poor choices/old habits and having the awareness to incorporate better choices.
I have continued with meditation with this app. It’s easy use, easy to scroll through and easy to load what you want to listen to. There is a wide selection of choices. To keep you motivated, it automatically keeps a log of when you meditate, how long you meditate that can be reviewed in detailed charts which is pretty cool. It is set up so you reach milestones with each consecutive 10 days.
Just to give you an idea of what it looks like on your phone…
Of course I would love to be sitting here celebrity style, with millions in the bank, telling you that I start each day with a meditation (which has led to my financial success). Not the case. I am a busy mom with 3 kids, trying to get my business off the ground. I am in the thick of chaos everyday. Some days I meditate first thing, some days I don’t. Meditation brings calm and focus and makes me feel good no matter what time I do it. I joke about having millions in the bank but really it is not having material wealth. It’s about being part of something bigger than us. Being connected, present and focused. I am, by no means, any sort of expert on the matter but am always learning.
Trending or not, if you are curious, and maybe have wanted to try a meditation routine, give this app a go. My recommendation would be to start with any of the beginner meditations. There is a great 365 Day Playlist which comes out with a new meditation every day and exposes you to all sorts of different meditations. It’s very educational and beneficial.
Hey – you never know where this may lead you.
If you use it, come back and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.