You know I’m a huge fan of meditation and if you’ve attended group training, you’ve likely given it a try!
It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a “mindfulness” meme and/or someone else is shouting the benefits from the rooftops.
It’s kind of like when someone begins exercising for the first time and then goes around telling everyone how amazing it is and the benefits they feel…even to those people who have been exercising forever…any maybe to the very people who were trying to get THEM to exercise in the first place… 🙂
I believe it comes from a good place in both situations. Exercise, meditation or some other health promoting act can feel so invigorating, so incredible, that it makes people want to tell everyone about it in the hopes that they too, can feel *this* good!
But, what I find, is that meditation and/or mindfulness looks different for all of us. For some, it might be a morning ritual in a sacred space, for others, it’s long walks with their dog, it’s time spent in nature, artwork, yoga, running, listening to music…
The point is, it doesn’t have to be still. And, perhaps even more importantly, it doesn’t have to be the absence of thought.
What?! I know.
I was shocked when I first learned this when listening to an interview with a meditation expert, Emily Fletcher of “Expectful.” In a few short minutes, she totally blew my mind! And, allowed for more forgiveness and flexibility when it comes to those moments of stillness.
Somehow not needing to stop the cycle of thought, makes meditation more accessible and less like drudgery and disappointment.
The deeper I evolve my meditation practice, the more agile I become with what it looks like for me.
The more I work with clients and discuss those things that create space and joy, the more I recognize just how different that can look for each one of us.
So, my question to you: what brings you spaciousness in mind and body? What helps you to reset? To set the stage for calm in your life these days?
Mine always begins with the breath…but, perhaps not surprisingly, in conjunction with exercise.
Despite recommendations to meditate immediately, exercise is my priority, then meditation follows. This is my current prescription anyway, and the only thing I can guarantee, is that it will evolve.
If meditation feels daunting, I have a few great suggestions for resources that can help!
Calm App or calm.com: Calm is wonderful for both guided or unguided meditations. It has beautiful, soothing nature scenes and is truly a low bar for entry! There are free options and it’s available on your desktop with basic meditations of varying lengths.
Buddhify App: This is a new one for me, recommended by one in the BfB Community! It has a beautiful pinwheel of rainbow colors offering varying length meditations based on what you’re doing throughout your day. A one-time purchase for this app and it’s just feels nice to access the pinweheel!
Headspace App: This app aks for a bit more commitment from the user and offers a free trial to get started. You must work your way through a particular meditation series before advancing to the next. Despite this higher bar for entry, it does help one to create the meditation habit and also has short videos that education regarding the practice. There is a specifically prenatal track available. This app requires a subscription once your free trial ends.
Expectful App: This is the newest one for me and so far, I’m really enjoying it! Created specifically for the perinatal time from trying to conceive through motherhood, this app offers 10 and 20 minute meditation options including couples meditations and quicker “Urgent Care” options. I’m appreciating how specific these meditations are for me personally while trying to conceive. This app requires a subscription once your free trial ends.
And, finally, a new book suggested to me by one in our community as well! “Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond” by Nancy Bardacke. I’ve just begun to scratch the surface of this text, but am really enjoying looking forward to what I anticipate will have a powerful impact for me both personally and professionally!
You can learn more about Nancy and the book here: http://www.mindfulbirthing.org
You can always expect to practice mindfulness and meditation on our prenatal group classes! Enjoy knowing that it’s built in for you as you work to incorporate this practice into your life on your own.
I hope these resources are helpful! If you’ve got a great one you’d like to share, please let me know!