EP 23: Three Things to Make Meditation a Slam Dunk
In today's episode, I am going to discuss three things to make your meditation a slam dunk. By slam dunk I mean a practice that is simple, effective and best of all YOU WILL STICK TO IT! There are many methods, brands and apps, and apps for your apps, but today let's get back to the basics. Let's get back to the why and the how and get your practice on the tracks headed to the destination of your choice. You can study until you are old and gray, but the practice does not work unless you practice! Meditation is a training, and after years of teaching and watching students stop and start, get excited and sometimes frustrated, I think I have found the secret sauce to success.
Whether you are just starting out, you keep starting and stopping or have started but don't feel like the results are robust enough to keep you coming back, well hold on. I will layout a simple plan that will help you to that magical destination. One where you can find peace clarity, compassion, courage, and your inner badass.
Now get ready, hit subscribe, smile, get a beverage, and I will right back. You don't want to miss this.
Hey There, Alexa Z here with my favorite three things that can make your meditation practice a slam dunk.
First, my suggestion is for you to listen to this podcast until the end; no note-taking necessary. Please hear me out, listen and, more importantly, feel what I am trying to get at. In the end, I will give you a link where you can print out a few fun things to use to make these three elements of my secret sauce all your own.
When I first began to teach meditation formally, I always remembered my teacher Sarah McLean saying all you need to meditate are three things: a desire, a focus, and a nonjudgmental attitude. This made sense to me and I have repeated it at least 10,000 times over the years. However, of late, I have found a way to expand on all three of these. Right from the get-go, to help make your practice very personal because you are unique and your needs are individual. One size does not fit all.
In my first one on one session with a client, we go through the following exercise, and it tends to shed light on why the person wanted to learn to meditate, to begin with. I also help map out how on earth this practice is going to fit into their life efficiently and effectively. And most importantly, add an extra dose of accountability.
Let's Dive In
NUMBER ONE: Why Are You Meditating?
Desire: Before you take on something new most likely you have a desire, even if that desire was nudged on from someone like perhaps your doctor telling you have to lower your blood pressure. Or maybe the urge came from a place deep within like the desire to have less stress and more peace in your life. Or possibly to improve something like memory, your sleep, focus, or creativity. Or maybe to change a habit like quitting smoking or alcohol or improving your diet. This is where I get people to dive deeper.
The best way I can do this is through my own example:
- Panic attacks - I had them and I needed them to stop!
If I really had someone walk me through this, which later came through a lot of soul searching and a lot of counseling, I would have discovered
- Low self-esteem
- Poor body image
- Fears (financial, abandonment)
What are all of the reasons you want to meditate? If it is just one, I ask you to dig a little deeper. In my freebie at the end, you will be given a one-page worksheet to get you to develop the full story. I want you to tuck that completed page away and pull it out every time you think you don't want to practice or when you are wondering if anything is starting to shift. It is all connected!
NUMBER TWO: Start Simple and Stick to It!
Focus – As I said when I opened the show, you can learn many methods of meditation, mainly a type of focused concentration (think zooming in) or open awareness (wide-angle lens). The second type should come after the first type, a bit more advanced and there is no prize if you go to open awareness first. You don't go to hot, challenging yoga vinyasa flow level three if you have learned the basics first. Well you can but you will become frustrated and most likely will hurt yourself.
With that being said, I am going to make a recommendation. Start with body and breath awareness and do it every day for a bit. It is incredibly useful and how relaxing does it sound to know that you can sit down without having to make a decision on what to try today. It was like when I decided to wear jeans and white button-downs every day. It was as though life gave me a giant gift, mainly of time. And thankfully, I own 9 white button-downs. Back to Meditation. Body and breath awareness. I have people still doing this simple but profound practice year after year.
To help you start or get back on track, I will give you a 10-minute body and breath practice AND a calendar to track 7 days. This is HUGE, 7 days of accountability. You miss a day, you go back to day one. The calendar has a few bullet points to review each day before you begin to keep your mind settled and focused on the final ingredient in my secret sauce (or Sarah's sauce with my added touches based directly from client experiences)
NUMBER THREE: Rituals
Nonjudgmental Attitude or Attitude
I reminded my client of this yesterday in a text string, and she came back with "No Judgment – that's a novel idea with laughing emoticons) It's hard, I get it! But think of it this way, life is hard, habits are hard, so to shift the mindset, let's thing NON-ISSUE. I will list a few things and then you repeat (right now) This is a non-issue
- If today is harder than yesterday
- It doesn't feel like it's working
- I keep fidgeting
- I can't stop my mind
- I don't have time – bzzzzzz wrong answer – I got you on that one.
It would help if you didn't lay judgment on your life because you are short of time. I want to prove to you, through the results of your practice, that you DO have the time. The calendars' notes will remind you of the nonjudgmental things to practice during your training, and the last part of your freebie will help you with time. It's called your Morning Ritual. Yes, I want you to practice first thing in the morning, but it is later in the morning or midday I will not lay judgment.
Here is the secret sauce. It would help if you had a ritual and then a backup ritual. We all know how the morning can shake out, but first, we try, and if we do not succeed, we already have a backup plan. That plan can be as simple as what happened to me this morning. I sat down to meditate after feeding the dogs like I always do, and my husband came down the stairs and said, "is their anyway you can help me do yoga for 10 minutes" after I picked myself up off the floor from fainting I said YES. This was a miracle I was witnessing. No worries, I have a backup plan. I walk to my planner and insert a break before lunch, earlier if I can. Done, back up plan. No stress. Super easy.
I think you get the point, but now I want you to look at part three of the freebie. A morning ritual worksheet AND a backup plan. I have some tips for setting it up, and you must know that when you think it through and write it down – it works.
ONE – Desire – dig deep – go check off all of them
TWO – Focus – Start with what I have you and note it on the calendar
THREE – Create a nonjudgmental attitude starting with a Morning Ritual that also is a non-issue because you also have a backup plan.
And next week, my teacher Sarah McLean herself will be on the show to really expand on these three things and on demystifying all those brands and methods out there.
HERE IS WHAT YOU DO: Click Here for Freebie
Or paste www.alexazmeditates.com/slamdunk into your browser
PRINT THEM OUT – This is NOT difficult, and it works I swear
Small steps will bring great strides.
If this didn't work, I wouldn't be here today. I really mean that I wouldn't be here.