Meditation completely changed my life.
As popular as meditation is now, you might think that it’s always been that way. Meditation is the act of sitting quietly without falling asleep for a sustained period of time. Seems pretty uncontroversial, right? But at one time not that long ago (and even in certain spaces today) meditation was viewed as an occult practice.
When I was in my early twenties, I experienced chronic migraines. One of my friends at work knew someone named Erin who did energy work, and she suggested I schedule a session with her. My friend thought Erin might be able to help me with my migraines. I soon learned that Erin also taught meditation. I was familiar with meditation, but I’d never taken a meditation class before. In high school and college, I took classes called Stress Management, which was similar to meditation. But once I began taking meditation with Erin, my world changed.
I traded my migraines for improved eyesight and increased intuition.
Initially, the biggest thing meditation helped me do was alleviate the pressure in my head. My migraines went away almost immediately. My eyesight improved and I even stopped wearing glasses for a number of years. I developed the ability to move from a place of observation and curiosity instead of an automatic reaction. It was as if I had waited my whole life to start this practice. I felt better, happier, and more at peace. It felt like the clouds had parted and I could now see the sunshine.
Meditation expanded my sensitivity for sensations around me. My ability to see things clearly increased dramatically. As time went on, my intuition grew stronger. I learned the difference between my ego mind and my true self. This was the beginning of building my psychic skill. I started with meditation.
When I began teaching meditation, I noticed the countless positive effects it had on people.
I took classes for several years before I started teaching meditation, mindfulness, and metaphysics myself. I became very practiced at quieting my mind and I grew my psychic ability (yes, it has to be cultivated through practice just like any other skill).
When I started teaching meditation in the early ‘90s, I noticed that my students were happier, more engaged, and more insightful for it. Most excitingly, meditation taught my students that they were not just a physical body. They discovered that their presence was much more than that.
Meditation is more important than ever.
I’ve been teaching meditation now for about three decades, so I’ve seen the myriad of positive impacts it has on people. However, teaching meditation today is a little different than it used to be. The prevalence of electronics has increased immensely. The invention of the smartphone has changed people’s mindspace. People never used to tell me that they didn’t have time to meditate. Now, that’s one of the most common responses I get when I tell people I teach meditation.
The amount of data and information that we take in has completely changed the landscape of what we’re overcoming through a meditation practice. The whole point of a meditation practice is to find silence. We’ve become a culture that seeks distraction. But really, it’s in the silence that we hear our true self. The unique challenge to teaching meditation now is to get my students to put their phones down. And I get it! It’s challenging for me to put my phone down, too. The upside to teaching meditation virtually is that I can teach a lot more people at one time. However, by meditating at home rather than in a classroom studio, you have access to so many more distractions. And it’s harder to overcome those distractions than it used to be.
SDG Meditation is here to help you release distractions and quiet your mind.
At SDG Meditation, we want to help you get more comfortable in a space of quiet. This might be annoying to some of you, but there’s no such thing as multitasking. You might think you’re multitasking, but what that really means is that you’re not fully focused on any one task at a time. When we increase our focus and presence, we improve our lives.
Begin your meditation practice with us by joining our mini meditation and mindfulness eCourse, 5 Days Happier. In class with us, you’ll get access to several guided meditations and mindfulness exercises. We’ll take you step-by-step through creating your meditation space, setting yourself up to meditate daily, and restorative posture and breathing exercises. You’ll learn more about the benefits of meditation and how it can specifically help you.
If you find that you just can’t put your phone down, try these tips:
- Shut your phone off for at least a few minutes everyday. Take this time to sit quietly and breathe. Start with just five minutes and feel the effects. We all have five minutes.
- Choose a time in the evening when you’ll stop answering texts, emails, or checking social media. Put your phone on airplane mode or shut it off entirely. If you find yourself thinking that you couldn’t do that (i.e. My boss would never be okay with that! or What if there’s an emergency?), ask yourself if that’s really reality or if you’re simply finding reasons not to shut off your phone. If you absolutely need a specific person to be able to reach you at any time, you can change the settings on your phone to give them special privileges to do that after hours.
- Consider what you’re consuming (podcasts, social media, games, email, etc). Notice how these things affect your mood. If something is negatively affecting your mood, try interacting with it less by setting time limits or taking it off your phone altogether. I personally had to unsubscribe from several podcasts that were affecting my mood, and I immediately noticed how much better I felt after I stopped consuming that content.
- If you use your phone as an alarm, order a digital alarm clock and try using that instead. It’ll give you the space to be able to shut your phone off at night and be less tempted to use it right before bed or in the middle of the night if you wake up. That blue light puts strain on your eyes and makes it harder to relax and fall asleep.
- Pick up a pen and write longhand! Buy a journal or even a paper calendar.
- Have an alternative activity you can do when you want to reach for your phone. Keep a journal, a good book, or your favorite magazine close by.
- Plan something small everyday that you can look forward to that doesn’t involve your phone. If you really love to cook, look up a new recipe. If you want to spend time with your family, friends, or partner, grab a board game that you can all enjoy. Set a coffee date. Ride your bike. Create something beautiful.
- When you want to reach for your phone, pause. Take just one minute to breathe. Everyone has 60 seconds. After taking a minute to simply breathe, you might find that you feel less inclined to pick up your phone. If you do and you end up scrolling, that’s okay. The more you pause, though, the more you train your brain to get comfortable with empty space.
Distraction is actually mental suffering.
The mind wants distraction, but the more you meditate, the more you’ll crave that quiet space. I think of distraction as mental suffering. Distractions take us away from our inner peace. They take us away from silence, which is our commune with our higher self and with Spirit.
A meditation practice will change your life.
When you close your eyes, all your other senses become heightened. At first, this might feel incredibly uncomfortable. We search for distractions because it’s challenging to feel strong sensations, especially things like tension, stress, anxiety, and the things that weigh heavy on our mind. These are some of the feelings and sensations that can come up when we first begin a meditation practice. The more we can sit with ourselves, though, the less scary our feelings and sensations become. Tension starts to ease. Anxiety starts to dissipate. The chatter quiets down. Over time, you’ll learn how to harness your mind. Then comes freedom, quiet, serenity, joy, levity, and purpose. Meditation is a reflection of you and your internal process. It’s the essence of life.
My meditation practice is my most important ritual.
My meditation practice is more essential now than ever. As my access to information expands, I also expand my meditation practice. It’s one of the most important parts of my life. It helps me cope with life’s ups, downs, and changes. It brings me peace. The longer I meditate, the more I return to the idea that nothing is happening without purpose. It alleviates my attachment to the things that don’t matter. Meditation gives me the ability to get out of my own echochamber and not be so pulled every which way.
Study meditation and mindfulness in the SDG Meditation Classroom.
Build your meditation practice with us by joining our mini meditation eCourse, 5 Days Happier. This course is packed with information and it’s only $30. My mission has always been to bring meditation into the mainstream and to make it accessible to people from all walks of life. With the unique challenges we face today and the endless distractions we have access to, cultivating a consistent meditation and mindfulness practice is more important than ever. We can all use a little reprieve from the pressure of everyday life. Many of us believe that relief comes from distraction, but really, it comes from silence. It comes from being with yourself fully. We’ll help you start your practice and find that place of calm.