5 Minutes a day May: National Meditation Month
The mind has a mind of its own.
It’s infamous for meandering, dreaming, fixating and dominating our state of being. A good day turns bad simply because the mind can’t walk away from an email, an unexpected comment or a to-do list.
Admittedly my quest to finding ways to calm the mind is still in its infancy. So when I learned that May is National Meditation Month, I welcomed the chance to shift my meditation practice to a new level.
I’ve committed to 31 days of meditation in May. Studies say that it takes 21 days (or 3 weeks) to start a habit. I threw in extra 10 days for good measure.
Since I started last Sunday, I’ve found a few tips for calming my monkey mind. Truth be told, I am a perfectionist, (who probably needs meditation the most!) and wanted to share what’s worked for me:
1. Start small: 5 minutes up to 10-20 minutes
Like others, I held an expectation to sit for 30 minutes (or even an hour) in order to receive the full benefits of meditation. Quite the opposite. By starting small and quieting the mind for just 5 minutes daily, you will benefit from the positive effects of meditation and eventually work your way up to 10-20 minutes (or beyond!). Twenty minutes is just under a half hour, and for me, is an easier time commitment to integrate into my lifestyle.
2. Uniformity is boring: variety is OK!
There are a variety of ways to meditate. Knowing that each day is different, I adjust my meditation daily to accommodate how I’m feeling. Some days I practice focused meditation, other days I engage in activity-based meditation, such as yoga in San Francisco.
Focused Meditation means close your eyes and focus on something intently. This could be a visual (like an image), something auditory (like a sound or your own breath), or repeating a mantra (like “practice silence”).
Activity-based meditation doesn’t really look like meditation. Through an activity such as yoga, walking or gardening, you engage in a repetitive activity that helps to quiet the mind and allow your brain to “shift.”
3. Schedule it
Like dates with my girlfriends, I block time in my calendar for my daily meditation. It’s helpful if you can find a consistent time each day in order to build routine. However, if one day you shift to an alternate time, that’s just as good, too!
They say April showers bring May flowers. So here’s to blooming your meditation practice and challenging your mind to give yourself a break.
To 5 minutes a day,