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The Four Seeds of Self-Care: Part Three #takeafewminutes

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that is already there- buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” Deepak Chopra

I first learned of meditation when I was about 29 years old. I was searching for a way to combat extreme anxiety that I was experiencing due to leaving an abusive relationship and becoming a single mom to my then four-year-old son. I stumbled across a book by Shakti Gawain, and then another by Dr. Andrew Weil. In Weil’s book Spontaneous Healing I learned one of the breathing techniques that he uses called 4-7-8 breathing, or the “relaxing breath exercise", and that was the beginning of my meditation journey.

My practice over the last 23 years has ebbed and flowed and varied from guided meditations to walking meditations and many other forms of meditation that I have experimented with.

Meditation is often a confusing concept for many people, but it’s been around for a very long time. It can’t be attributed to one culture and it’s not a religion. Regardless of the origin, it is something that has benefited mankind for centuries. Thankfully meditation is becoming more mainstream today.

Even still, there are so many questions regarding how to meditate and the benefits of meditation. Books and podcasts abound, sometimes making our heads spin just trying to figure out where to start.

If you currently do not have a meditation practice I suggest starting small and simple. Sit comfortably, set a timer for two to five minutes, and breathe. Notice your chest rise and fall. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Thoughts will still come. Just notice them. Breathe in. Breathe out. That’s it. If you are new to meditation this may be very uncomfortable. This is normal. It is normal to feel like “nothing is happening” or that you are “doing it wrong.” Remember, this is about BEING, not doing.

You can experiment with meditation and see what works best for you. Some people enjoy guided meditations, or doing body scans or using imagery. The idea is to consciously