It’s so difficult to stay focused and on track these days. There are all sorts of distractions to keep us from focusing on what we need to get done. One of my biggest distractions as an entrepreneur/ business owner is my phone because I am constantly checking my social media, answering PMs, emails, making sure I am tracking online orders, plus updating product descriptions and photos and on and on.
The most challenging thing of all is me being a Gemini; need I really say more about this? 😂 Anyone who knows a Gemini knows exactly what I mean. Having to deal with multiple personalities in one body is serious work. We go from 0 to 60 in no time at all, one minute we are happy and everything is great and the next, all hell breaks loose and not even we can explain how this happens. All of this can be draining sometimes.
My love for learning is one of the reasons my mind is constantly busy. I can be talking to someone and hear them say something that I have been interested in, or that I’m not familiar with, and I immediately want more information about it. But there’s usually so much other stuff I’m thinking about, that it gets overwhelming and I sometimes forget. I have always had a difficult time keeping up with my mind because it’s constantly going fast, thinking a million thoughts at any given time.
Recently, I found myself thinking about meditation to help me be more aware of my thoughts, feelings, and maybe have a better grasp on them. At first I thought it would be impossible to calm my brain knowing how difficult it has been for me to not think constantly.
When I finally made up my mind to just try it, I chose an area of the house that was mostly quiet and unused, in this case I chose our guest room. I picked a small corner of the room and started with shelving for books I love, notebooks to write in, craft items for when I am feeling inspired to write, draw, or whatever this new adventure brings. I chose my favorite colors; colors to remind me of the ocean because it calms me and colors that are bright and cheerful to look at. I put an essential oil diffuser nearby and created a mix of essential oils with a scent I find pleasing and calming. I purchased some inexpensive lighting to create a calming mood for my area.
Everything I have chosen to use in my meditation area has a special meaning to me, so that it reminds me of my creativity. For example, I use photos I took in Hawaii and really feel are some of my best. The table I use is one I up-cycled, and the shelving too. I put decorative touches on the notebooks using washi tape because it’s pleasing to look at. I have a notebook for my favorite quotes, and another for writing down my daily emotions before or after meditation to be able to look back and see the difference. I also have my meditation notebook for writing down tips about meditating to help me out in the beginning. I have taken the time to collect some soothing sounds for meditation.
I began meditating daily either in the mornings when things are quiet in the house, or at night since I am usually the last one to go to bed, and sometimes both morning and again at night depending on how I am feeling.
I found out through research that my thinking about my mind wandering too much to be able to meditate was completely wrong, anyone can do it and it can be done just about anywhere. So I began as simply as possible. I meditated for five minutes at a time for the first few days. I set a timer on my phone, turned on some calming sounds, (here is one of my favorite https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHCz8IKQcgc&list=PL4EWARlAi5fYMtoAEBh-XwB8xnTq0ERLj&index=1) sat with my back erect, my shoulders relaxed, my eyes closed, and started with long, deep breaths through my nose and out through my mouth.
My mind? It wanders, thinking about all the new ideas that pop up at the most inconvenient times, worrying about all the things I should be doing right now, but that’s okay. The goal while meditating is to focus on my breath. So, I make myself aware of my breathing and bring my mind back into focus. I do this over and over again until my timer goes off. I have increased my meditation time to 15-20 minutes per session now.
What have I noticed about myself since I began my meditation journey? I wouldn’t call it a miracle cure or an overnight solution, at least not for me. I found however, that I am more aware of myself, my feelings, my thoughts, and my mood is immediately better no matter how I was feeling when I walked into the session. My favorite is guided meditation since I am still fairly new to this and it really helps me to get into my breathing and visualization.
I am so much calmer during stressful situations because I allow myself the time to process things while they’re happening therefore, being able to react much better. I also find that I’m smiling often again and most important of all, I am more patient with my six year old who is extremely energetic. The most surprising of all that I have discovered about meditating is that even after each session, the feeling stays with me, I am more aware of myself. Before this, I felt like a zombie most of the day, I would go to bed wondering how I got through the day and felt so exhausted most nights and I didn’t know why.
I still deal with challenges, I am not exactly where I’d like to be as far as being aware of myself and of my feelings. I do have a lot more to work on but I am one step closer.
I believe the key to self improvement isn’t always just one thing, but multiple things you can do to get you headed in the right direction. My love for words (reading, writing and music) has always been helpful in getting me through stressful situations, and over time I have discovered there are other things I love to do that also work, like art (drawing, painting, anything artistic).