In the midst of my darkest health moments, the last thing I was thinking about what breathing. I was surviving and at times, not even doing that well. It wasn’t until I started to piece together that when I was feeling completely overwhelmed, anxious or frustrated that my symptoms worsened. I started reading any self help book I could get my hands on and that’s when I was introduced to meditation. There were days I couldn’t even imagine sitting still and breathing with how bad I felt but I slowly started with 5 minutes daily. I was gifted a meditation cushion from my sister and began building a small scared space in my bedroom where I would sit. This sacred space eventually became somewhere I looked forward to escape to and my 5 minutes of meditation became 10 and then 15 and now I happily sit for 20 minutes most days (I’m not perfect) and breathe. The amount of relief and healing that meditation has provided me has completely changed my life.

When the concept was first introduce to me, I needed guidance. Meditation felt overwhelming and I didn’t even know where to start. One of the first self help books I read was Deepak Chopras book Quantum Healing. I immedately signed up for his 21 day meditation course. This course got me centered and broke down meditation so it felt do-able to me. I highly recommend it for the beginning meditator.

Consistency is key with any type of healing modality. Benefits come to those not who practice perfectly but practice consistently.

My basic meditation how-to:

I set my alarm 30 minutes before my kids wake up which is 6:30am at my house. I go straight from bed, grab my robe and sit my butt down on my meditation cushion.

I highly recommend setting up your meditation station near a window. Seeing the morning sky and sunlight instantly adds to my peace and helps me get centered for the day.

I then set a timer for 20 minutes, use 3-4 drops of a balancing essential oil in my hands and breathe it in deeply. I rub the oil either over my heart or the back of my neck. The smell has now triggered an instant relax response in me. I use this essential oil everytime I’m in my meditation space and I swear my brain knows the second it smells it, that it’s time to meditate.

I start my meditation with breath work. I do this 4-7-8 breathing technique: Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. This completes one cycle. I do 4 cycles to get centered.

After I get centered with breath work, I chose a simple mantra and repeat it to myself while breathing naturally in and out. My currently favorite mantra is “so hum” which means “I am” in sancrit.

At the end of my 20 minutes I do one simple prayer from A Course In Miracles to set the tone of my day:

“Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? What would you have me say? And to whom?”

This 20 minute morning ritual I have set up for myself completely changes my day.

Again, meditation holds the power to change your life. Getting quiet with yourself and be wildly uncomfortable at first and once you start peeling back layers, you will begin to crave that quiet. If there’s one thing I can every person I work with incorporate in their life, it’s meditation.