February 02, 2012

chantilly guide to meditation

chan laptop


i get stressed out. a lot.

and i get overwhelmed a lot.

i got to thinking about this while also pondering amy's self-love series, and wanted to share one of the ways that i help myself with this. and the truth is that i can go (and have gone) crazy without a spiritual practice in my life.

think what you want... it might be weird or new-agey... but i always find that things go much smoother for me when i have a consistent practice every single day. it usually involves at the very least reading some inspirational or spiritual text, and meditating. even though i'm not very good at it, i still try :P


if you've never meditated before, there's potential to feel pretty wonderful afterwards :) i've gone to guided meditation centers, practiced techniques in therapy sessions, and also do it on my own.

you don't have to subscribe to any particular religion to meditate... you can be an athiest! it's simply something people do to clear their heads, and let in space for healing and good energy. here are a few of my favorite tips for a practice:


1) find a peaceful place

this one might seem obvious, but it could be a challenge if your living space is small, or your home is chaotic (kids, loud roommates, etc.) but no space is going to be perfect, so work with what you've got!

in my very first apartment in brooklyn, all the windows were looking directly out at brick walls. there was one small window in the kitchen, where through a barred window, you could see a sliver of sky. that was where i meditated every day, and it worked :)






2) breathe, and count

one of the first techniques i learned was to simply count up to a certain number on inhales and exhales, say to the number 10. if you have racing thoughts like i do, it helps take your mind off of them. it can actually be a relief to concentrate only on the numbers and your breath.

next, give yourself a time frame. say, 5 or 10 minutes in which you are to count with your breath, undisturbed, and let no other thoughts enter your head.

(this can be really hard, so you might need to...)


3) use a mantra

it's totally okay to use a simple and reassuring word or phrase while you're meditating. like "relax" or "let go." whenever you feel worries or thoughts coming in, just gently release them, and say your mantra to yourself in your head.

so many of the words that come into our minds during the day are stressful ones... so choose your words with care. this is the time to be gentle with ourselves :)

Source: moss.fm via Christina on Pinterest




4) visualization

it can help to picture yourself being somewhere safe and comforting. the beach? your childhood home? your mom's womb? it's all good, as long as it helps you to let go of fear and harmful energies around you.


5) don't give up

after the first time (or first few times), you may not feel any more inspired, happy, or lighter than usual. it might take a few tries. or, you might have an amazzing first experience, but subsequent times aren't the same. you don't know how to get the initial feeling back, and become disappointed.

this is all understandable and natural, but the important thing is that you keep trying. like anything, it takes practice. it might even take months, but i promise... carving a place out in your day to relax and let go of the stresses in your life will only have a positive effect on you in the longrun.


energy is such an amazing thing, and there's so much you can do with it. so many ways it can be depleted or replenished inside a person. these are replenishing exercises for your spirit.

hope you can find some use out of them :)


xoxo,


chantilly

13 comments:

  1. I started crying as I was reading this post. I so need to find a solution to the way I am right now. I am very happy to be surrounded by great people who care for me, but I'm immensely disappointed in myself. I can't seem to accomplish anything, can't even focus to study. I wish I could give meditation a try, but I'm such a big mess that I don't think it'll work :/.

    It's great to know that it works for you, though; and who knows? Maybe one day I can try it, too :).

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  2. i need to try this. every time i try, i start thinking of things that need to be done, grocery lists, etc. i love your tips, though and will definitely try again!

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  3. This post is so inspiring! I definitely need to pay attention to calming sown in the daily grind in the future.

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  4. loooooove thiiiiiis. <3

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  5. I have been beyond stressed lately and trying to remember to breathe. These little tips help and remind me to try practicing more mindful breathing and keeping my mantras and such in mind. Thanks for these lovely little reminders Chantilly.

    -Sara-

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  6. These are some wonderful tips. I used to meditate all the time. I used the classic 'Om mani padme hum' because I like focusing on syllables that aren't words in my mind. It's amazing how much paying attention to and learning to control your breathing can help. I would use it to squash my anxieties about test or public speaking or whatever I was scared of.

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  7. So amazing! Such a lovely post! We live by meditation! As..well, we get stressed out too, haha!

    ox from NYC!
    -davie+erica

    http://www.lpfashionphilosophy.blogspot.com

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  8. This is such a wonderful post - and just what I needed to see! I've been feeling overwhelmed and kind of down in the dumps, so I definitely want to try meditating every day to try and find some peace and calm.

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  9. This post makes me think I need to start meditating again. I did a long time ago and, yes, I think I was a bit saner.

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  10. I definitely need to do more of this. I've been a slacker lately. I can be a high stress gal myself..darn the little type a-ness in me- as much as I hate to admit it. I'm always more at peace and much more laid-back when I can stick to a consistent schedule with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  11. i'm so horrible at visualizing things but the rest of this is def really helpful for me. My dad always mediated when I was growing up and lately I keep realizing I should but have never given it a shot. Thanks for the tips and motivation!
    http://dusanabotswana.com

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  12. you can't understand how full my heart is, reading all these comments. i'm so happy to have encouraged some of you to start a meditation practice... and possibly helped some to realize that you need time to relax and be good to yourself. please do this!!

    miki- i'm convinced that you have ten minutes in your day that you can put aside to try this. it sounds like you need it more than anything right now. my heart goes out to you, girl.

    loren- i've never tried chanting! i'd try it if there weren't people constantly around...


    have a peaceful night, everyone.
    <3<3

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  13. this is perfect. thank you for sharing!

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thank you for taking the time to leave a comment :) i appreciate your thoughts.

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