The Art of Meditation

The Art of Meditation

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 | Article by: Mathilde Hardy

We’ve known for a long time that meditation is a great practice for our mental and physical health. Studies show its impact on blood pressure, anxiety, depression, etc. It evokes a better version of ourselves, but getting to that better version takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work.

If you’re struggling with how to get started, here are some ways that we’ve come up with to help:

  • Just start. The first step is making the commitment to start meditating. Otherwise you’ll never get to it. The beauty of meditation is that there is no correct way to do it: everyone will have a different experience. You decide to sit for as long as your body and mind need to, especially when starting out.
  • Finding the right kind of meditation. There are thousands of meditations out there, but finding the right kind for you is important. It ranges from guided meditations to long, peaceful soundtracks. Luckily, these can be accessed on many music streaming platforms.
  • Breathe. In then out. Really slowly. This part is crucial to getting your body to relax. Even if the first few breaths are shaky, after a few you’ll find a natural rhythm. To help find an even breath and relax my body, I like to diffuse a relaxing essential oil or blend, like lavender or Down Time.
  • Designating a “meditation spot.” Where you meditate as well as consistently meditating there are two very important parts. If it’s your bed, your body will want to sleep instead of focusing on the meditation. I have a designated chair in my room: sitting in a chair helps with keeping your back straight and feeling grounded. I also never meditate without a thick blanket to keep me warm.
  • Remember that when you meditate, it’s a stress-free AND pressure-free zone. It’s easy to feel discouraged after the first few times, but it’s important to remember that even the greatest names in the meditation “world” needed years to master the practice of meditation. Even now they’re still growing and learning. Listen to your body and what it needs.
  • My favorite part of meditation is visualizing my goals. Meditation wouldn’t be as fun if it didn’t include visualization. Every morning, I pick 1 to 2 goals that I want to visualize. I imagine myself achieving those goals and how that would feel like. It makes me feel inspired even if I’ve had a crappy week or night of sleep. Visualization is a great motivator to get you to meditate.

I wish you all the luck in your meditation journey and a practice full of joy and abundance!

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Dreaming of Warm, Spring Days

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023 | Article by: Mathilde Hardy If you’re from the northern part of the Midwest, then you know that winters last an eternity. You’re sick of being hunkered down in your house or cabin and all you want is to walk out of your house in a light jacket. No coat, hat, or gloves required. It’s a hopeless feeling, and there’s very little that can be done (unless it’s in your budget to go to Arizona for a week). However, here are some ways that can help you feel closer to springtime in an affordable and easy way. While this one takes practice, visualization is a great way to feel closer to spring and all it takes is 5 minutes. I like to imagine myself outside in the springtime laughing. I visually and physically try to feel the rays of sunlight, and in some visualizations I’m eating my favorite ice cream while walking on the side of a lake. These are just some examples, so feel free to dream up your ideal spring day. Another way to feel closer to spring is through scent. What scents or smells bring you back to your favorite days from the spring or summer? What emotional memories do they evoke? Personally, Neroli brings me back to my childhood summers. When I feel especially dreary, I diffuse 3-5 drops or I mix a few drops with some lotion Now, if you’re from a big city chances are that there is at least one conservatory botanical garden near you. In the winter time, you can enjoy a nice stroll in “nature” with 70-80 degree temperatures without leaving the state. Many of these gardens have no entrance fee and are open to the public. In the wintertime, it’s especially important to take care of your physical health. For example, many doctors suggest exercising a certain amount. But sometimes when it’s -15 degrees outside all you want to do is stay cozy inside. That’s why hot yoga might be for you. It’s a great exercise and it’s hot. Like super hot. After entering the yoga room it’ll feel like you’re in Florida. So friends, I hope that with these suggestions you’ll start to feel just a little closer to spring. Before you know it, the snow will be gone and the birds will be singing!

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