2023 was THE year to focus on grounding, and while I often suggest to people that they incorporate meditation in some form into their lives, it was the year I seemed to suggest to most of my clients that this is super important.
Meditation comes in many forms from the traditional forms such as Buddhist meditation where silence and watching the mind is key, to the yogic practices, right through all the versions of guided meditation, visualisation, working with the breath, to prayer. It doesn’t matter which you choose, and you do need to find what’s right for you, but calming the mind can bring so many benefits.
I’ve meditated in many ways but often reluctantly and haphazardly, apart from my constant and necessary gardening meditation, which is about getting my hands in the dirt
I did find the prayers and hymns of my Catholic primary school very comforting and when I met Dean he had already been exploring some of the aspects of a spiritual path. We tried meditation classes from many different paths and I have to say I resonated with Buddhist meditation the most, but I never managed to quieten the “monkey mind”. It would dash off here and there, come back, sit quiet for a few seconds, then off it would go again.
When we taught yoga classes and ran retreats, yoga nidra and guided visualisations were a big aspect and apparently often the reason people came to class. Sometimes we’d run a series of meditation classes, and we do have a few of our meditations and guided journeys on our Elements of Now podcast.
Our intention through 2023 had been for us to create some more meditations for you, but life and time got away! However, I firmly believe that meditation in some form can be key to a better quality of life, health and mental outlook.
My meditation practice became cemented into my life through Covid, as I’m sure is the case for many of you. We were so busy with our store, with people desperate for help with the fear around the future, asking for support for their health and needing help to have their jabs. It was a completely crazy time and one I’d not want to experience again in a business sense. We worked seven days a week for 18 months just to keep on top of things. I was often up in the middle of the night writing blogs, creating forms and researching both the symptom picture of Covid around the globe and the homeopathic support, through reading and watching the many videos my colleagues were churning out. Obviously I was running on adrenalin, I wasn’t sleeping a lot and we couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel, although it did come!
We walked many kilometres each day and the beach where we live was a form of moving meditation for both Dean and myself. I really did nothing else; just worked and walked and once a month met with colleagues either via zoom or in person to talk about things a bit more.
I started to worry about my health moving forwards, and we all know what that big worry can be if you’re too busy focusing on other things, stressing and not taking time out for yourself. I started to explore online and discovered a whole world of meditation, some free and some paid. Then I moved to Spotify and that’s where I found what worked for me.
Some form of meditation practice can be so helpful if you’re anxious or stewing on something, as was often the case for most people through Covid. It can also be a great way to work through personal problems such as relationship issues, lack of self confidence, anger and yes, it can be a lovely way to drift off with the angelic collective. The teachers come from many different angles, so you’re bound to find what you like, and practising regularly can really calm you and benefit your mental and physical health.
My only warning here would be that if you are very anxious you are better to focus on grounding and centering before you try any higher vibration work. And if you’re already doing this sort of work, trying working more through the lower chakras, particularly the earth star and the base to really make your foundations solid. And please read my comment below about protecting yourself before you slip away to the higher realms.
As I said to many clients, you can’t always take a remedy, you need to use some different tools, and meditation or guided visualisation is a simple and important tool these days, which is why I’ve done the work for you here!
10 reasons to meditate
Below is an excerpt from a blog I came across which includes links to some research, for those of you who like the science. Here we have just 10 of the many benefits to be had from making time for yourself and creating a regular practice. Source link.
Often thought of as a path to self-awareness and compassion, meditation can also be a path to better health. Practiced for thousands of years in Hindu, Buddhist, Zen/Chan and Taoist communities, people use meditation today to cope with stress and worry in a busy world. It can help bring calm and insight to people who often feel anxious.
Meditation refers to a set of techniques to enhance attention, emotional awareness, kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and mental calmness even in difficult situations. Some people find that regular meditation practice helps them be kind to themselves and more caring towards others. It can also teach you to be a little less reactive when tough situations arise.
Research has documented many health benefits of regular meditation practice. Here are 10 of them:
- Reduced stress: Meditation may decrease stress. It can also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and fibromyalgia.
- Improved memory: Better focus through regular meditation may increase memory and mental clarity. These benefits can help fight age-related memory loss and dementia.
- Increased attention: Meditation helps with attention span, allowing you to stay focused longer.
- Enhanced willpower: Meditation develops the mental discipline needed to avoid unhelpful habits.
- Better sleep: Meditation can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.
- Less pain: Meditation can reduce pain and boost emotion regulation. Together with medical care, this may help treat chronic pain.
- Lower blood pressure: Blood pressure decreases during meditation and over time in people who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and blood vessels and help prevent heart disease.
- Less anxiety: Regular meditation helps reduce anxiety. It can also help with mental health issues like social anxiety, fears and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
- Less depression: Meditation can help reduce the occurrence of depression.
- Greater compassion: Meditation can help you better understand yourself, find your best self, and increase positive feelings and actions toward others.
But I don’t have time!
My answer to this is MAKE TIME! Whether it’s 10 minutes before you go to sleep or when you wake up, an hour you can dedicate twice a week, or better still a sleep meditation, make time just like you make time to take all your supplements or brush your teeth.
A meditation or mindfulness practice is about is self-care, giving yourself some time, reconnecting with self and with Source and directing your life. It’s about focusing on your self and your body, feeling the breath, and calming the nervous system, so essential if you’re anxious. In fact if you’re anxious focusing on grounding as your meditation is going to bring enormous benefits.
What sort of meditation?
There’s a whole world of meditation, relaxation, visualisation and guided journeys on Spotify, and for me the guided visualisation works best to quieten my “monkey mind”. You may also find benefit from listening to music for meditation or things like the Solfreggio Frequencies. It’s all about finding what works for you.
I’ve spent a couple of years working my way through the Spotify podcasts and playlists, following various teachers and then changing my mind and refining my list down.
If you’re not familiar with Spotify, you can ‘follow’ a podcaster, as you’d follow someone on Instagram or Facebook, so that you are notified of their latest episodes. You can create a playlist so that you listen to several items in a row, or you can just select one item and select the sleep timer to turn it off at the end. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to fall asleep!
What I’ve found enormous benefit from are the sleep meditations by Nicky Sutton. These cover a wide range of topics and I may listen once or have my favourites. The big bonus of these is that you don’t need to make time because they are designed to be listened to while you sleep. This is great if you have issues with sleep; trouble falling, frequent waking or waking up and lying awake for hours.
The sleep meditations are also very powerful for changing unhealthy thought processes, building confidence or doing something beautiful like connecting with your guardian angel or spiritual team – all while you’re sound asleep and you’ve let go of your busy conscious mind!
Here’s my list of suggestions for places to start. I’ve worked my way through many of the playlists of these podcasts. Some I continue to follow, some I’ve had a break from but may come back to. In the process you’ll likely find the people you love and whose voice and content soothe your soul.
Some of the podcasts do have advertising but you’ll work out who and you can just skip a minute or two to avoid them. You may find they have them some of the time, but not always. If you have a paid Spotify account you won’t get any further advertising through the longer podcasts.
Sleep Meditations with Nicky Sutton – These have been at the top of my list for sometime now. Designed to listen to while you sleep for deep change and maximum benefit, they cut out the conscious mind and work on the sub conscious level. I’ve personally found these very useful through some difficult personal times. They run for two hours and you just get yourself cosy in bed for the night, pop in some earbuds and play. They are useful if you find you wake up and can’t fall asleep again and they should cultivate better sleep habits just through soothing you and allowing you to drop back to sleep more quickly.
Nicky Sutton also has another (older??) podcast which contains slightly different, more esoteric content.
Satsang with Mooji – I love Moojibaba but he can be a bit complex for first timers. Dip in, be soothed by his amazing voice and see if his style resonates with you, because meditation really is about resonance.
Davidji is a Chopra Center Vedic Educator, certified as an instructor of Primordial Sound Meditation, Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle, and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga. He has an amazing voice and a simple style.
Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation also known as “yogic sleep” or “effortless relaxation”. While this is a traditional yogic practice, it is particularly useful for relaxation and especially for sleep. The idea is actually to stay awake and aware, but many teachers suggest the practice to fall asleep!
Davina Ho was the first person I listened to regularly and I frequently suggest her as a good place to start. I’ve had feedback from many of my clients that her yoga nidra meditations are really beneficial. Davina also has a morning meditation to get you going and a great 10 minute revitalising meditation which I’ve been known to do at lunchtime to pep me up if the day is a bit crazy and I need to be my best self!
If you want to focus more on reaching the higher realms, connecting with your guides or balancing your chakras, have a scroll through some of the podcasters below. You will find many magical and mysterious meditations and guided visualisations. No doubt you’ll come up with some of your own.
My only advice if you are sensitive is to ensure you ground yourself firmly when you return and make sure you use some form of psychic protection, which can be as simple as the intention to be safe and protected while you are relaxed and perhap off to other realms. There are many ways to do this such as visualising yourself in a bubble of white light, burning incense while you meditate or with crystals. There’s plenty of information available online on simple tools and we have a couple of items in the EnviroSprays range; Protection and Ground my Life being the two that come immediately to mind.
Karina Godwin – Karina is an Australian podcaster, which seems fairly rare, and she has the most delightful style and voice. The very first visualisation in her list Awaken Your Healing Potential would be useful if you have experienced or are currently experiencing cancer in some form.
Our Sacred Universe – Mariya describes her offerings as a journey within, into the infinity of who you are at a soul level.
Inner Peace Meditations with Steven Webb. These are usually short, but quite profound meditations and Steven’s personal story is quite interesting if you have time to delve.
Guided Meditations with Natasha Tome. The first few offerings are vlogs, but if you scroll you’ll find some solid and useful meditations.
Om & Go with Tammy Lorraine, The Optimistic Meditator is another podcast I like and follow.
The Mindful Movement with Sarah Raymond has a large following and a wide variety of meditations.
Purely Being Guided Meditations with Lucy Bee Love is another podcast I come and go with.
Yogi Bryan offers guided meditation for stress relief, relaxation, gratitude and much more.
So make time, relax, improve your mental health and your sleep, rein in your crazy life and enjoy!