If there’s one thing that comes along with going back to school for me, it’s stress. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing I love more than school and learning. However, there’s something about work, planning, scheduling, time, life, etc. that makes me a little crazy. And this year is promising a new kind of stress as I start my student teaching adventure (insert excited cheers here).
For a long time I never addressed my stress (Hello! Ain’t nobody got time for that!) , but last year I just reached a final point where it was making me making me sick and I needed to do something about it.
And that’s where Oprah came in to save the day, obviously. I was scrolling through my Twitter feed one day and one of her tweets mentioned a 21-Day Meditation Challenge with Deepak Chopra.
I’ve always admired Deepak and I’m crazy in love with Oprah, so I thought, why not?
All of my friends know me as a person that will force them to do deep breathing exercises with me, and I’m a rather spiritual person, so it’s kind of odd that I hadn't looked into meditation before.
I think that some of it had to do with the fact that I thought I couldn’t set aside 15 minutes a day for quiet alone time. What a mistake that was. Everyone needs to set aside a little time every day that’s strictly for themselves. Meditation’s a good way to do it, and I do seriously think it has changed my life.
So what is mediation?
- Meditation requires you to sit still in a comfortable position. Generally you’ll see the stereotypical criss-crossed sitting, hands in the air position. Because I have no balance, I like to lay down with my hands up.
- Then you’ll start to do my favorite deep breathing exercises. If you’ve ever been in choir, band, theatre, a speech class, then you already know how to do it: breathe from the diaphragm.
- Each meditation is focused on a centering thought. For example, the meditation I just did was centered around the thought of “We are one.”
- Before each meditation, Deepak likes to share a mindful moment as well. For this one, his is:
“Today as you enter the stillness and silence of meditation, hold the intention that everyone in the world is experiencing love, wholeness, and peace in their heart. Visualize each person on our planet receiving your loving intention. Connect with and trust your inner knowing that as you send healing thoughts to yourself and others, that vibration travels out into the world and makes a difference. Know today that you have a vital role in the collective experience of our people, that you can change the world one meditation, one loving moment at a time.”
- Then the meditation begins. You repeat the mantra/centering thought and try to clear your mind. That’s definitely the hardest part and to be honest, I can’t always do it. It’s so hard not to think of anything.
Meditation is all about connecting to your spirit and everyone else’s. The world is completely connected and united; meditation truly makes you feel that energy. It’s a very centering and humbling experience. Meditating is a daily reminder of our place in this world and what an important role it is. It shows that you have the sole power over your attitude, choices, and relationships. It’s one thing to say “We’re all connected,” but it’s another thing to meditate, you experience that connection. In that, you’re self-aware and empowered.
Want to get started?
Check out my personally selected spiritual gurus: Deepak Chopra (obviously) and Gabrielle Bernstein.
Life, whether you’re in school or not, can be insanely stressful and that stress can be harmful if it’s not addressed. It might not work for everyone, but meditation has been a life-saver for me and my sanity.