Help! How do I stop my mind from wandering?
What are the pros and cons to using a pre-recorded guided meditation or doing one on your own?
And…How will I know when it’s working?
Getting still and silent with yourself at the start of the day is one of the best ways to calm an anxious mind and ensure productivity, intention and joy. Why?
Before turning on the news, checking your email or socials, before confirming your schedule over coffee or packing lunches, taking as little as 10-20 minutes to check in with yourself each morning will help you to prioritize your needs and your intentions for the day, before you get constantly bombarded with the needs, demands and requests of others. Let’s face it, when your a working mother of younger kids, you are juggling way more demands then you were in your 20s.
The news, social media, emails, the kids, your bladder. Everyone needs your attention and needs it right now.
So how does taking this time to check in with you, before all of that, help?
I want you to see it for yourself.
I help women adopt a meditation practice that works for them on an individual level. One that grounds her. Offering care and connection to herself before taking on the demands of everyone around her. One that helps her feel more at ease. Less of the scattered, frustrated, screaming momisms. More feeling driven by a sense of calm, inner motivation, and dare I say it…fun.
In the last few months of supporting clients to develop a consistent routine a few common questions are coming up over, and over again. I think there's a chance you might have these same questions and I want to share with you the answers.
Answers to questions like: How the heck do I turn my brain off? I have a to-do list a mile long running through my head and it’s making these 5 minutes feel like an eternity. Or, How do I know when it’s working? What am I supposed to feel?
And, Should I be using guided meditations or doing it on my own? Which is better?
Let’s tackle those questions now, once and for all, so that you can have a better idea of how to access your innate support system to start the day feeling more grounded, at ease, and in-tune with your needs and inner compass leading you to better decisions, stronger boundaries (with ease), and far more fun.
Common Question #1: How do I turn my brain off? This to-do list won’t quit.
First things first. Remind yourself that you have it scheduled, so it will happen. There is time for everything. And you can afford to take this time for you. It's just 10 minutes. You can do anything for 10 minutes.
Next, give your mind a brief reassurance. It is your mind's nature to keep thinking thoughts. It's doing what it does. Let it be okay. Above all know, you aren’t doing anything wrong. And this doesn’t mean that you are not good at meditation, so you should quit.
Let me tell you, I have been meditating daily, sometimes 3 times a day, for years and years. I can count on 2 hands the amount of times where I was able to fully zone out and calm my mind completely. Stopping your thoughts is like the human equivalent to finding a unicorn. So trust me, you aren’t doing anything wrong. Keep going. It will get easier.
Try not to judge the thoughts that come. Just let them be. Let them come and go. Let them exist without pulling emotion from you. That is the true goal.
To do this, try not to follow the thought down the rabbit hole. If it’s a thought about that never ending to-do list in your head, nagging you about what you could or should be doing simply say, "Right, thanks. Remind me later." Then let it go. Trust that it will come back to you at the right moment later in the day. (It will. Have faith in yourself. It will come back, I promise.)
Common Question #2: How do I know it’s working?
In the beginning, you can start to look for:
Feeling refreshed and energized. Like you've had a power nap after your meditation session.
Find yourself behaving more from Responding Mode vs. Reactive Mode
Responding Mode comes from a clear mind. You will notice greater problem solving skills. Feeling calmer, less emotional (reactive), and more solution oriented.
Reactive Mode comes from a chaotic mind. Here you notice feeling more blame for others or situations/circumstances for your problems. Feeling more frustrated, angry and agitated.
Common Question #3: Is it better to use guided meditations or meditate alone?
Guided meditations are sometimes a good first step.
A guided meditation can take you through the exercise(s) to calm with breath or visualization so that you don’t have to think about what to do, you just follow the instructions you hear.
It can also offer affirming statements that aim to raise your mood and vibration.
But above all, the best benefit in my opinion is that it gives your mind something else to focus on. Instead of your wandering thoughts. And they will wander. We’ve already established that this is totally normal.
With the true goal (established in question 1) being allowed to let the thoughts come and go without feeling emotion, without judging them. Listening to a guided meditation sometimes makes it easier to do this.
Practicing meditation on your own is the goal to reach over time.
Once you've experienced the exercises in guided meditations enough you begin to get a feel for what your body wants and needs. At that point, you can lead yourself through it without the recordings.
This is where you have the most access to your source who always knows what you need in the moment. In doing this you are building your trust muscle. Allowing yourself to let source take the lead to give you what you need will also prepare you to trust the intuitive guidance you feel in day to day life and decision making too. Building this trust muscle will allow you to follow your intuitive guidance more freely to feel divinely guided and infinitely supported.
On a more advanced level, another pro for doing your own meditations is connecting to spirit guides. There are a multitude of guided meditations out there with this goal in mind. But I find that the easiest way to dialogue with or feel the healing presence of spirit guides, ancestors, deceased loved ones, and angels is by connecting through your own inner power. Once you’ve mastered your practice you will feel naturally at ease in trusting your inner dialogue. This is where relationships, support and healing beyond the human vail becomes possible.
Do you have questions about meditation?
Leave a comment below and let’s talk about it.
If you're looking for more guided support as you start, restart, or perfect your practice then check out The Busy Mom’s Guide to Meditation, a free resource to help you create calm and access your intuitive guidance in just 10 minutes a day, or book a 30 minute Fine Tune your Meditation session with me (only $5 for a limited time).