Meditation: Cool Tool #52

I can’t believe I left mediation to last in the 52 Cool Tools series.

woman meditating

 

It’s one of my most treasured daily tools. That’s part of what makes it so hard to write a

bout.

That and the thousands of ways you can practice meditation.

 Is Your Meditating Device Broken?

I hear people say they’re not good at meditating. They’re either not sure how to go about it. Or they’re tried and they just can’t get their mind to focus.

I also struggled with meditation. It didn’t come easily. My mind moved. And moved. And moved.

One weekend back in the late 80’s I went to a weekend retreat somewhere in Ohio.. The meditation teacher devoted a lot of time to questions. Here’s some of what I learned from her. (Unfortunately I don’t know her name. Heck, I can’t even remember what city it was near.) 

  1. Set aside a regular time for meditation. With a regular time it becomes a habit. With repetition your body and mind start to understand what you expect. Giving meditation a dedicated times says it’s important.
  2.  Set aside a regular place. I claimed a space in my home. Then I added a few items that felt sacred to me, as well as a blanket and eye bag. Now I don’t have to think about where to be. I just head to my spot. Plus the energy of meditating in a space shifts the vibration of that space making it easier to meditate there.

 Achieving a Quiet Mind, Not!

One of my former yoga students used to attend silent retreats. The other students were curious and a little in awe. They belonged to the “I tried to meditate and it didn’t work for me” school.

One day someone asked him, “How do you get your mind to stop?”

The silent retreat dude laughed. “I don’t. I just aim for more and longer periods of silence.”

When I finally learned to be present with whatever happened during my meditation time I relaxed. Some days I go quickly into a deeply altered state. Some days I replay the conversation I just had. I think about an idea for an article I want to write, a class I want to teach. I make a mental to-do list.

 And still I sit.

Different strokes

I found trying various styles of meditation helpful. So many choices ranging from ancient spiritual traditions to cutting edge technology. Your best choice will depend on your goals and your personality. You can:

  • Focus on your breath.
  • Use a meditation cd like holosync or a guided visualization.
  • Chant a mantra. (A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that you repeat.)
  • Try a moving meditation such as walking or yoga.

If you’ve tried meditation and given up I encourage you to explore other styles. I encourage you to make it part of your self care routine. 

 Why it’s now a daily part of my life

So what do I get from meditation? I feel soothed. My usually very active mind slows down. It even goes blank sometimes. I come back to my center. I connect to the divine. My problems and concerns melt away. I access the better, calmer, happier parts of me. I feel bliss and joy.

Yeah, it’s good stuff!

What’s your favorite style of meditation? Any pointers or tips to share from your experience?

 

 

Cool Tool #14: Protection in a Bottle

You want to be authentic with your clients. You know that when you bring your vulnerable self to your work you get better results.

But showing your tender underbelly to clients can feel scary.

 What’s a Conscious Entrepreneur to Do?

 One of my favorite tools for protection is frankincense (Boswellia carteri.)

 Why do you think the wise men brought this precious resin to baby Jesus as a birthday gift? I can just hear the wise men asking their wise wives to head out to the market and pick up a little something for the baby. I’m guessing it was the balm of protection along with the resin’s ability to connect one with their spiritual self that made it the must have gift for baby Jesus.

 To produce the oil the tree is scraped. Then the tree produces a resin to protect itself. Smart tree. Emulate the tree and you’ll have some protection of your own.

Frankincense and You

Some people burn the resin. I use the oil that’s distilled from the resin. So what do you do with the oil?

 You can sniff the oil from the bottle. You can dilute it in a blend with either water for a spray or oil to use on your skin. I have a blend that contains frankincense that I use in my office to create a sense of protection. In a blend you won’t need much of this oil to impart it’s signature smell.

 This comforting oil smells warm, sweet, and woodsy. Recovering Catholics be forewarned. One of my clients had an aversion to the oil because it reminded her of her less than pleasant Catholic upbringing.

 Other Uses

This protector of your spirit is a multitasking winner. The fragrance can help:

  • Connect you to your spiritual self.  
  • Move you into mediation.
  • Still busy emotions.
  • Release connections to your past that get in your way.
  • Soothe stress and anxiety.

Have you used frankincense? Share your experiences here.