If you’re like most of us, you hear the word meditation on a daily basis, always nodding your head like you’re in the know but silently thinking it’s been at least three weeks since you gave it your last half-assed attempt.
But the fact is, meditation comes in many forms, and I have a hunch you’re already finding your way in. Three ways you may already be meditating are physical movement, working with your hands, and journaling or daydreaming.
Movement: Yoga is an obvious link, but any time you’re focusing on movement – particularly repetitive movement – is the time you can really zen out. You’ve heard the phrase “in the zone”? Personally, when I’m running less than 30 minutes it feels like exercise. When I go beyond 60 minutes, I lose all concern with start and finish, time passing, and the to-dos I should be doing. I start to look at nature more, I let my thoughts roam. You don’t have to run for an hour, but try doing what you love – walking, biking, hiking – for a less-determined amount of time. Lose track, slow down, let go. You’re getting exercise AND meditation at the same time – double check!
When it comes to movement, something else stood out to me while watching my niece’s high-school basketball game. As one girl dribbled the ball up to the net in the hopes of scoring, it occurred to me that she was utterly and completely present. The only thing on her mind at that moment was the moment itself. Pretty cool endorsement for high school sports if you ask me.
Working with your hands: For me this might look like knitting, sewing, painting… For you it might be creating music, practicing calligraphy, tying fishing flies. It’s always tempting to have the tv or a podcast streaming in the background, but catch yourself in a between moment of quiet and watch where your mind wanders off to! Some of my best ideas and brainstorms have come with knitting needles in hand. Pro tip: this one works even if the person on the couch next to you is watching dumb television you don’t care about ;-)
Journaling and daydreaming: These can be one in the same, but you may remember a lot better when you’re able to write things down! I’ve honestly only gotten back to journaling over the last 2-3 months, but man does it feel GOOD! I thought I needed specific prompts and questions to get me going, but it turns out I have a lot on my mind. Chances are good that you do too. I know writing feels like thought and therefore the opposite of meditation, but you might be surprised when the pen takes over. If you’re looking for some never-ending inspiration, try the following:
- What is going right in my life right now?
- Greet the day! Wake up and set intentions, rather than recapping how it all went later.
- What would this [project, relationship, challenge] look like if it were easy?
- What does my ideal morning look like? Day, year? House, job? How would you feel?
- Have a conversation with the universe; maybe it’s listening and responding?
- Grab a tarot card deck, and each card you pull will spark an entirely new perspective for you to write on every single day.
Do you have other alternative meditation tips to share? Or did this post help you realize somewhere you’re already being mindful in your day? Please comment below or give a tag on Instagram!
See you next time!
* photo captured for trust 2015