Never underestimate the impact of uncles. My Uncle Gerald first introduced me to meditation as a little girl and I saw it play out in the way he lived his life. Effortlessly, he carried a sense of calm into any room he entered. I even felt his peaceful energy when approaching his hospital room during his last days on earth nearly 30 years ago. Sitting with yourself in silence, intentionally, is a life skill.
While I observed it in his being, I did not know meditation for myself. Yoga teacher training broke it down in bite sized pieces for me. Before every class, we spent 30 minutes meditating in silence and stillness. When inevitable distractions surfaced, we learned to draw our attention to the breath.
+ Thoughts about what just happened or what will? Focus on the tip of your nose as you inhale.
+ Scalp itch? Focus on your top lip with the next exhale.
+ Ear tingle? Oh, hello ear tingle - you'll eventually pass.
As time went on, I looked forward to transitioning from my busy workdays to evening meditations. One night as a group, we meditated an hour. After training progressively for months, we meditated three hours! Through each consecutive hour of meditation, I noticed how the environment (quiet or chaotic), posture (sitting on your bootie or a yoga block), and intention (holding a crystal) impacted my experience. Eventually, I cultivated my own 30-minute routine most mornings before diving into work. Five to 10 minutes of meditation is said to be enough to clear your mind, overcome anxiety and stress, receive guidance, and tap into your peace. Meet you where you are.
Faced with a constant stream of thoughts, deadlines, and concerns - taking time to relax your mind is vital. Thank you, Uncle Gerald, for showing me the value of stilling mine.