180454345When starting to meditate, it doesn’t matter if you meditate for a minute or for an hour; just that you take the time to commit in whatever way you can to this beautiful practice. For my clients that are new to meditation, I recommend they start by simply sitting comfortably in a quiet place and breathing deeply in and out for a minute. Rather than thinking about their to-do lists, I have them just focus on the words “IN” and “OUT” as they breathe in and out. That’s it!

I often hear, “I am a bad meditator” or “I could never sit still to do that”, but that is usually a sign that meditation is exactly what you need! Everyone’s mind wanders, but the practice of simply returning to the breath is a great analogy for getting back on track again and again in life. Here are five tips to help you get a meditation practice going:

1) Guided meditations are so helpful and I love to experiment with different ones all the time. My favorite is the Deepak Chopra/Oprah Series but I also use a few different apps. My favorite app is “Mindfulness” and I know many people love Headspace.Com.

2) Consider moving meditations. Walking a labyrinth, Qigong, and Tai Chi are all forms of moving meditations that you may have heard about. However, walking and dancing may be more accessible to you in your daily life. Just being mindful, focusing on your breath and your body rather than all the chatter in your head, can make walking or dancing highly calming and clarifying.

3) Try a meditation class or circle. “Meditating in a group is very powerful,” says author and motivational speaker Gabrielle Bernstein. “The shared intention of the group elevates each individual. When one or more gather with the intention to heal and grow, great shifts can occur. The group’s collective energy has a massive impact on the world.”

4) Meditating with a partner. When I finally convinced my husband to start meditating with me, my practice went to a whole new level. Not only do you encourage each other to commit to the practice, but also it may take your relationship to a place of deeper connection and intimacy

5) Find an accountability buddy. As with any new habit, an accountability buddy can help you stay on track until the habit is set in place. Perhaps you text each other each morning or email each other each night, just knowing someone is waiting for a box check from you, may very well keep you on track!

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