Posted in Healing, MindBody

Practices of a Healthy Mind

What is Meditation?


“A quality of high attentiveness and concentration. An attitude of open mindedness and curiosity.” 

Meditation is the disciplined practice of concentration and focus, whether it be on the breath, a movement, a repeated phrase or an object. It can be done while sitting in a chair or on a mat, standing, lying down, practicing yoga or taking a walk. Essentially, it is the act of paying attention and increasing your focus muscle, inviting a sense of calm and clarity to the mind. This is often misinterpreted as clearing the mind of all thought, but that’s definitely not the point of meditation. It’s about practicing the art of slowing down both mentally and physically.

There is no end goal to meditation. It is a practice meant to be applied throughout your life. The more you practice the better you become at practicing stillness. It’s important not to become discouraged by any difficulty in the beginning. One of the biggest challenges when starting a meditation practice is that there is no instant gratification. The world we live in thrives on immediate answers to questions and solutions to problems. Moreover, our emotions are lacking regulation because we simply don’t take the time to experience them as they occur. It isn’t easy to face the reasons why we feel pulled in 6 different directions at one time, however it is important to get in touch with those reasons.

Slowing down and paying attention is exactly what we need to balance us out in such a fast paced society. It allows us the chance to be present and appreciate what we have in the midst of striving for more. The mind won’t function at a higher rate with the same mentality that burns it out. The definition of insanity is repeating the same actions and expecting new results.

So what is Mindfulness?


Mindfulness is a practice of awareness. Practicing awareness is bringing your focus to either your thoughts, physical sensations or breathing, whatever is occurring at this moment. When you are being mindful you are utilizing the traits of patience, acceptance, forgiveness, nonjudgment and having a beginner’s mind toward yourself and others. Whether in the form of anxiety or a difficult emotion, we need to start paying attention to our emotions and learn to regulate them in the moment.


Although mindfulness and meditation are both practices they are not one in the same. Mindfulness incorporates the principles listed above and can be practiced at any moment. It is the simple act of paying attention to the minor details that are normally glanced over. Brushing your teeth, showering and walking out of your house, just to name a few. For instance, have you ever driven from one place to another and didn’t remember the actual driving process? After learning how to drive it becomes habitual. The mind kicks in when it’s necessary, like an emergency brake or when traffic breaks so we speed up. But for the majority of the time we allow our autopilot to take over. 



If we can allow our awareness to shut off when we are operating a vehicle daily,

how many other vital moments are we missing?




Mindful Awareness Meditation 

This is a simple discipline that will both challenge and change you, combining both mindful awareness and meditation into one very powerful practice. First you need something to focus on and in this case it will be your breath. The only way to know when you are distracted is if your attention is on one thing to begin with. The breath is portable, easily accessible and always in the present moment-making it the ideal single point of focus.

Next you’ll need to find a comfortable posture. If you’re choosing a chair I would recommend one without arms to practice proper posture, feet flat on the floor. Placing your palms on your knees, facing the ceiling or resting on your lap (pretend you’re holding a giant imaginary wheel.) Remember you can also lay down and practice on a mat. I wouldn’t suggest doing so on your bed; your body understands that comfort zone as place to sleep, not pay attention. 

Finally set a duration of time, preferably 10 minutes to start, and focus on your breath. Your thoughts will absolutely interrupt you and pull you away from your purpose. Some may be unpleasant or fantastical, continue to remind yourself gently why you are sitting here. Keep coming back to the breath. Losing your train of thought is just another form of practicing patience with yourself. Don’t attach expectations of disciplined stillness onto this practice when this is something you’ve never done. And don’t give up at the first sign of frustration! 


Struggling to sit in stillness for 10 minutes is why you should continue to practice sitting still.

Practicing Discipline and Responding to Distraction

When you first begin to meditate your thoughts will be running wild. Your mind thinks this way 24/7. The only difference is now you are paying attention to those rapid thoughts. That’s a HUGE step in the direction of progress. Remember meditation is a disciplined practice. Be kind, patient and forgiving toward yourself when losing track of the breath. Keep coming back to the breath over and over and over again.

The time of day you choose to meditate varies for each person. Most of the books I’ve read recommend doing it first thing in the morning to set the tone of the day. I’ve found it helps pairing meditation time with a responsibility or chore. My morning practice takes place after I brush my teeth. I sit on a chair or mat for at least ten minutes, focusing on my breath and visualizing the day ahead. On the days that I am extremely distracted struggling to stay still, I gain the most from my practice. With that experience in mind I know it’s important to continue checking in on my moods and thoughts throughout the day.

Keep coming back! This advice can not be said enough. Come back to your breath, the chair, the reason why you sat still to begin with. Only then will responding to the mental distractions become easier. It’s not about clearing your mind but rather working toward peace of mind. Committing to meditation, even just ten minutes a day will build your awareness of self and increase your ability to regulate emotions. 


If there were a way to slow the chatter of your mind, learn to control your moods, and ultimately become a better person you’d jump on the chance. Meditation is that practice. It is not a quick fix because it’s the journey that is meant to change you. Only in experiencing moments of discomfort are you pushed to fulfill your potential. Practicing stillness makes you grow through what you go through. 

Whatever success looks like in your life meditation will only help you get there. Commit to your future self’s mental health and practice meditation for one week, 10 minutes a day. Pay attention to the challenges, not with a judgmental mind but with an open awareness- get to know the real you. 

Meditation is not just for religious people, spiritual people, or those who believe in something higher. It’s for those who wish to function optimally in an ever-changing world.


Mindfulness teacher, intuitive healer, energy worker, and wild woman living by the moon. These are my teachings, this is my journey.