Photograph: Insadco Photography/Alamy

Ocean. Sunset. Calm.

This is the place I go to when I meditate. Ever since I can remember, in any grounding exercises (through my energy life coach training), other quiet times I give myself, or in workshops where I am asked to find the place in nature that I love. In a nutshell, its always here. There is something so magical about this place I create in my consciousness. The most amazing thing is that I can go here whenever I close my eyes and choose to. One day I will be in this place everyday and see it with my own eyes. {I have a longing to live by the ocean}

Meditation can be just 2 minutes of our day. Long breath’s, eyes closed and taking yourself  to “your place”.

Do you already have a meditation practice?

Meditation is something I have been dipping in and out of for a few years, but its only recently that I have dedicated time to it everyday. It is such a wonderful practice. It has helped me in so many ways, that I wanted to share some tips so you can also build it into your own daily life if it is something you need inspiration with. If you already meditate, I would love to hear your experiences.

Like many activities, meditation can be seen as a habit, so for a habit to be a habit, you need to get into a practice of it regularly. The benefits can be told, but the beauty is when you see and feel them yourself.

Photo source: unknown through pinterest

Most of all, I believe meditation opens you up to begin the journey of understanding yourself, your true self. You become more aware of what you are thinking and what you are feeling. In our already busy lives, finding time to meditate creates a haven of peace and tranquility so you can approach the day or an important event with a sense of calmness.

Looking at something beautiful, can be a form of meditation.

post_convicttrain2Contemplating beauty in Tasmania {photo taken by me}

How does this all sound to you? If you would like to get started or interested in some of the ways I build it into my day, below are some tips to get started.

1. Just breathe

Sometimes taking a few deep breath’s and concentrating on your breath can have significant results. We take breathing for granted sometimes, so imagine how mindful you can become just by noticing it for a few minutes each day.

2. Commit to only 2 minutes a day at least

By promising yourself calmness each day, no matter how busy your ife is, you will start seeing results. Maybe its when you take a shower or walk to the train. There are many opportunities.

3. Pick a time of day and a trigger if you need one

I love to meditate when I have my cup of hot water and lemon in the morning, shorty after I wake up. It helps me set my intention for the day ahead before anything can get in there! Sometimes I meditate at night also, before I hop into bed {especially if I have lots swimming around in my head}. Find a time that suits you, where you can create the trigger to perform your practice.

4. Find somewhere you will not be disturbed.

I meditate in my studio and close my doors. I also use those special sound headphones {Can’t remember what they are called}. If you live with others, let them know you need 10 minutes undisturbed. Here is a cute door hang, from the Chopra center you can use. I love it!

5. Be comfortable

Find a chair or space where you are comfortable. I prefer to sit in the morning, with my feet on the ground.

6. Accept whatever comes to you or what you feel

This can be the challenging bit! As you quieten your mind, things may creep in. Let it all flow, no matter what. Something needs to surface and by observing any thoughts or feelings you can practice becoming the observer to let it be, rather than judge it or yourself.

7. Experiment

Try some guided meditations. I do love the Chopra Center’s meditation challenges as they are free and a perfect way to get started. I also love Elizabeth Harper’s Colors of Ascension as well as my own color meditations. So try a few and see who you like or the type of guided meditations you like. Try different positions, sitting, laying down, eyes open, closed etc. It is a personal preference. I like to have my feet on the ground as it helps me feel more grounded. Why not take your ipod outside and sit on the grass with your bare feet.

8.  Find moments of awareness during the day

Once you being your practice, take moments throughout the day to stop and be mindful, reset yourself. Think about all the wonderful things that happened in your morning or what you are grateful for that day. It will soon become a natural occurrence in your day for you. I know a very wise lady who has a Tibetan sound bell that goes off every hour with a single chime. This is her reminder throughout the day.

Laying beneath a tree can be transformational. Photo taken in San Francisco, CA, 2011. {photo by me}

Expand your practice day by day…..

Meditation helps you get into the habit of being more mindful, listening to your body and also living in the moment throughout the day. Here are some others ways I have built it into my daily life so it becomes part of me, so I can stay in “that space”.

Whenever I can feel myself feeling uneasy for any reason, I take long deep breathes. This really helps me connect to the present moment and observe how I am thinking and feeling. To “catch myself” so I can turn any negative thought into positive action. It can be so easy to let negative thoughts just run around your head sometimes.

Take a walk. Its so amazing how things can feel different after you have stretched your legs, taken a few deep breathes and connected with nature. If you have a park close by or live near trees, take some time to sit underneath a tree, even take your shoes off, feel the grass and lay beneath the branches. Look above and watch the leaves dance in the breeze. This is one of my absolute favorite things to do. This is a perfect meditation in itself.

Before I paint, I always take time to listen to a guided meditation. If I am in need of inspiration & guidance from my inner self, I usually pick one of my own color meditations or take myself through the rainbow with my rainbow relaxation meditation. It really gets my creative energy flowing and leaving any thoughts from earlier out of my head so I can be whole and at one with the paint, color and canvas.

Take a bath or feel the water on your skin in a shower. Bathing is a wonderful way to connect you to one of the 5 elements – water. Let it soak or pour over your skin, take time to feel it (not thinking about your day ahead). Use something scented to really get your sense of smell flowing.

What are some of your favorite ways to find calmness in your day?

Which ones above really appeal to you the most?

Would love to hear.

Photo take on the Big Sur, California, 2011 {photo by me}

Did you know that the Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge starts today?  {IT’s FREE!} You can sign up here. There is also a worldwide meditation happening at 1.30pm EST, so come and join in and help spread this calmness around our planet.

You can also listen to my “Rainbow Relaxation” meditation for free here.