In some realness, meditation is the truth. I’ve always been much more “turned up” than zen, but meditation has changed me … like on a cellular level.

Ultramarathons have taught me the art of visualization and mindfulness. Sports psychologists and spiritual leaders alike know the power of the mind. Meditation can not only change your brain matter, but it can also alleviate stress, anxiety, and the pervasive mind chatter we all battle on a daily basis.

Trust me. I’m no zen master. I still curse like a trucker, lose my cool, and have irrationally negative thoughts. Meditation is called a practice for a reason.

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Photo: Fred Goris

10 Newbie Meditation Tips

1. Do You And Experiment

There’s no “wrong” way to meditate. It’s about establishing a regularity and a rhythm. There are so many different types of teachers, methods, and online communities to help your journey. Music? Religious talk? Mantras? Walking meditation? Candle meditation? TM? Vedic? Dabble in some research and see what works. There are as many styles of meditation as there are meditators.

2. Guided Meditation

I love Gabrielle Bernstein’s guided meditations.
They are only 5-6 minutes. This helped me get started on the practice because I didn’t feel like I was devoting too much time.

Apps like Simply Being are also recommended
for some guided focus. You can select 5 to 20 minutes, from a selection of natures sounds, music, or a spoken guide.

3. Commit to 21 days

Studies show that doing something consistently for 21-days reinforces habit. Mindfulness is a practice and getting into the habit of waking up and meditating is helpful. If you fall off, there’s always tomorrow.

4. Don’t stress about it

I’ve had many stops and starts with meditation.My inner monologue was often asking “Am I doing this right? What am I having for lunch?
What do I need to do today?”

For me, meditation is not about nothingness, it’s about acknowledging what comes up and clearing my internal channel. I’ve really found this to be a powerful tool in manifesting my passions and desires.

5. Start small with a few minutes 

Maybe you’ll be able to dive right into hour long meditations. Maybe you can’t. I didn’t. Even taking 3-minutes to walk and breathe is a start.

6. Breathe 

I have mini meditations all the time. Breathe in for 5-counts, hold it for 5 counts, and release for 5-counts. I literally do this whenever I see myself getting impatient, stressed, or negative. It’s a practice used by the military to steady soldiers before battle. Powerful shit!

7. Let it go 

Some days will be better than others. Don’t focus on daily practice! Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go.

8. Start the day off with intention first thing 

Meditating first thing in the morning helped me establish a practice. It also helped for me to do it before grabbing for my phone to check emails, tweets, instagram, etc. Silence the noise. We can’t be turned up every second of the day.

9. Fake it til you make it 

You might feel silly at first. I did. I found that going through the motions actually allowed me to believe in the breathing and mantras.

10. Dwell in possibility 

You can only have in your life what you believe is possible. For real!

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