Breathe in. Breathe out.
I am often asked where I find the time to do everything I do: from being a wife and mom, running a business, doing talks and workshops, writing books, and going on fun adventures with my family. You may not buy into my answer at all, and when I tell people that one of my top life tips is meditation, I can almost feel them switching off. Most people believe that it won’t work for them.
Sometimes I do wish it was possible to stop time or hit the pause button on the speed of life. But we all know there’s no stopping time. Still, there may be a way to buy time by focusing on the present and reducing the repeating background noise in your mind.
To me, meditation is one of the most valuable tools in our fast-paced, modern-day life. I like to use the Chopra meditation App, but I’ve often heard people say the Headspace App works really well. It’s about quietening the thoughts that my brain can’t switch off. Remember that your thoughts become your reality, and you cannot allow the spiralling negative messages of worry, fear, anxiousness and despair to take control of your life.
The benefits of quietening the voices in your head are endless and there are many ways to still your thoughts: going for long walks, consciously finding joy in everyday moments, and simple deep breathing. These are all forms of meditation. As long as you’re prepared for a process rather than a quick fix. It takes practice. Don’t expect to be perfect at it. If you accomplish just being conscious of the thoughts in your mind and not allowing them to control you, you have made a good start.
Like you, I also did not think that meditation was for me when I first started and it did not work perfectly for me in the beginning. I struggled to see how I was ever going to quiet the voices in my head, from to-do lists, worries and stories that my mind made up. I decided to give it a good go, and each time I meditated, my brain got slightly quieter. I still don’t always get it right, and the to-do lists still pop into my head – even when I’m trying to block them out. But now I feel the difference when I’m not meditating.
I like to meditate early in the morning before my day gets busy, and I put aside 15 – 20 minutes to sit quietly. Most days, I use the Chopra guided meditation and other days, the transcendental meditation technique of repeating a mantra until my mind stills. My husband, Gys, has watched my morning ritual for years and now also meditates daily. He says it’s helped him look at his business differently with a more strategic outlook. Josh, my son, has also started and finds he can control his anxiety around exams much more.
I encourage you to give meditation a go! Just remember that you don’t need to be perfect at it. It may feel impossible at first but it gets easier over time.