How and Why Meditation Improves your Life

The Power of Looking Inward | Issue 004

Dear warrior of peace, 

Ever noticed how time sometimes moves in slow motion and other times it races by at 100 mph? Why is it that two minutes of being ‘on hold’ on the phone can feel like a decade but an hour can pass by while scrolling through social media?

Where we direct our attention is the most important choice we make each and every day, so directing it wisely is transformational. Stopping to breathe can actually reset you and help you to be more present, productive, and calm but taking time to slow down, sit, breathe and actually ARRIVE into this moment is sometimes at the bottom of our priorities for the day.

The desire to use time effectively can result in us trying to pack in way too much into a day in order to feel productive (being ‘busy’ can be mistaken for actually being efficient - more to come on this in a future newsletter!) If you often hear yourself saying ‘meditation? Yup, I know it’s good for me… but I just have no time for that!’ then this makes YOU exactly the right person to urgently add more meditation into your life.

The entire Breathe and Flow team even got involved this week to share their own experiences and quick tips with you, so read on to find out what advice they give to help you along your own your meditation journey.

If making time for a ten minute meditation seems challenging, consider giving yourself a twenty minute meditation instead.

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Meditation is a practice that allows us to simply be with what is non-judgmentally. A time of non-doing and simply sitting with ourselves. Often this results in us becoming aware of the constant stream of thoughts, and helps us cultivate mindfulness (whole 30 day free program here!), and connect with our inner selves. Its benefits extend far beyond the moments we spend in stillness. Regular meditation can enhance our overall well-being, improve focus and concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, promote emotional balance, and foster a deeper sense of self-awareness. However these are not the goals, the goal is to simply sit and be with what is. It is easy to get caught up again in the achievement mode of wanting to get somewhere, have certain insights or reach certain states. It is all happening right now and you need to be here with it. Still like a mountain sitting in dignity, calm, and peace observing the present moment.

How often do you meditate?

There's no right or wrong answer - we are just curious! Also, if you want to add your own tips or experience then do use the box at the bottom when you click the link to elaborate. We love to hear from you!

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If you're new to meditation, we understand that starting might feel a little overwhelming or uncertain. However, the practice doesn't need to be complicated. As little as ten minutes of meditation daily can yield remarkable benefits. Gradually, you can increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice and what is possible in your current phase of life.

If you need inspiration to begin, check out this video by Yes Theory about the journey Thomas takes on a 1000 consecutive day mediation challenge.

To support you on this beautiful journey, we have curated a program of TEN full days of FREE guided meditation videos in our Expand Program to get you started on your own meditation journey as it kicks off with explaining how to become advanced at yoga. We hope our videos will serve as valuable tools on your path to inner stillness and self-discovery. After a while, you will feel ready to go on alone and have no audio guide at all. This is actually an important step many miss because they stay attached to audio guidance. Eventually you must move to your own silent meditation, at least for the vast majority of the time.

Everyone has a different journey with meditation and so we decided that asking our lovely BnF team for their advice would be a good way to gather tips which may help guide you with your own practice. Here are their top pieces of advice…

🧘 Especially when you are starting out, I think it is important to make yourself comfortable. Sitting cross-legged and sitting up straight is certainly important, but if you are suffering the whole meditation because you are sitting uncomfortably, that is a pretty challenging meditation object to start with. So, get comfortable and before you start, remember from what "frame of mind" you want to guide yourself through this meditation. Compassion and understanding. Have fun. - Lukas

🧘 Habit stack the meditation meaning link the new meditation habit to an already existing old habit. Such as "I will meditate first cup of coffee, before I open my phone, after I light the candle on my alter, etc." It will be easier to commit to it if you plug it in-between already existing morning habits as opposed to attempting to add it in randomly and it just keeps getting pushed back and never happens. - Bre

🧘 Tip 1: Remove All Distractions Around You 🚫 : My head really struggles to switch off when surrounded by potential tasks and a never ending to-do list. For this reason, I need to actively remove such things from the spaces I choose to practice or meditate in. Until such time I master switching off, letting go of all around me and being totally in the moment… I find removing as many distractions as I can around me seems to play a fantastic part in me becoming fully present 🙏

Tip 2: Set Up A Camera & Film Yourself 📹 As a content creator, I find that filming myself really helps me focus on my practice, meditation OR task at hand. It stops me using my phone or seeing that screen light up with notifications 📱 and I know it helps make me do the best job I can to make sure it looks ‘good’ on camera, which sounds a bit shallow and fake but it has really helped me focus. Even if I don’t end up using the content for something like sharing it on social media, keeping it as a memory in my camera roll, using it for a piece of content I am working on or archiving it for another day, it can be a fun and quite insightful thing to reflect on later 🕰️ - AJ

🧘 Michi shared several beautiful insights about meditation and here are some of his favorites ‘…there are days that are not “as good“ as others. I‘m myself usually quiet, calm and I can also do long meditations. Still, this year I had days on which my mind was running so crazy that I could not do more than 5 minutes; it was too much. I didn’t have this ever before so it is unusual for me but it turns out that this also happens,- so that has to be ok, don’t think you failed because you didn’t reach a specific mark. It’s not a race performance. Instead try to understand what is going on with you. Again in the long term it will get “better.“

[At the end of meditation] I always go with my hands to the forehead and then to the heart. Always, no matter where on the planet I am. It helps me to connect to myself even more and connect sometimes even to the other meditations I had on other places on this earth. It is crucial for me to do that and don’t miss out on it. And the time I take on this one is personal and on nobody’s watch…I need these 30 seconds to a minute to end this practice with myself because this one will always be yours, no matter where or who you are with. I can highly recommend it. - Michi

🧘 Sit with whatever is coming up. Fully be with it in this moment. - Flo

🧘 Sometimes, particularly when I am feeling a little ‘busy’ or ‘wired,‘ I pair my meditation with expressive writing. I brain dump everything out of my mind either before or after my meditation into a notebook or voicenote to myself (yep I know this sounds odd!). It helps me to take a calmer, clearer mind into the practice and also into the rest of my day or sleep. I often never look at or listen to those notes again. - Charlie

Remember, meditation is a gift you give yourself. It nourishes your mind, body, and soul, and its effects ripple into every aspect of your life as well as those around you. Embrace the opportunity to explore this ancient practice and watch as it unfolds its wonders before you. Together, we can cultivate a deeper connection to ourselves and create a community rooted in mindfulness and compassion.

Above all, be gentle with yourself. Remember, meditation is a practice, and like any skill, it takes time and patience to develop. Approach it with an attitude of self-compassion and understanding, allowing yourself to grow at your own pace.

Magical meditation moments and much love,

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📚 Brain Food Recommendations 📚

Although practicing silent meditations yourself is really the number one way to enrich your mindfulness journey, beyond the guided meditations and meditation music are a few books that we recommend reading from our suggested book list if you’d like to dive deeper into mindfulness:

Another awesome source of information is checking out monk and meditation Gelong Thubten, who has some great tips and resources for meditation and mindfulness practices.

Morning Coffee Positive Planet News

Meditation can help us embrace a more mindful existence, and become more attuned to our impact on the planet. This heightened awareness often leads to conscious choices, such as adopting sustainable practices, reducing consumption, and fostering a deeper connection with nature. Taking time to slow down and arrive in the moment not only nurtures personal well-being but also inspires positive change, promoting a harmonious relationship between individuals and the world we inhabit. So, it’s good for your mind and good for planet-kind!

The findings of this recent study suggest that mindfulness may help reduce information avoidance and improve decision-making. Just as Flo mentions, sitting with whatever feelings come up is key to being fully present.

Reading and learning is of course beneficial but most meditation books conclude the same thing: to practice it. After all, meditation is 1% theory and 99% practice 😊Thanks for taking the time to read through this lengthy newsletter, we hope you found many resources and tips beneficial. 🙏✨💙 We appreciate the attention you gave. Stay tuned for the next newsletter in two weeks!

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