“If you don’t have at least 20 minutes for yourself during the day – something is wrong,” my mother-in-law said as she watched me rushing through morning errands from the passenger seat of my car. It was 6:30 am and I still had a couple stops to make before starting work, after dropping my child off at daycare.
“I know but I just don’t have any time,” I responded as I continued to push through the morning exhaustedly while she rode along observing the chaos.
A few months after that car ride, my mother in law passed away from cancer.
Similar to my lifestyle, she had a stressful life full of taking care of others; often at the risk of neglecting her own health and wellness. I understood why she felt the need to make that statement to me during her last months on this earth and it was time for me to make a change.
In a study, meditators had more than 50% fewer doctor visits than non-meditators.
By simplifying my approach and finding the best method that works for me, I have been able to commit to an impactful meditation practice for over 5 years.
Each day I pick at least one of these opportunities to meditate
- Morning — Instead of immediately getting out of the bed when my eyes open, I stay in the bed for an extra 20 minutes to meditate
- Night — When laying down for the night, instead of going straight to sleep I take 20 minutes to meditate
Preferred Meditation Method:
Mantra meditation works best for me.
- I close my eyes, rolling them up towards the top of my head
- I take 3 deep breaths, holding the inhale from my nose for 5 seconds and releasing everything out my mouth each time
- Then in silence, I focus my attention on mentally repeating a mantra
Here are some of my favorite mantras:
- “Aum”, “Om”
- “I am that I am”
- “Sat, Chit, Ananda”
Once the 20 minutes are over, I take another deep breath and continue with either getting up for the day or settling down to sleep for the night.
Changes I have noticed:
- I don’t feel like I’m pushing through the day, now I’m calmly observing
- It is easier to focus for longer amounts of time
- More patience with myself and others
- Less time spent worrying about things that need to be done
- Prioritizing daily plans have become easier
- Less headache and migraine issues with medication
Practicing meditation will change your perspective from not having enough time to elevating your level of clarity about how your time is spent. Are you focusing on things that really matter? What is your inner voice saying to you while being still? Being still in meditation daily will help you figure out your soul’s important questions; igniting your personal journey to figure out the answers.
Crystal Gibson is a wife and mother of two from Cleveland, Ohio whose interest in women’s empowerment comes from her personal experiences, raising her daughter and navigating corporate America for over a decade. She is passionate about simple living, mindfulness & meditation, gratitude, and raising strong daughters. Her goal is to write about these ideas to help women and girls with their journey – figuring out who they are and what they represent to the world. When she is not writing, she can be found gardening, crafting and spending time with her family.