I am no woo-woo, and I did not believe in meditation.
Until I distilled what meditation really is.
At one time in my life, I suffered from chronic insomnia – a debilitating and very misunderstood condition.
I was introduced to a form of mediation through a sleep clinic I was sent to after almost causing a head on road crash. I know. Scary. That’s what insomnia does to you.
I was briefed to sit, with my eyes closed & find a small hole in the thoughts flying around in my head. Just a tiny pinprick of light. I had to focus on that small dot of light and progressively try to make is larger – make less room for the thoughts. I worried about losing track of the thoughts in my head, so I learned to put them away – in an imaginary trunk. Some days I had to put a lock on the trunk, and of course, then I worried about losing the key – so I was told to put it around my neck on a chain.
Being honest, this didn’t really work for me. Sitting still was not my thing – until I realised that meditation is about clearing your thoughts & finding space in your head – which leads naturally to finding peace in your mind.
From this realisation, I discovered that it is possible to ‘meditate’ while also carrying on with your day.
You don’t have to sit on a rock facing north, humming a ‘ooouumm’ with your hands in the correct mudra position. Although the ooouumm chanting is quite liberating. The vibration in the back of your throat contributes to wellbeing and positive though flow. Singing or humming has a similar impact on the mind.
The trick is to identify the thing that does that for you – to find your meditative activity.
For me, it’s running (or fast walking these days), but it must be outside. Running gives me focus.
Specifically, running makes me focus on the next driveway that I have to hit before I slow down, the top of the hill that I need to conquer (because I managed it last week), the extra block that I can make it around today (because I’ve decided I can).
What this does for me (and I know running isn’t for everyone), is take me out of my day to day thoughts and worries & place me in a state of euphoria – the ‘I can’ state of mind.
Removing the moths that dominate your headspace when you’re busy, anxious or stressed helps you focus on what you can do and what you can change.
It’s very empowering.
The thing is, it took me years to realise that this is what I gained from the physical exercise. It lights me up. Makes me feel positive.
This is the power of meditation.
So, putting this into the context of you, what things do you or could you put in place to create a similar focus on the positive & remove the focus from the daily?
- For some it’s painting.
- For others, it’s craftwork or pottery.
- Learning a new language.
- Swimming or cycling.
- Playing an instrument or learning to sing scales.
- Flower arranging or photography.
These are all great activities that will engage your mind in something other than your thoughts and daily worries.
All the above can be done with little or no investment – but the thing that turns them from being a hobby to being a meditative activity is the ritual you put around it.
In looking at traditional yoga mediation, there is always regime & routine around it.
- You select a time of day.
- You cleanse your feet (if not all of you).
- You wear white, and you sit in a particular place – usually with particular music to perform your meditation.
- You always end with giving thanks and an expression of gratitude.
Do the same with your selected activity.
- Nominate a time.
- Nominate a frequency.
- Be a little bit selfish and stick to your nominated routine. It’s time you need and should take for yourself. You can’t serve others until you’ve looked after yourself.
- Find music that fits your activity and make it a part of it.
This is where essential oils come in.
In engaging your sense of smell – the most powerful sense & the sense most closely related to emotions and memories, you enable smell to become a trigger for your active meditative state.
When you engage a particular scent with an activity, and make it part of your ritual, before too long, the scent alone can bring you back to the state of mind more frequently.
With running and swimming or other physical activities, the post workout ritual is where your scent trigger will come in (or even before if you want it to). Definitely make scents & smells a part of your active meditation.
You can use any scents – aroma oils included, but the properties of essential oils are ideal for this practice. Those that enable mental relaxation, those that enable euphoria, those that uplift – or the traditional meditative blends.
My recommendation is to start with a traditional meditation blend (frankincense & lavender), add to that with grapefruit, orange or lime for your uplift, geranium for balance and perhaps ylang ylang to inspire both confidence & enthusiasm.
As you learn more about essential oils, you’ll also start to learn which blends work for you best and how to dial elements of your blend up and down. Essential oils help create a particular state of mind in their own right. Connecting this with your routine is a fast track to enabling a positive state of mind.
Again, back to treating and overcoming insomnia. Once I recognised what the meditation process was really about, I signed up for learning massage therapy, which is where I met essential oils.
Initially a non-believer, I’ve long since come across the line. Scent and mediation belong together. They are a powerful combination.
Create your own space, your own ritual, your own active meditative process. You won’t regret it.
Enabling your mind to be free from the mental moths that fly around in your head – if even only for short while, creates also an enabling of a more peaceful space to allow new thoughts to come through the clutter, deeper sleep, a more positive mindset & increased energy.