Art is life! You might wonder what I've been up to lately and well, to be honest I'm a bit obsessed by learning right now. I'm taking a course in art history and it feels so good! Today I've already been reading and taking notes for a few hours about primitive art. Other than the art history course I've been working as a substitue teacher again and like always it has been lovely. I'm especially excited for friday, because I'll get to be really creative with the students and that is one of my favorite things in the world. The weather has also kept me busy. It has been really cold (-25 C degrees) and beautiful the past couple of days and I've felt very inspired to take a lot of pictures and go on long walks in the snow. And regarding social life the update is this: I've made a few new friends with very similar interests compared to my own and they never seem to get bored with my endless deep talk and "saving the world" mentality so it's all good pretty much. Alright, enough with the personal update. Today I wanted to discuss a healthy habbit that many of us have tried out at least once but should be equally as important as a good night sleep, healthy eating and exercise, can you guess what it could be? That's right! It's meditation.
Different people will give you a different definition of what meditation is but I think all would agree that it's a activity that allows you to be completely free and offers a unique opportunity to get in touch with your higher self. I would argue that we sometimes meditate without noticing it. Think of the end of a long day at school or work. You take the train/bus back home and suddenly you notice that you've sat there in complete silence thinking about absolutely nothing for 10 minutes or so and you've somehow managed to put your headphones on put no music is playing. This feeling right here is what I'd like to call meditation caused by tiredness.
Meditation as a conscious activity can however be a more difficult experience. Be prepared to feel nothing or everything. There are times I've cried for hours after meditation since it might release emotional baggage. Sometimes the relaxing feeling of having an empty mind will increase your creativity and you might come up with wonderful new ideas. The reactions you get after and when you meditate are the reason I recommend that you should get yourself a notebook dedicated to meditation. In this notebook you should write down the date and time when you meditate and how you felt doing so. If you feel empty or nothing you should also write that down and if you don't seem to reach a relax state of mind be gentle to yourself! Meditation is a activity that you need to practice doing, just like any other activity. It may seem easy to just sit down and not think about anything but in a world that is moving at a fast pace it is quiet difficult and that has nothing to do with the individual, since we are all capable of meditation. Some people might laugh and think to themselves "this is so silly and stupid" note however that this attitude is normal to have before realising the positive effects of meditation.
Advice number 2 is to pick the right environment. Being close to a window or outside if possible are great choices. However some people meditate better among other people or in crowds rather than in complete silence so keep this in mind. If you need background sounds try a guided meditation or listening to calming instrumental music. If you however need to hear people talk in background head out to a cafe or a park and meditate there instead. You must find out what works best for you.
Write down or memorize to yourself why you are meditating. What do you want to accomplish by meditating? Do you want to feel more present in the moment? Are you feeling like your mind is overthinking and you need to slow down your thoughts? Whatever it is keep your own personal goal in mind when you meditate.
So here it is my top 3 tips on how to succesfully meditate:
1. Keep a meditation diary/notebook near you
2. Choose the right environment for you not for someone else
3. Remember why you meditate