Hi everyone, I’m Casey, and I will be leading (and participating in) Day 2 of this SYS Meditation Challenge.
To keep it short and sweet, I began meditating because I had no other option- I had to seek solace from severe anxiety and bouts of depression or else I was unsure I could continue the daily mental battle happening in my own head. Up until my mid-twenties I was externally thriving- I was healthy, had a job I loved, dating, running races, living in the city with friends- all the things. On the inside, however, it always felt dark and cold. I truly felt as though a grey cloud was following me everywhere I went. Were there times of sunshine and cloud-free days (well, moments)? Sure. But they became few and far between, so I read a book on meditation and began practicing.
Fast forward to now, when it has been 5 years since the first time I sat on my floor, feeling confused yet certain that the new practice I was starting would change my life. And change my life it did, in more ways than I can say in this email.
What I want you to know, is that meditation is for any and everyone. Whether you are happy, sad, confused, angry, lost, found, rich, poor, young, old- it is for you. Similarly, meditation can help you in a plethora of ways- from cleaning out your body of stale and stuck emotions to clearing your mind to help you be more productive. Regardless of who you are and what you want, meditation can help. And you can do it. You can meditate. I know, I know- you can’t stop your mind from racing, how are you supposed to meditate!? Believe you me, I have been there. But you can do it.
Here’s the lowdown for today’s (Mindful) Meditation. You will not need the app, just a phone timer and a quiet, safe, space:
- Sit or lay down so that you are comfortable. If you think you will fall asleep, stay seated. One position is not better than the other. As long as your spine is straight (which allows the energetic centers in the body to align), then you are good.
- Set a timer on your phone/tablet/alarm clock for 5:55- Five minutes and fifty five seconds.
- Once you start the time, you are simply going to trace the breath in and out. So, one the timer starts you will be saying (mentally) “In. Out. In. Out” as you breathe in and out. No need to control the breath, just breathe normally while tracing it.
- When thoughts arise, as they inevitably will, simply observe them and let them pass. Continue tracing the breath. If (and realistically, when) you lose track of the breath and go down a train of thought, gently bring yourself back to the breath as soon as you can. Even if you only have a few cycles of breath and then end up thinking the rest of the time, do not be hard on yourself. It is a start 🙂
- When the timer goes off, take a deep breath of gratitude for your life, and go on with your day or night.
- Post on your IG stories or feed and tag @casey_edward and @scareyoursoul. Remember, you can win a 5 Minute Journal if you complete all 3 days!
*Something to note: Your mind will do whatever it can to get you back to thinking and back to relating to it. Expect this. You literally will find yourself thinking of your second grade crush or planning what you want for your birthday next year, or pirating yourself doing the Macarena and that is so normal. You will also experience emotions which is normal- we will talk about tomorrow.
My overall advice? Keep this simple. Breathe. Don’t overthink it. And most of all, know you are doing something wonderful for your mental health and for your Spirit.