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Start a Meditation Practice in Five Steps

Guest blogger Tracy Connery is the editor of MommyOm. She is also a wife, mother, writer and photographer. Her days are taken in any number of directions, but a long-term relationship with her yoga mat has kept complete craziness at bay. MommyOm is the best in all things yoga and meditation for parents from one mom’s expanding perspective.

Life is crazy!

And, as if it weren’t crazy enough with work, home, family, and stressful financial concerns, we’ve now got the constant pull of emails to answer, tweets to twat and keeping up with everyone we barely know anymore on Facebook.

So many of us are in desperate need of some space in our heads; a little solace from the din of this world that truly no longer sleeps, that in our search for some mental relief, we’ve been brought to the doorstep of meditation, but found the welcome, well, less than hospitable.

Here are a few easy steps to get you over what can be an intimidating threshold, and find a little peace within the crazy:

1. Choose a time of day that tends to be less chaotic. Early in the morning, during baby’s nap, before bed in the evening. To begin, it’s really about finding a time that works best for your routine and can most easily be incorporated into your day.

2. Find a place in your home that you find relaxing. Perhaps a tidy corner, a window, somewhere that you will most easily feel some sense of peace and the fewest distractions. Choose your seat. It doesn’t have to be cross-legged on the floor, but it might be. You can also sit on a favorite chair, a stool dedicated to meditation (wonderful) or otherwise a pillow or mat. In a beginning practice, comfort is key.

3. It’s all about the breath. Sitting up straight, find your breath. Focus on each and every one, counting each one if that helps hold your focus. As thoughts threaten to hijack your attention, bring it back to your breath. Your breath is where you will live, what will buoy you.

4. Don’t beat yourself up with each thought. The invasion of thoughts is totally normal. See them, just don’t indulge in them. For the next several minutes you are merely an observer of these thoughts as they drift, like moving pictures, through your mind. As always, back to the breath.

5. Consider a guided meditation. This is still a go-to for me on particularly difficult days when I am in need of a little help finding that space between my thoughts. I love to have someone else talk me through, all the while providing me strategies I can incorporate into a solitary practice.

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August 5th, 2010

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