Mocha Angels 365. Day 331.

Happy Thanksgiving to my readers in the United States. It’s a day for thankfulness and family. Too often Thanksgiving is about stress, politics, strife, arguments, exhaustion, and now shopping. (Retail stores being open on that day is the worst idea ever! Remember when everything except restaurants and gas stations were closed on Thanksgiving?)

When you feel stressed, breathe.

Inhale peace. Exhale stress.

Inhale love. Exhale worry.

Inhale light. Exhale Trump. (Kidding! That was a joke…well, not really).

Taking small breaks from the noise in your house makes all the difference.

Safe travels. Don’t eat too much. Happy Turkey day, y’all.

Meditation: The Missing Link

While I was on a break from blogging, I integrated meditation into my life.

Daily meditation forces you to:

  • Stop
  • Sit still
  • Breathe
  • Connect

Which in turn makes you:

  • Aware
  • Calmer
  • Slower to react
  • Quicker to bounce back

What I mean by “quicker to bounce back” is that when you do get upset, meditation can bring you back to emotional balance. It reminds you that even when life is kicking your ass, you still have two things:

  • Plenty to be grateful for
  • A Higher Power that loves you

And even if you don’t believe in a Higher Power, believe that you have family and friends who love you.

I’ve taught yoga for 19 years and always dismissed meditation. I thought asana (the poses) and pranayama (deep concentrated breathing) was enough. They are not enough. Stopping amid life’s “daily-ness” and “busyness” is crucial for good mental health. I’ve even got my kids doing daily meditation.

Everyone thinks they are too busy to meditate, so I’ll share short guided meditations I’ve found on YouTube.

The easiest way to start: Go to YouTube and type “guided meditation 5 minutes.” A list of videos will come up. Pick whatever speaks to you.

My children and I do a 5-minute meditation together before they leave for school. I let them pick one. (And yes, they only do it because I make them. They have learned how to sit still with eyes closed for 5-minutes. That alone is a victory.) Below is a favorite from Honest Guys. Definitely check out their channel.

Click to watch the video

After the kids leave for school, I do a 10-15 minute meditation by myself. My two favorites are anything from the YouTube channels Great Meditation (10-20 minutes long) or Vipassana Meditation (15-60 minutes long). Vipassana meditation, also called Insight meditation, asks you to notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgement.

Click to watch the video
Click to watch the video

Me and the kids do a second 5-minute meditation together after they arrive home from school.

At bedtime, they listen to a sleep meditation. There’s also hundreds to choose from on YouTube. Lengths can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 11 hours. Some channels play live music 24 hours a day. Some are guided meditations. Some are music only. There’s enough variety for everyone. I choose 1-3 hours in length for the kids. My sleep meditations are 30 minutes to an hour. My favorites are Honest Guys and Jason Stephenson.

Click to watch the video

Let me know if these suggestions are helpful. Meditation was the missing piece from my life.

Love,

Althea