The following article is written by Erica Galia, co-founder of Rooted Beings, a mission-driven meditation collective that seeks to bring the benefits of consciousness into everyday life, offering weekly livestream meditations and the first of it’s kind nature-based meditation teacher training. Follow Erica @RootedBeings.
What if we thought of our whole life as one meditation? How would we live differently? The truth is, every moment and every circumstance of our lives is a window of opportunity for mindfulness to shine through. Our entire life can be lived from a place of deep aliveness if we so courageously choose, and when we do, we may find ourselves feeling more awake and deeply connected to our truest, most authentic selves.
So how do we get there?
In my experience, the process of living a meditative life is gradual. Like other embodiment practices, meditation is about bringing mindfulness into the moments of every day and creating rituals out of the ordinary. Here are four simple practices I work with that have helped make my entire life feel like a living, breathing meditation.
Greet yourself each morning with Love.
Let the first thing you do in the morning -when you first open your eyes- be to place your hands on your chest, and greet yourself as follows, “Good morning, (state your name). Today is going to be a good day. I love you.” As you say this, or something similar that feels true for you, take 3 slow deep breaths, in through the nose and audibly out of the mouth. Try to extend the exhale if you are able to. Add a gentle inquiry: ‘How do I feel in my body when I greet myself with Love?’. You may find, as I have, that starting the day in this way feels deeply nourishing for the body, and sets a grounded, loving pace for the entire day.
Schedule time to just be.
We’re all living on a schedule these days, which can feel like we’re racing against the clock, from one appointment or task to another. One of the simplest and greatest acts of self care that I’ve incorporated into my day is to schedule a 15-minute meeting with myself, which I typically do twice, just before lunch and in the late afternoon. This is time for me to either meditate, breathe, or just be. It’s a powerful reminder that my life is mine, and I can prioritize myself and my wellbeing.
Inquire within, all day long.
For those of us who run a lot of mental energy, it can feel like our to-do lists and ruminating minds are running the show all day long. Like we’ve become ‘human doings’ than human beings. One way to balance back into an embodied sense of being is to gently ask ourselves, multiple times throughout the day, “Who is it that I would like to be?” and see we approach our days differently when this inquiry is top of mind. I recommend simply trying this for a week and seeing how it feels in the body. If you’d like a few alternative affirmations to work with, here are some popular new moon affirmations that work well as daily meditative inquiries.
Pay attention, screen-free.
Driving somewhere? Going out for a walk? Turn your music off, leave your phone behind, don’t listen to a podcast, and let yourself simply observe where you are right now. Tune into your five senses, and practice feeling your sense of sight, your sense of hearing, your felt sense of touch, your sense of smell and maybe even of taste, depending on what you’re doing. In my experience, the more attuned I am to my five senses, the more alive I feel.
The fascinating thing about meditation is that it helps us slow down, but also speeds us up. This works because meditation guides us back to the truth of our reality, the present moment that is unravelling before us right now. It first slows us down so we get to experience life as it is, and not how our minds try so hard to make it. It also peels away the layers of stress and unwanted identities we carry as mental energy, so that we are able to cultivate more clarity in both our headspace and heartspace, which leads us to being more productive with our time, and more clear about our dreams, desires, wishes and goals.
Weaving meditation into our daily lives is the best way I know to become more ‘human’, more compassionate and empathetic, which I believe is a part of our true nature as humans, though many of us forget this, or have been conditioned to believe otherwise.
With a life-encompassing meditation practice, we remember. We begin to understand our interconnection with all living beings and in doing so, we become more open to seeing things from another’s point of view because we are coming from a calm, compassionate inner space inside ourselves.
The research on meditation is powerful. In this study, Harvard researchers found that a mere 8 weeks of meditation can actually grow parts of the brain responsible for learning, memory and emotional regulation. Meditation can actually increase our ability to self regulate. We allow ourselves to move through our emotions, which only last 90 seconds, and from there we are able to sit in the driver seat of our response, feeling a bit more in control. So, if you desire to become a less reactive, more responsive person, meditation will support you.
And finally, if you’re new to meditation, and would like to begin a meditation practice, I’ll leave you with the following simple steps, which include one of Rooted Being’s most popular guided meditations, to help you get started.
How to start a meditation practice + a free guided five senses meditation
- Carve out 10-20 minutes in your morning before you begin your day to commit to your meditation. Tip: Create a meeting in your calendar to really make this official, and commit to yourself.
- Find a comfortable seated position in your bed with pillow support, on a chair or your favorite cushion. Comfort is key! The more comfortable you are, the easier it is to have your body relax, knowing that anything the body does, the mind follows. Tip: Make sure the back of your head isn’t resting on anything, which sometimes triggers sleep. We want to encourage our bodies to feel awake, yet relaxed.
- Create a mini-ritual. Take a sip of water, stretch, light a candle or even pour some essential oils on your wrists. This will help you come into the present moment, it will support your eyes-closed practice.
- When you feel ready, close your eyes and allow your mind to let go. If you prefer a guided meditation, you can listen to our free 5-senses meditation. And here is a beautiful guided New Moon meditation you can try as well.
- Open your eyes and begin your day more connected to yourself, your mind, body and soul.
About Erica Galia
Erica Galia is the co-founder of Rooted Beings, a mission-driven meditation collective, which offers the first-of-it’s-kind meditation teacher training, focusing on natural spirituality and the five senses (Note: Rooted is offering $250 to with code HEADPLUSHEART). And I highly recommend exploring Erica’s beautiful livestream meditation classes, via this free 7-day trial.