Welcome to our “Jolt of Joy” newsletter. Last week, Boodlz shared ways to cultivate gratitude. We hope that you took some time to be grateful. This is Boodlz’ last week in the spotlight and, for the next month, we’ll surprise you with different holiday Joyblz!. This week, we are going to explore how you can become more aware and focused using mindfulness meditation. So, take a seat and let’s practice meditation with Boodlz!
I had never tried “formally” meditating until this year. When I first started, it was difficult to sit even for just a few minutes. However, it became easier the more I practiced each day. People often think there are many rules around how to meditate properly, but meditation is meant to be flexible and personalized.
I’ve found even doodling my characters, singing in the shower, and swimming to be meditative. I had fun drawing the above image after thinking about how meditation affects me. Continue reading to learn more and watch an animation with two adorable, meditating mice…
The most popular meditation technique in the West is known as mindfulness meditation. There are many different types of meditation, but this is the one that I’ve been practicing. Mindfulness meditation is about training your mind to stay aware and focused on the present moment. This is not its natural state, so this awareness takes time and patience to cultivate. You focus on your breath. You then pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind, allowing them to come and go without judgment. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.
This 2-minute animation gives you the basics of meditation and mindfulness. The narrator emphasizes the fact that as soon as you sit down to meditate, your brain is “going to go nuts!” And that’s okay! It’s all part of the experience.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation with Boodlz
Boodlz wants to share some of her meditation tips for getting started. Before any meditation, she likes to read a poem. Reading poetry is a wonderful way to invite your mind to relax and expand as you settle into your meditation practice. Here’s one of her favorites:
Now, how to get started…
- Sit for just two minutes. Start with just two minutes a day for a week and then gradually increase to five minutes. Begin small first.
- Do it first thing each morning. Set a reminder for every morning when you get up.
- Find what works best for you. Don’t worry about where to sit, how to sit, what cushion to use; just sit somewhere quiet and get comfortable.
- Count your breaths. Try counting “one” as you take in the first breath, then “two” as you breathe out. Repeat this to the count of 10, then start again at one.
- Don’t judge yourself. When your mind wanders, treat your thoughts and feelings as visitors, to be acknowledged and welcomed, like in the Rumi poem above. Then, gently return your focus back to your breath.
- Become an observer. Learn how your mind works. Be curious.
Commit to trying some type of meditation for a month. Try being mindful as you walk, wash the dishes, or take a shower. Incorporate this tool into your daily life to become more present.
Here are two cartoons that we thought you’d enJOY!
Here’s your joy-full activity for the week
Be like Boodlz and practice mindfulness meditation. Just begin with 2 minutes and focus on your breath. It may sound too easy, but that might be all you need to incorporate a fulfilling meditation routine into your life.
Boodlz and I would love to hear about how you meditated this week. Please leave your comments and joy-full responses below.
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Great tips Boodlz:-) And the Guest House is one of my fav poems. I have been playing with open eyed meditation as well and have been working on being more mindful in my day. When I find myself doing something and my planning brain gets going about what’s next, I remind myself ‘you don’t have to decide that now’. It helps me refocus.
Great, I’d like to meditate this week and add this to my daily “me time”.
The word, “Allow” in your drawing really speaks to me, too. I’d like to allow thoughts to come and go without judgement. Let’s see how it goes.
Meditation is SO important to practice in order to center ones self.
Staying in the moment is what prayer and meditation are all about. A wonderful practice to keep your spirit alive.
I loved this week’s Jolt if Joy.
Happy Thanksgiving to Peter and you.
Thank you so much for your wonderful and insightful words about meditation! Yes, staying in the moment is so important! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!