The third technique to help improve your intuition is meditation. Meditation used to be an intimidating exercise that I believed required a lot of self-discipline. I was wrong. It is very easy and extremely beneficial when done properly.
I began practicing meditation on a daily basis as I was trying to get pregnant. I took a 4 week Meditation for Fertility course and I learned a very basic meditation that I’m going to share with you. Don’t worry – it won’t cause you to get pregnant 🙂 It’s called So Hum meditation because you repeat the word “So” as you inhale and “Hum” as you exhale. So Hum means “I am that” in Sanskrit.
Set aside 10 minutes and try this:
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Make yourself as comfortable as possible. You could choose to sit or lie down.
- Set a timer (with a soft sound) for 10 minutes. This will make it easier to focus on the meditation rather than the time.
- Begin by inhaling through your nose and in your head say “So”.
- Exhale through your nose and in your head say “Hum”
- Follow the natural rhythm of your breath and repeat the mantra with each inhalation and exhalation.
- When your mind wanders just notice it and bring your focus back to your breathing and your mantra.
What if I can’t stop my mind from wandering?
One of the biggest misunderstandings about meditation is that you have to be completely focused and if your attention wanders then you fail. Not the case! It’s expected that your mind will wander and it’s ok. When it does, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just bring your focus back to your breathing. This is what I meant above by doing it properly.
As you practice more and more it may become easier to focus. For me, it totally depends on the day. If I have a big day coming up and my mind is racing then it’s harder to focus.
Even if I’m struggling to meditate I’m still benefiting from it. I’m training myself to focus on the present, that I’m not at the mercy of my thoughts spiraling out of control, and that I can enjoy a moment of calmness.
What will this do?
People report a variety of experiences while meditating. For me, it is relaxing, it quiets my mind, it slows down my thinking, and it recharges me. I feel relaxed and happy by the end of the 10 minutes. I feel a greater connection to my self.
The benefits extend beyond the actual meditation session. I have found that
- I am more focused on the tasks in my day
- I can de-stress more quickly
- I can fall asleep easier at night
- I have a greater sense of clarity
- I am better able to let go of anger
- problem solving is easier
- more ideas pop into my head
- I am able to better understand my emotions
- I am more connected to who I really am and what I really want
What does this have to do with intuition?
Focusing on our breath keeps us in the present. We’re not thinking about something that happened yesterday or what’s coming up tomorrow. Meditation forces us to be in the moment. It forces our thoughts to slow down and disappear altogether for brief moments. It’s only when we’re in the present moment that we are able to connect with inner being.
If there is a decision I’ve been mulling over or an unanswered question I’ve been wondering about then solutions pop into my head from out of no where when I meditate. The thoughts and ideas are likely there when I’m not meditating however, I am better able to hear them while meditating because my mind is no longer racing.
I have found when my mind is racing and I feel like I have a million things to do it is almost impossible for me to make important decisions. I second guess myself more and I have trouble feeling my way though problems. Meditation has trained me to slow down and to reconnect with myself and my feelings.
How is this applicable to parenting?
Finding the time to meditate with a new baby can be challenging. Many days I barely have enough time to shower before nap time is over. I no longer meditate on a daily basis but I still manage to squeeze it in here and there. Even 5 minutes of meditation is better than nothing at all.
I have learned to apply the meditation techniques even when I’m not meditating. When I get frustrated I simply pause and take a few deep breaths. If my baby is crying and I can’t figure out what’s wrong I will simply hold her in my arms and focus on my breathing – So Hum, deep breath in/deep breath out. Sometimes while I’m doing this solutions to stop the crying will pop into my head.
I distinctly remember doing this when she was about 2 weeks old. I couldn’t figure what was upsetting her and she had been crying for a while. I gave up on trying to think of a solution and I focused on my breathing. Then, a random thought popped into my head: I should blast a Backstreet Boys song and sing and dance around the living room with her in my arms. Halfway through the first song she was asleep! Go figure.
I encourage you to give meditation a try. If you don’t like the So Hum meditation try another mantra or a guided meditation. The type of meditation doesn’t really matter. What matters most is taking the time to focus on being in the present and to connect with yourself.
I’d love to hear about your meditation experiences so please share your comments!