How to Meditate for Connection & Mindfulness
Now more than ever, mindfulness is an essential part of daily life. Dealing with the stress and anxiety of the uncertain days ahead is testing our minds, bodies and souls in ways we never thought possible... but there’s a secret weapon you can use to stay calm - and even inspired - right now. It’s meditation, and all it requires is a few daily minutes of your time and focus. We caught up with Misha Rodriguez, meditation guru and co-founder of Ritual Común, for a beginner’s guide to nourishing your inner-self during difficult times.
LNSE: First off, what is meditation by definition - or what is YOUR favorite way to define it?
Meditation is the practice of being one with ourselves. When we meditate, we quiet the ego and learn to be ourselves for the very first time, every time.
What are some benefits of meditation?
There are countless benefits. Meditation is like the giving tree and we don't even have to ask. I'll list off a few:
It helps with mental health awareness, stress reduction, increased circulation, promotes oxygenation and blood flow in the body, enhances our moods
It even releases the acetylcholine hormone from the parasympathetic nervous system and slows our heart rate.
Last but not least, it creates healthy habits and can lead to positive life changes.
What should I do if I experience restlessness or distraction during meditation?
Be nice to yourself and know that the point of meditation is to allow yourself to be where you are. Be aware of your distractions and pay attention to your thoughts, body, and emotions. You need to figure out what is happening and where you are before achieving stillness and oneness.
How long does meditation last? Is there an ideal length and how often should I be meditating?
The idea is to tune into yourself. It's like turning on the light switch inside of your inner self. Meditate however long and as many times as you wish to see what's in that space. It can be daily, it can be monthly, but you know what you see when the light goes on. You just have to be aware that you are dedicated to looking within to see what exists in that space.
How can I fit meditation into my busy schedule?
If you want to make time, you have to start saying no to things that take time. I always meditate at 6am and I have an alarm set for myself prior to waking up. It's the type of dedication and achievement no one else can give you.
How do I know if I’m meditating the right way?
Meditation is happening all of the time around us, with everything we do, when we do it right. It's kind of like reading a book and being engulfed in the story or going for a run and becoming transfixed in the movement. You simply lose yourself in your process.
What kind of results will I see? How soon?
Results will come in 2-5 sessions. If you truly engage in breathing techniques and allow yourself to be self-aware of what is within you, you will see a major shift towards your relationship with meditation. It is a tool to help you see yourself. Remember the light switch? If you are ready to deal with who you are, you will have clarity and understanding in what you did not see before.
What resources can I use to build my own meditation routine?
I offer resources on my company's website RitualComun.com where we offer psychoeducation and meditation articles. I also use an app called Insight Timer. If you find yourself called to a certain teacher or style of meditation, explore those as well. I think we all have a way that we like to be talked to and exploring teachers allows us to see who helps us sit with ourselves the best.
Focusing on the one thing we can control - our inner-self - is a wonderful way to stay calm and focused right now. Lifting our spirits is just as important as flattening the curve, so don’t forget to self-care as you adjust to life in the coming weeks and months. Developing healthy meditation habits won’t just help you get through these uncertain times, they’ll stay with you for a lifetime of connection and mindfulness.