Before we start, if you haven’t read my post on how meditation helps with creativity, head on over here first.
Then head over here to the Insight Timer app to get my guided meditations and access the Mindfulness for Writers podcast.
You’ll want to start with my Intro to Meditation 20-minute guided practice.
The first episode of the podcast should answer most of your pressing meditation questions, but always feel free to contact me. You can listen to it before or after you do the guided meditation.
There are loads of resources out there on meditation and mindful living–just Googling is going to give you a headache. Below are some of my favorite resources–the ones that were helpful to me when I began meditating, and the ones that continue to be helpful as I journey on this path. I will update this page as regularly as I can.
I cannot stress enough that YOU CAN TOTALLY MEDITATE. I tried a bunch of times when I was younger and, when my mind didn’t get all empty and blissed-out (or, let’s be honest, when I was bored to tears), I gave up. But the benefits of meditation are crazy good, and it’s sort of impossible to deny the mounting scientific evidence that meditation is just enormously helpful for navigating the stressors of our modern world, and the uncertainty in art-making, plain and simple.
If you’re interested in one-on-one coaching with me, you can learn more about my Mindfulness for Writers program here. I also teach an online Mindfulness Immersion for Writers course that will be running at different times throughout the year. You can check out more about that here.
How To Start A Meditation Practice
- I think the easiest way to start is through guided meditation, either in person or online. You can start out with the one I created as an intro to meditation for writers here. You can do this one every day or switch it up with different ones from my soundcloud. You want to get to a place where you don’t need guidance, but I found this to be a game changer for my first few months of meditation.
- If you’re looking for an app, I recommend the Insight Timer app, which is where I upload my guided meditations and Mindfulness for Writers podcast. The Headspace or Calm App are good options, too. These are guided meditations, perfect for people who are certain they can’t meditate, and for on-the-go meditation. Many of my clients and friends use these.
- Have a space in your home where you can meditate daily. You don’t need to buy a fancy cushion, though you’ll likely want a cushion when you begin to have longer practices. A chair is fine. This space should be devoid of clutter and quiet (if possible).
- Start SLOWLY. Aim for five days a week at five minutes per day. Increase by five minutes each week until you’re at 20 minutes. Go at your own pace. You might like 10 minutes for several months before you up the ante. Many experts say that it’s best to meditate between 12-20 minutes each day to get maximum benefits, but you’ll still get benefits with five minutes.
- Meditate at the same time every day to establish a routine – do so when you’re not sleepy. (P.S. Everyone falls asleep while they meditate – it gets easier, but I still nod off sometimes – no worries!).
- Decide how long you’re going to meditate and stick to that, even if you’re bored. Use a timer app like Zenso or the Insight Timer so that you don’t have to keep checking your watch. Bonus: these apps work on airplane mode, which your phone should be in if it’s in your meditation space.
- Let the people you live with know that you’re meditating so that you can have peace and quiet during your practice. Make sure they know you can’t be interrupted and ask if they can keep the volume down while you’re practicing. If others are around, a closed door to the room you’re working in is a must.
- Keep track of how things change in your life in your early weeks and months of meditation. Are you sleeping better? Less irritable? Have fewer migraines? What about flow and focus while you’re writing? Busting through any creative blocks? This will help you stay motivated to keep up the practice.
- I suspect you’re going to really dig reporter Dan Harris’ book about his meditation journey, 10% Happier. It’s just what you need if you want to see what the deal is from someone who is not woo-woo in the least, and has a healthy does of skepticism and irreverence.
- Get and read Susan Piver’s slim, yet incredibly helpful, book Start Here Now. In it, she outlines all the benefits of meditation, some of the things that might keep us from the cushion, and outlines a great plan for getting started.
For resources on creativity and writing/craft, click below.