Ever thought meditation just seemed too hard? How many times have you given yourself an excuse not to go to a gym class? We asked Pilates and Barre instructor Lilly Rowe to share some of her lessons learnt in practising mindfulness, and trust us, it's not just you who finds it hard!
Lilly Rowe from @lillian.beth
I sort of fell into this little world of mindfulness by accident and without any real 'training' I was all of a sudden immersing myself not just in a personal practice but teaching and sharing meditations with my classes and in workshops. As it turns out, I absolutely love connecting with people in this setting and feel such a sense of joy in assisting those on a journey with their mind to delve a little deeper and connect to their heart. I am certainly by no means an expert, I have so much more to learn but have discovered a few things about meditation and myself along the road so far.
Meditation can come in many different forms - there is no one size fits all
Meditation and mindfulness have become little buzz words in our society lately, and with this there is a bit of stigma attached that you need to be a 'yogi' sitting on top of a mountain and at a constant state of inner peace to consider yourself worthy of meditating. Firstly - you don't. Secondly, coming from the person writing the article on meditation and mindfulness I can completely relate to the feeling of being an imposter, I feel it, particularly when I don't always practice what I preach (we're all learning okay?) What I have found however, is that by finding a method which suited my lifestyle allowed for me to feel more connected to my personal practice and also my ability to share that with others.
Every day and every practice is different
Some days my mindfulness looks like a guided meditation, some days it's eating my lunch with my partner and without my phone, some days it's doing the dishes, some days it's three deep breaths in bed or in the shower, some days it's a walk with my dog or a self lead yoga flow. Other days it doesn't happen at all, and that's okay too. To me, all of those are okay so find something which works for you. Mostly my focus is simply becoming more aware of each task in my day to day life. By simply becoming more present in this place in space where I can cultivate more patience and love for each aspect of my life.
The more you need it the less you want to do it
Classic I know but honestly it is true. I have learnt the days I want to do it the least are the days I have little time or energy for myself, stuck on that mouse wheel of life's tasks. Those days it is most needed and most effective. Make the time.
You are (or at least I am) your own worst enemy
I am very good at making my mindfulness practice the highest thing on my priority list in theory yet the lowest in practice. I am very good at procrastinating, even now, writing this article I haven't made that space for myself today, am I being productive or am I putting off connecting back in to my self, my soul and my purpose? Probably the latter. I think we can make the event itself so much bigger in our heads than it needs to be, "I need complete silence" or "I need this to do list done" or "I'll be more present in my meditation if I do some yoga first". I mean it's all well and good, but mostly the best approach is simply stopping, connecting back to yourself, take 2 minutes, 20 minutes or 2 hours whatever floats your boat. Commit to yourself. Speaking of which, I'll be right back...
It is the most productive thing you can do - by giving time you make time
12 minutes is all that took - a quick intentional meditation and now I am more focused and have created more space for myself. We live in this 'hustle' world where time is money and we are all chronically busy, yet also chronically tired and miserable. I have learned as a chief procrastinator that taking those pockets of time for myself is far more productive than any amount of to do lists or plans. It works for me.
You can feel the difference when you do, you can feel really the difference when you don't
I am more patient, forgiving and generally a happier version of myself. When I have taken that time to slow down and make space I find myself more present in each moment, I make more conscious and mindful decisions and I feel that each moment in my day has more time. It feels like your brain is allowed a little mini holiday - and all our brains need that.
It makes my whole body and soul happy
This I can feel from my toes to the tips of my hair. I am able to cultivate a life filled with more love, more gratitude and more patience. It's a slow burn in some ways - and I am by no means perfect but I know I am giving myself that little bit of extra love and space I need to show up as the best version of me - and that's something folks.
'Learning to Meditate' Lil x
Lilly is a passionate Barre and Pilates instructor who loves teaching a strong, fun and dynamic class fused with her love of yoga and mindfulness. Lilly is also on her way to becoming a midwife and is particularly interested in supporting women through their pre and post natal journeys with a vision of empowering all to love and nurture their bodies and minds. As well as these two ventures Lilly is involved with Kiss the Berry a Brisbane based health and wellness concept and has been supported as an ambassador for the last few years by lululemon. She prides herself on her balanced and mindful approach to all things in life and fills her self love cup up by connecting with like minded and passionate people- a true extrovert by all means.