Meditation for Beginners

Being in transition means I’m totally out of sync with my routine.

Since my fiancé and I are trying to figure out what’s next for us, our living places have been a little of this and a little of that. Since our return from Abu Dhabi, UAE, we have been staying with friends, WWOOFing, a week at Burning Man (in a tent), and utilizing hotels on and off of military bases.

This lifestyle is fun, albeit stressful. It’s hard to have a routine when all of my personal belongings are in storage or the back of the truck. My workout routine has suffered greatly, as it seems I can’t get into my groove for having a normal workout regimen. So, in lieu of not having a regular routine, I’ve had to make some changes in my lifestyle to encompass my living, or lack thereof, arrangements.

Deep Breathing and PMR:

In those times when I feel like I’m about to lose my mind, I use a relaxation technique I learned a long time ago when I was first teaching school. As a teacher, often times I felt like I was about to lose my patience. This is an easy technique and helps take the feelings of anxiousness down a level. This technique involves stillness and deep breaths. You can pretty much do this anywhere when you need to reduce your stress and it is instantaneous.

When we are stressed, our breathing becomes rapid and triggers a stress response. When we notice we are in a stressful situation, we should stop what we are doing and focus on our breathing, nothing else. Begin by taking slow deep breaths, which will trigger a relaxing response for our bodies. Once we find the stillness in our mind and body, just live in the sweet spot for a few minutes before returning to the real world.

On some occasions, when the breathing isn’t enough, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is another alternative. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down, take a deep breath and follow it by tensing muscles through a systematic order.

The PMR technique will help the body relax in the most complex situation.


This technique only takes about ten minutes and should be done in a quiet place. First, let’s begin by focusing on our breathing. When our mind wanders, as it often does, simply acknowledge our thoughts and gently bring ourselves back to breathing and the present moment. I found this article from the New York Times which gives great insights to mediation and mindfulness.


My ultimate commitment to living a distressed life is yoga. If you have not tried it, I encourage you to find a yoga class and experiment. My history with yoga has been limited and my commitment has been sporadic, but I’m ready for the challenge. I look at the individuals who have practiced yoga for many years and their bodies are toned and their minds are calm. I yearn to be more centered and focused in a way that will positively benefit myself, others and my business.

If we realize what triggers our stress then we can help control the outcome by controlling our minds and bodies.

Joycelyn Spears


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