- Marliana Alisemon
Meditation, My Way.
I am sure by now you have come to the conclusion I am not your run of the mill Medium. I do things quite differently than most, even when it comes to meditation. I'll take you back a little bit, before I share my best meditation practices with you.
I have been exploring my spirituality from a very young age. When I was a little girl I would rush to my bedroom when things weren't warm and loving in my home, I would close the door and turn on my radio and grab my best stuffed animals or barbies and tune out the energy, words and loud voices that seemed to be a constant most days.
Things in my home right from the time I joined this human experience were not loving and warm. Myself and my sister were often left alone for entire days, or dropped off at strangers homes, my cousins place for weeks at a time with barely a phone call from our mom or dad. Unfortunately with that came a lot of physical, emotional and spiritual trauma as we were constantly shuffled around. My mom would move us into a home, after home with different people. And honestly more often than not when we were at home with her, there would be a revolving door of men and the men would take advantage of us as little children and if we said a word we would be beaten or whipped with a belt and worse. So I developed my own coping skills, at an early age.
I would sit quietly and just listen to my radio. Listen to the radio jockeys talking, the commercials and I'd eventually zone right out. I'd always come back, but I'd not know how long I was "zoned out" for and usually by then it was dark, and I could go to bed quietly. This would become my form of meditation for a while, until I was gifted a type writer. I then moved to writing stories, locked in my bedroom. Seeing now it was a distraction, and I was too afraid to deal with what was going on, had gone on and what I was holding inside of me. Sound familiar? But to me, I "zoned out" I could hear my breath but it allowed my mind to wander... My thoughts no longer controlled me, and I no longer hammered in the negative thoughts. Even though my stories had nothing to do with what I was experiencing as a child I always felt relief maybe even more calm in my heart.
Through my teenage years, I would on and off attempt to meditate mostly when things were hard, or I felt out of control. It was almost like... a calling, or a push to get my mind body and soul under control. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I would try and explore meditation as best I could with no knowledge and no support. and at that time the internet wasn't what it is now (groan... DIAL UP) So my sessions would be in complete silence and I would try and force my mind to be quiet. to push thoughts out and I would always end up extremely frustrated or more uptight than when I started. Eventually it slid off completely and so did my control.
In my early twenties, I met a very good friend of mine whose name is Blaire (now gone a few years) and he was Cree. Eventually I was introduced to his friends and some of his family. I dived head first into Native American medicine, healing, herbs and smudge, spirit animals and so much more. I spent years reading and learning, I grabbed myself "Spirit sounds" CD's (I am dating myself) and I was gifted Buffalo Sage and Sweet grass. I would meditate on prayers to the creator every morning every night. I was faithful to my faith and to my newly chosen path. One day Blaire called me up, and invited me to a Sweat Lodge that his family and himself were going to attend that weekend, I of course accepted.
I was dressed head to toe in clothing no skin could be shown. And I sat there, with the sage and herbs, the steam from the Grandfather rocks and I listened to the men's drumming. I listened to the chanting. It was a day of meditation in a very healing, spiritual way. We ended it with a potluck meal and I was taken back to my apartment. When I got in I fell into bed and I slept until late that evening.
I practised this way for a few years. And because of the constant attacks and trauma I was experiencing my "practice" was the first to go (always happens, right?) It wasn't until a few years later I began to check my spiritual side again consistently and with intent. I started meditating with guided meditations. I did everything I thought was right. Sit up straight with my legs crossed my palms turned out on my knees and I would close my eyes and try to breathe beyond slowly... and it wouldn't allow me to find myself calm, relaxed and clear like so many people had told me. I tried everything. Meditating in water, Meditating with music, with no music. Standing and sitting. Nothing worked for me. My mind was running like crazy, I couldn't turn it off like the articles I've read, people I've spoken with kept telling me to do! I was at my wits end. I finally just thought to myself "meditation is not for me"
Well... I can admit when I'm wrong.
I now had a challenge for myself. To find a way to meditate that worked for me. I had high anxiety, I was living in fear and "fight or flight" mode. Insomnia for weeks at a time and I was emotionally eating and doing a lot of negative talk. So off I went. I explored books online, in store. I read article after article and spoke to many people I'd met through my job at the time. I finally started back at my basics... Praying to my Creator, sitting in my quiet. Being creative and drawing more. and just listening to what I felt would be right for me.
And eventually I found my recipe (this will be another blog post... the Spiritual Recipe) for meditation, relaxation and release.
Here are my best practices for Meditation, My way.
I want to start by saying this first. I believe there are so many men and women who need to hear this.
Meditation isn't to quiet the mind. Do not focus on being still inside. Rather just let it flow. Let thoughts come, let them go. Do not hold on to them or "dwell" in them. Release constantly. And if you fall asleep, good. It's what your body and soul needs at that moment. Focus on your breath. Diaphragm breathing and only to what you're comfortable with. This is not meant to be stressful, or "work"
Okay, got that out let's continue.
Consistency is key. Meditation for me is an every day part of my practice. I'm flexible when I do this, but it is 9 times out of 10 - always accomplished daily. For me this is key to my day to day living. Especially when things seem like they're getting in to a hard spot. Do not lose your practice. When things are rough is when you need it the most. If you miss a day... You miss a day, no one is perfect and this is why it's called a practice. Some of you may want a strict routine, and that's great it is what will work for you. Do not beat yourself up over it, or stress. Let it go. Always, just let it go. You're learning and working towards solidifying a healthy practice that serves you, so hold yourself gently. Baby steps friends, baby steps.
One of my favourite things about meditation is the time you get to decompress, unwind the mind and feel your entire body relax. So for me it's about comfort all the way. I always find my comfiest spot in my space and for me that is my Pilates mat on the floor, grab a good pillow for my head and neck, and some pillows for my legs to rest on to take the pressure of my spine. Yes, you guessed it I lay down to meditate. Laying down allows my body to fully, completely relax in ways sitting will never allow for, sometimes I curl up on my side with pillows in between my legs to keep hip position in a positive space with a blanket and a heating pad. True comfort here folks.
Have you heard of Binaural beats? They can increase the strength of certain brain waves and this can increase or hold back different brain functions that control thinking and feeling, recall even vision. I love them. Personally for me these beats have given me the healing I needed and still do when working through the brain trauma I experienced from a car accident a few years back. And you can find some pretty wonderful meditations with them attached to it. I personally use a paid for app (not naming names this isn't an advertisement) I can also say that Solfeggio frequencies, 9 of them to be exact have also benefited my healing process. These frequencies can be attributed to healing mind and body, cellular trauma. I always suggest doing your research and feeling what is right for you. (any health concerns I always recommend going to your doctor and discussing) earphones or headphones for me are a must. I prefer to be completely tuned out to any other sounds than my intended meditation music.
I listen. very closely. I am often guided to use my chakra stones in my meditation, to put them on the energetic meridians before I start, there are times where I will be guided to add additional stones to the practice and sometimes I'm guided to just get comfortable and meditate without any. Now, I'm not saying to run out and buy all of these varying stones or chakra stones. If you're financially able to do so maybe it is something you'd like to consider. and if you're not you work with what you've got. (again its that recipe... different for each of us)
I only do 20 minutes a day. You don't have to spend hours meditating every day. Some do and that is their recipe. For me once a day is perfect. Sometimes twice if I've had a heavy take of energy and burden. Some folks do 5 minutes, or 10 minutes a day. Find your sweet spot, the recipe ingredient that works for you.
When my meditation is finished, I don't rush to pull out of it. Sometimes I nap, sometimes I take my earphones out and practice some breath work, but I really aim to ease back into "life" For me. I found when I bounce right up it can sometimes undo the work, I've just done. So don't rush.
Lastly I intend to live my life in gratitude. So I always thank my God for the healing, and releasing I experience in each meditation. Gratitude is healing.
I'd love to see some of your comments, and hear what works for you, your tips and tricks... your "Recipe" for meditation.