Meditation 101 – Tips for Beginners Part 1

I am happy to announce to you my new YouTube Channel called AlisonMillerTV.  Here, I will be posting regular videos about mind, body, and spirit wellness to help you create physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Today’s post is the first in a video series called Meditation 101 – Tips for Beginners. Meditation is a practice that helps you to develop peace, clarity, and wisdom.  Learning to be still is medicine for your spirit.  Spiritual well-being lies at the heart of your ability to flow with life’s changes, which impact us daily. Enjoy!

Be Still & Know: 5 Ways Meditation Empowers Your Success

At the heart of many successful artists, entertainers and entrepreneurs lives the ability to make great choices, follow inspiration and take risks. Each of these skills relies on the practicality of participating in day-to-day life with a high level of involvement. There are phone calls to be made, bills to be paid and people to answer to, at any hour, of every day.

However, if a busy life is not coupled with the compliments of detachment, discernment and discipline burnout, then fatigue and addictions are likely to ensue. How often have national celebrities been exploited on the evening news for suffering from these issues? They appear, to their fans, to be at the top of their careers but are truthfully masking a world of pain on the inside. It is a common story.

Any of us, myself included, can lose sight of what’s most important when trying to achieve our goals. Without careful attention, it is easy to lose our mental and emotional footing while trying to climb the ladder of success. Workaholism, insomnia, physical ailments and strained relationships are just a few of the outer symptoms of this inner imbalance.

What then is the answer to living in the world successfully and navigating the terrain of the mundane while maintaining balance? The answer? Meditation.

Meditation is no longer just for monks or bearded men living in the streets of India. Meditation is for you and me. After all, we are each celebrities in our own right. Whether you are a stay-at-home super mom or an out-in-the-world business extraordinaire, the inner needs of clarity and vision are crucial to both. Meditation, with consistent practice, is invaluable, guiding us to live practically and purposefully.

Meditation takes us out of the mind, a complex terrain, and into the heart, which offers a simple knowing.

5 Powerful & Practical Ways Meditation Empowers Your Success

1. Meditation cultivates detachment and discipline.

Detachment, also known as non-attachment, generates a state of being that is essential for success. This quality allows us to take risks without being attached to the outcome.

It signals us to do our best, with what we can control, and let go of the rest. It helps us to let go of issues such as micromanaging and over-control. If one opportunity doesn’t work out, rather than fixating on past failure, detachment frees our vision to see our future next best steps.

Discipline, the act of doing something with regularity and devotion, helps to remind us that steadfast action over a long period of time can bring great reward.

The fast-food mentality of wanting something instantly without making any effort is seductive, but ultimately unproductive. Through regular meditation, we experience – first hand – the power of practice. We can then apply this principle to our lives by taking our meditation skills of steadfastness, concentration and focus into action with our most important goals.

2. Meditation inspires simplicity.

Simplicity may sound unimportant but trust me, if you are lost in a jungle and looking for a clear path home, you’ll note its importance. A simple, clearly designated path could save your life.

The mind can be like a jungle. It is full of complex neural pathways, rutted in past conditioning, swayed by popular opinion and tormented with too many choices. Thoughts and questions such as, “Which way do I go? How do I know? Ought I? Could I?” can be paralyzing and hinder us from living a fruitful and fun life.

Meditation helps us to reconnect with our simple states of being. States of joy and happiness are our most basic states of existence. Our role is to bring our awareness back home to who we truly are as simplicity.

3. Meditation heightens our discernment abilities.

While growing up, we are exposed to thousands upon thousands of unconscious and consciously constructed messages that teach us to be judgmental.

For instance, most major motion pictures polarize their characters into good or bad, such as cowboys vs. Indians or Hogwarts vs. Muggles. While watching these movies we internally judge, take sides and mentally determine who is right and who is wrong.

Then, guess what? We do the same to the people in our lives. We unconsciously make “others” wrong because we’ve been trained to do so; their opinions are different, their customs are foreign, or they simply behave in ways that are unsatisfying for our egos.

The truth is, and I’ve tried it, living in the world as a “judge” is painful, ineffective and alienating.

Meditation helps us to reinvent our perspectives. It guides the mind to see beyond separation, beyond judging the other as good or bad, and, instead, towards discernment.

It teaches us to make healthy distinctions of where, how, what and with whom to spend your energy without making the other wrong or bad.

4. Meditation helps us to reclaim our true self.

If our souls carried business cards, what do you think they would say? School teacher, Internet guru, famous playwright? I doubt it.

While the ego is very concerned with receiving validation through achievement and stature, the soul is not concerned with titles. Where the ego uses identity to gain validation of it’s its own worth, the soul does not define itself through the activities it performs as a vocation.

The soul is concerned with the expression of itself beyond identity and can work through any “identity.” A plumber’s compassion is of no less value than a professor’s compassion.

The true self is inherently valuable. It knows itself as perfect, whole and complete, simply for its sheer existence. There is nothing that needs to be done, nowhere to go, and no one to impress in order for its worthiness to exist.

Meditation illuminates our unconscious attempts to effort our way to worthiness in the name of being a “success.” Meditation helps us determine which activities to release and what actions to take. We are shown which of our goals are ego-motivated rather than soul-directed.

If we are already “it,” the cat’s meow – that is, all the energy that was once directed to “prove” ourselves is now re-claimed. We will experience replenishment and revitalization by receiving all our returned energy. Now, that’s inspiring.

5. Meditation helps us to connect to our own definition of success.

Success doesn’t exist in and of itself. I couldn’t put it in a bowl and serve it to you for breakfast. It can’t be put in a wagon or carted to the doorstep for delivery with the morning milk.

I can guarantee that my definition of success will not match yours. Living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is, to me, enlivening, enriching and profound. Others may experience it as isolating, limiting and uninteresting. Where I love listening to people’s stories and challenges and offering life-changing guidance, you may be bored to tears listening to another’s personal plight. Our different definitions of success, actually, cause the world to work splendidly.

Society attempts to define what success is for us. Mainstream culture shows beauty as perfection, success as a dollar amount, and happiness as something to be bought.

Meditation shows us happiness is freely available. Meditation activates our soul for direction. It is through listening and being present that we can hear our specific callings. Meditation provides space and clarity so that we can redefine success from a deep place of individuality.

Developing a regular meditation practice is powerful step to support your personal success. By understanding the ways meditation empowers you it becomes easier to prioritize your practice. Are you a meditator? What’s been your experience? I look forward to hearing your comments.

If you are new to meditation or looking for ways to start your practice you read: Meditation Made Easy: 10 Tips for Beginners.