Getting Into Meditation with the Headspace App

Happy Friday, lovelies! Today’s actually the start of my weekend. I took today and Monday off because we’re taking a trip to Lake Place for my birthday weekend. Excited! I still can’t believe that tomorrow I’m turning 29 – my last year in my 20s…EEEEK. I’m actually really looking forward to it. I told myself that 29 will be the year that I figure out answers to some big questions that I have in my life; I don’t know why it feels like I need to figure so much out as I inch closer and closer to 30, but that feeling is very real for me right now. I guess one reason is that I remember when my mom turned 29! My mom was in her early 20s when she had me and my sister, and she figured out how to make stuff work; it makes me feel like I should be able to do that for myself (especially since it’s just me that needs the figuring out). 

Today I’m sharing a topic that has been a part of a really productive new habit for me: meditation. Now, I am the furthest from an expert or even veteran meditator, but I have been meditating on and off again for over a year now and think it’s worth talking about.

How I got started with meditation

About the only kind of “meditation” I knew growing up was taking long, deep breaths and exhaling reaaal slow while telling myself over and over again that “I got this,” when I was super stressed or nervous. To this day, meditation isn’t something I do every single day, but I’d like to. It’s a habit that I’m currently trying to tackle onto my other morning habits.
In the summer of 2016, I unexpectedly had been let go from my full-time job. It was seriously devastating and came out of nowhere. My ego was so so crushed, I had never in my life felt so defeated. Living in NYC is expensive, and the thought of being unemployed hear was daunting. While I was job searching full-time, I was doing a lot of sitting and researching on my laptop, so I wasn’t getting a lot of activity in like I normally did when commuting and working in the city.
I started going to a small group fitness studio nearby my apartment that offered Fusion, which is a mix of yoga and pilates. It was there, in that class, that I started to meditate. The owner always began the class with a few minutes of a motivational sound clip: Jim Carrey, JK Rowling, Denzel Washington, and Oprah were all different clips that the owner played. During those clips, we were only to focus on our breathing, which I later learned is a form of concentration meditation.
At the end of the class, everyone was rewarded with a cool washcloth that had been soaked in eucalyptus essential oil – getting that washcloth put on your forehead was always the best feeling after each class, no joke. With the washcloths on our foreheads, we would get about 5 minutes of time to ourselves, and during that time I also focused my breathing – the rise and the fall of my chest. It was pretty easy for me to focus only on my breathing because I would be so relaxed at that point in the evening (I took this class at 8pm at night). Seriously, I always get the BEST nights sleep after those Fusion classes. 

Using Headspace for guided meditation

While meditating during Fusion class came easy to me, doing it on my own and in the morning didn’t. I’m a morning person, and my mind wanders soo much, I’m like, “WTF are you doing, mind? I’m trying to relax over here through meditation.” I’d been hearing about this app called “headspace” from some friends and people I follow in my skimm’bassador FB group of 12K+ people, so after a while, I thought I’d check out the app.
Like I mentioned, I’d  been craving meditation to center myself and also to relax my mind. This past week, I downloaded the headspace app, and I’ve been doing the free basic series of guided meditations (one a day) during my commute to work. I really like it because 1) you can choose how long the meditation session is – from 3 to 10 minutes, and 2) the narrator has the best voice for following along. I choose to meditate during my hour-long work commute because I don’t have to pay attention – I’m not driving! Sitting on the bus and subway is a perfect time for me to relax for 5 minutes (no one talks on the bus or subway in the morning rush hour – NO ONE. It’s glorious). 
On the app, the basic meditation series is free, and I highly recommend you give it a try if you’re interested in trying out meditation. The app does have a subscription-based business model, so if you want access to everything the app offers, then there is a monthly fee of $8-12 (depending on the length of time you sign up for). I have only used the free meditations so far so I’m not sure if it’s worth the fee or not.
I’m really enjoying the 5-minute meditations each morning, and it’s so easy for me to tack onto my morning commute; I love being able to create a new habit while doing something else that’s mundane.

What’s your experience with meditation? Would love to hear from you! 

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