• Rachel Laiosa

Am I making the most of my meditation time? Tips from a pro

Meditation takes years, time and major focus to get good at. Like most things in life, we want to maximize our productivity, but it can be hard to carve out time in our busy days to dedicate ourselves to meditation—something that takes complete focus and silence. While on the quest to find ways to make meditation more productive, I turned to Jackie Paulson for her expertise on the subject. Jackie is a licensed mental health counselor and a registered 500-hour yoga instructor—plus, she’s one of Prezence’s meditation guides.

Is there a way to tune in with myself to know if I’m getting better at meditating?

In my experience, I try not to evaluate progress in terms of better or worse. In meditation, there is no destination—only a being here now, open and available. Showing up, day and again, is the most challenging part and we can’t force unfolding. No matter how long you’ve been meditating, there will always be moments of your practice that will feel in the flow and on point, while others will feel like a struggle. And I invite us to welcome it all with a non-judgemental, curious spirit.

Do you have any tips to keep up the routine?

Making a commitment to ourselves and following through with that commitment is such a potent way to develop a trusting relationship with ourselves. Simultaneously, allowing flexibility and grace is also an essential bonding experience for the self to the self. This is the paradox we must dance with—staying committed and having grace when we fall short.

For me, I keep my routine as simple as possible without big expectations. Instead of committing to an hour of meditation everyday, I set a commitment to showing up for five minutes. It’s easier for me to show up knowing I will succeed. Then what ends up happening is I sit for longer when I have the time and still feel like I followed through when I don’t.

What would you say is the most important daily or life habit I should work on that would correlate to a better meditation?

Broaden your perspective on what is meditation. Bring the proverbial cushion into your daily life. I’m a mother of two small babes. I find my deepest and most potent meditations are in present moment awareness with them....in our play and in our chaos. I love being curious with what shows up in my inner world, when being tapped right there by the experience of life as it is happening. I love Jack Kornfield’s teaching of “taking the one seat” and being present and committed to each breath on and off the meditation cushion.

So basically, Jackie knows what’s up. And to summarize her expertise: keep working on it, and go easy on yourself in the process. Oh, and try a Prezence meditation—everyone can benefit from these short and sweet moments that help you to better align yourself with the relationships you have in your life.

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