If You Have Time for Facebook, You Have Time to Meditate

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 If You Have Time for Facebook, You Have Time to Meditate

So here’s the deal. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, one of my closest friends suggested I meditate. I was like, “Are you kidding? I don’t have time for that.” Between doctor visits, chemo and balancing work and family there was no way that I had a minute to spare. And honestly, the thought of SITTING STILL for more than 5 minutes made me cringe.

Well guess what? Meditation actually helped me get through the most difficult chapter of my life. I was pretty consistent with it for a while…until I wasn’t. Sort of like going to the gym. You follow a solid schedule, then once you start to fall off it can be difficult to get back into the groove again. I find that meditation gives me an automatic reboot. It clears my mind and helps me feel more grounded, focused and calm throughout the day.

My favorite (and most convenient time) to meditate is first thing in the morning, as soon as I wake up. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. Check out my “meditation station” here. Nothing crazy, just some candles, a Himalayan rock salt lamp, essential oils and a couple of crystals.

 

This past August Jennifer Graf, LCSW, certified mind-body medicine practitioner and Founder of The Graf Center of Integrative Medicine at Englewood Hospital invited me to participate in a six-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Series. Her invitation came at a perfect time for me because I was starting to slack off in the meditation department. So every Monday night from 6pm-8pm I headed over to The Graf Center along with the others in my group…to basically learn how to meditate.

Jennifer is nothing short of amazing. Her experience coupled with her beautiful, calming presence was something I really looked forward to each week. She taught us several healing therapies to help cope with life changes, stress and illness. A great deal of time was spent on home practice, teaching us how to truly work meditation into our everyday lives…..for good. The program also included guided imagery (trippy but so cool!), biofeedback, mindful eating, soft belly meditation, drawing exercises (with crayons, sooooo relaxing) and breath work.

I now consider Jennifer my meditation coach. She asked me to include my own mindfulness breakthrough in this post. I’d say the most important skill that I learned was how to break away from my desk for a mid-day meditation. Even if just for five or ten minutes, I find this practice to be way more powerful than a 2nd cup of coffee. It chills me out and resets my focus for the rest of the day like magic. I also find that it gets my creative juices flowing, which is super helpful when I’m developing event ideas for my clients, writing blog posts, new business proposals, etc.

“The foundation of all mind/body techniques within integrative medicine is self care. Self care is primary care.”
Jennifer Graf

The Graf Center will be offering another Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Series soon. For more information, call 201-608-2377. You can also check out their YouTube video. In the meantime, please keep The Graf Center in mind for all of your self-care needs including yoga, meditation, massage, Reiki, holistic nutritional counseling and acupuncture. These offerings are open to the public and are ideal for patients, caregivers…basically anyone. It’s one of many centers that now provide functional medicine covered by insurance. Did I mention how GORGEOUS the meditation room is, and anyone can use it? Just valet park your car and head up to the Graf Center to take advantage of this beautiful space.

 

For those of you who aren’t in the area….there are TONS of great meditation apps out there. Click here to see a great lineup. You can also jump on YouTube and search for literally ANY kind of meditation. Whether you need help with sleep, stress, focus, etc. there’s lots to choose from. Just search “meditation for sleep” or “meditation for focus,” etc. Here’s a lovely TEN MINUTE guided morning meditation for you to try. It’s only 10 minutes. So seriously, if you have time for Facebook, you have time to meditate. Just saying.

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