Meditation in 5 Easy Steps on Seize the Day Podcast with Natalie Miller-Snell.
Research has shown meditation can be beneficial to help with reducing stress, fears and anxieties. It can help enhance concentration and help with relaxation.
In todays show:
- What is it?
- Why should we do it?
- How does a beginner start?
- 5 easy steps to help anyone start practising meditation.
Listen to this episode of Meditation In 5 Easy Steps here
BOOKS REFERENCED ON THE SHOW
Create a Life to Love by Erin Zak
Romance novelist Jackie Mitchell has built a life that works: few responsibilities, friends that know she’s far from outgoing, and sex whenever she needs it. She has her past, but she doesn’t think about it. Ever.
All that changes when she finds the child she gave up for adoption standing on the doorstep. Now sixteen years old, Beth Weber is resourceful, a blossoming artist, and a spitting image of her birth mom. To say Jackie is stunned is the understatement of the year.
When Jackie meets Beth’s adoptive mom, Susan, they’re immediately attracted to each other, but there’s no way Jackie is getting involved with a married woman, especially Beth’s mom. But when Susan and Beth need a place to stay and end up back on Jackie’s doorstep, their lives change forever.
Will these three women who share a past and face an uncertain future be able to forge a life of love together?
After Mrs Hamilton by Clare Ashton
Golden Crown Literary Society award winner – After Mrs. Hamilton – a twisting tale of sex, secrets, and obsession.
Clo is leading a loveless life as a high class escort for women. She’s always had a dream of the ideal partner, but after a bad experience with love when she was young, figures she is better off on her own. Right now, she’s supposed to be meeting her best friend. But tonight, Clo has to work.
It’s early evening and Mrs. Hamilton waits for an escort on the balcony of her London hotel suite. It’s cold, and she feels ice in her veins that has nothing to do with the chilly air. Too much pain, betrayal and lost desire. What is she thinking, that the touch of a stranger will heal her broken past? But her appointment is with Clo, and the touch of this beautiful young woman lights torches Mrs. Hamilton didn’t know she carried. Clo doesn’t even feel like a stranger. She feels dangerously like someone Mrs. Hamilton wants to know.
But love, passion, and desire never seem to know the right time, or place. Neither do secrets, especially when everyone’s keeping them, as call girl Clo and her friends are about to find out. From London to Oxfordshire, the past collides with the present with repercussions no one could imagine or will ever forget.
Transcript for Meditation In 5 Easy Steps
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
[Music] you are listening to seize the day with Natalie Miller-Snell during these podcasts we’ll be exploring all of the different opportunities that we get to seize the day on a daily basis and what tools and what changes we can make in order to throughout those goals are you ready to make change hello hello hello podcast lovers how are you all it’s Thursday I’m Natalie and you are listening to seize the day how are you it feels like forever since I recorded one of these I managed to get myself quite organized and had about a month’s worth uploaded online so I feel like I haven’t recorded in such a long time so I hope you’re all well and enjoying life what have I got to tell you what have I been up to I just recently finished Erin Zak’s book create a life to love which was just lovely it’s a delicious little romance and and also prior to that I read Claire Ashton’s after mrs. Hamilton which is delicious I mean Wow got me thinking great book so a couple of good books if you’re after reads I am back from GCLs a couple of weeks back now goodness what an incredible event what incredible time got to meet lovely authors sat in on some book readings panels – and the award tonight as well which was just fabulous and on my way out I got upgraded which was just delightful Thanks British Airways at the event Melinda Lo. Wow she was guest speaker I’ve read all of her books I mean I’m a huge fan so it was lovely to hear her present so yeah the conference itself was absolutely fantastic lovely to meet people online who meet people in person who had spoken to online just really really fab so yeah hi to everybody I missed you all we’ve had a heat wave in the UK 38 degrees last week I think that translates are about a hundred Fahrenheit although other abouts I mean but I believe it was the hottest on record ever for the UK we just don’t get temperatures like that we’re not set up for it so it was a nice interesting day a sleepless night for sure but it can’t are not ungrateful it’s absolutely lovely having the hot weather spending time in the pool and then next week I’m actually on holiday can’t wait I’m going away with my whole family which will be really fabulous so with my wife our two boys my parents and my sister and brother-in-law plus their children and my nieces boyfriend so it’s gonna be brilliant I’m so excited I think we should have a great time now onto today’s show since I’m I’m off work at the moment which obviously I’ve mentioned before I find myself doing a decent amount of soul-searching you know questioning what do I want to do and I try to shut myself off from the world and limit the noise so I can think about what my next steps are going to be and I find myself doing a decent bit of meditation so I thought today’s show would be well it would be lovely to talk about meditation it’s so it’s a great topic and it’s so useful in day-to-day life so what is meditation and five easy steps to do meditation if you’re a beginner now as I mentioned I love meditation it gives me a sense of peace and it answers questions when I need to help myself relax and find guidance on the next steps it helps me focus my mind is ridiculously busy otherwise I literally do not switch off I mean I’m I’m constantly wired I’m constantly plugged in and I’d you know I my mind doesn’t shut down so I get a strong sense of peace when I meditate and I’m able to rationalize things a lot more and put things into perspective I had a really interesting conversation with my personal trainer yesterday Sam who’s back off holiday in his joy is just such a lovely guy honestly he’s lovely and he’s lucky he’s been away on holiday and he said during the time relaxing he had so many new ideas about what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go with his work they just came to him because he was relaxed and able and had that opportunity so then which raises the question how does meditation differ to relax and I think it can be viewed in a simple way relaxation is doing something we do something to relax so a holiday for example chilling in a bath reading a book watching a film or have been watching Netflix or something or other where as net mice Netflix meditation it’s an active process where you remain fully aware and you’re aware of what the awareness is doing as well so you’re totally focused you’re concentrating on the breath or typically although there are lots of other meditations which I’ll go through but you’re aware of what you’re doing relaxation is just about chilling so that there is a difference and I and I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned or shared this before with you but I was a spiritual healing student once and I wrote a few notes on meditation back then I’ve been through my file it’s really lovely to read actually and I would just want to read you what I wrote back then research has shown meditation can be beneficial to any individual for a number of reasons with practice it can help you control your emotions which will decrease stress fears and anxieties and it can also help enhance concentration but I simply focus in your mind being still yet aware of your surroundings centering yourself and breathing slowly we can all achieve peace and harmony we can enhance health and well-being we can develop intuition and creativity and we are able to connect with our inner higher self meditation can also be used to develop a positive attitude enhance self esteem and help with discipline and it has also been known to support individuals overcoming addictions and insomnia no I was really quite chuffed I’ve heard that it’s amazing what you forget you do but that’s brilliant that is so bang on the money I didn’t have to gugu any anything for that which is fab so the goal of meditation is to focus and once we achieve that focus we’re able to go deeper and the ultimate goal will be to reach a higher level of awareness awareness and inner peace which is quite deep and quite spiritual in that sense for thousands of years meditation has been practice and typically was practice for enlightenment and to help understand mystic forces in today’s world we meditate more commonly to help relaxation and center ourselves plus also to reduce the internal noise and lessen stress so I think it’s fair to say we are still discovering the benefits and going through my my folder I actually wrote a very basic guided meditation now what I think I’ll do is record it and pop it on my website and maybe share it via blog so let me know if you’re interested and I can send it on to you if you’re keen to hear more me reads the the guided meditation that I wrote you’re listening to the lesbian talk-show the lesbians all choked on your hub of podcast information ok so let’s talk about meditation what is meditation now again going through my file I picked up this bit of information that I must have printed off at the time now unfortunately I am unable to reference the website that I got the info from so apologies the the wider world I am reading something verbatim this isn’t my work so I just want to caveat that but it is really lovely it was a Colton website but unfortunately like I say it’s no longer it’s no longer valid let me read this to you the basic idea generally associated with why people meditate is that during our day we are constantly subjected to sensory input and our minds are always active in the process of thinking the article then goes on to say meditation allows all of this activity to settle down and often results in the mind becoming more peaceful calm and focused in essence meditation allows the awareness to become rejuvenated how wonderful is that meditation can be considered a technique or practice it usually involves concentrating on an object such as a flower a candle a sound or a word or the breath and over time the number of random thoughts occur in diminishes so I mean I’ll go into talk about this a bit more through today’s podcast but I thought that was really brilliant and since I found it in my file which was lovely I thought I would share with you we live and operate in a very stressful world you’ve only got to be on Twitter to see that where our senses are becoming numb to everything around us and bombarded meditation offers time for relaxation and heightened awareness and just kind of gives us a little bit of time to focus on what’s real and it’s about practicing not perfection our minds are incredible and I’ve mentioned this before they are I mean what goes on in our head is absolutely phenomenal it it blows my mind and they’re tricky to keep quiet sometimes it will wonder your mind does wander and that is okay particularly when you’re meditating you just need to bring yourself back and bring yourself back to the breath typically in the beginner meditations and again we’ll talk about some more and just practice it constantly practice does make perfect some of us will be great a meditation for the first time we do it and it will come very naturally where others might take a bit of practice and that’s okay so as the earlier article mentioned there are different ways to meditate there are guided meditations which is typically somebody read in a very peaceful setting for you to guide your way through and relax and calm with the breath it can be on a podcast or on an audio or some some form or even somebody live reading it to you there are also mantra based meditations which is on the repetitive word or repetitive sound um or whatever it is I’m probably doing it wrong so I’m really sorry I don’t use that one myself there’s focusing on an object now the typical one for me is the candle you certainly see that in imagery where you focus on something to keep in mind quiet and still and then the breath there’s also mindful meditations now and this is quite a big thing at the moment which i think is wonderful being kind to yourself so you start with the breath and then you just become very mindful of everything that’s in your life and kind to yourself about it which i think is fabulous and there’s loads online go Google there’s so much of it it’s wonderful and then finally just the general breathing meditation so there’s many different options and not all of them are going to work for you and again I think that’s what’s marvelous about the world we’re all so different and unique and we all work in a very different way so don’t give up if one doesn’t work for you try something else you know not all of them work for me as I’ve mentioned so if you struggle pick up something else and give that a go now the breathing meditation is or just focusing on the breath is definitely best for beginners so while prepping for this show and I was talking you know typing out some notes I actually stopped and had a five-minute breathing meditation and I tell you what my mind did wonder because I was thinking about how this related to the show and what I wanted to make sure that I you know captured in the show to tell you but I kept bringing my mind back to the breath and what’s fascinating is you think in your mind needs so a crack I’ve got to write that down I’ve got to write that down but the beauty once you come out of the meditation it’s all there fresh in your mind and you’re relaxed so you actually capture it anyway so the idea is you give yourself some time and things come to you more naturally in in abundance almost now when I did my meditation I focus on breathing through the nose and then out of the nose and if you’re able to solve this if this makes you laugh I’m really sorry and by all means laugh because that’s a great thing as well and you can create an oceanic sound with your noise and a lot of Yogi’s so if you go to yoga this is something that’s practiced a lot in the Zen classes and so forth with the breathing it’s almost encouraged to have this loud breath this loud oceanic sound which is so contrary to how we live in the world at the moment since we often don’t like hearing somebody breathe or you know any kind of noise with the mouth we’re kind of oh no no so it’s really important and it’s very good to listen to your breath and when you start this you might you might struggle doing longer breaths but as time goes on and practice you know you’ll be able to slow down the breathing breathe in for a count of four then breathe out for a count of four and perhaps when you breathe in then you hold it and you count four and then you blow out so it’s about getting and learning and practicing what works for you and over practice and over time it will you’ll get there for sure and then beyond that once you’re more comfortable and you’re more experienced with the meditation you can actually use it to guide your decisions or allow that natural pure thought that comes from the universe if you’re open to this kind of thought that will just flood through you and kind of help you direct if you put the question out there it will come to you so this is much a bit more experienced and you’re able to silence the noise more and you can focus on your body also part of the spiritual healing and certainly when I was studying when you go with the breath and you get yourself into that meditation and you’re very aware and you’re connected to your energies you’re able to feel your body so much more and you’re able to kind of pick up where things aren’t feeling right and you can listen to the instinctual noises and sounds that your body is telling you and where you need to perhaps be kinder to yourself or look at things ailments perhaps and what you need to do to help repair those so it’s an incredible thing once you’ve got experience with the meditation and how you can use that to help your body and going back to the beginning of this podcast when I mentioned you know research has shown and it can help with insomnia with certain ailments within your body so it’s really good to keep practicing so you can get to that point now I read this on the headspace website and I don’t know how many of you have the headspace app it’s really good there’s an element that you can use for free on it you do have to pay I haven’t yet but it gives you some really good tools on a day you know our daily basis in terms of how to quiet your mind and give yourself some headspace now again this is from their website so I’ll put it in the show notes I like this and I think it’s a it’s a good thing to think about with regards to meditation it’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective you’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings you are learning to observe them without judgment and eventually you may start to understand them as well now I think that’s really relevant because when we give ourselves some time love kindness by simply meditating is you’re taking that time out for yourself you can become more aware of who you are and your desires and your thoughts and what it is you want to achieve moving forward with those as a whole other step and perhaps I’ll cover that in in another show but you’re able to pick up on those a lot more so meditation is really lovely and I really like that from the headspace website okay so now the how we’ve covered what is meditation now let’s look at five easy steps and I think these are really quite straightforward and I’ll go through one by one and and to reconfirm your thoughts are not suddenly going to disappear you know we’re all very active in terms of our mind social media I think keeps us more active because we’re constantly looking at things so we’ll take time and practice we’ll get you there but do not be alarmed when you have to keep silence in your mind and coming back to the breathing and just being quiet now in these steps I’m going to be focusing on the breath and the attention to the breath so wanderings okay just come back to the breath okay step one where find yourself a spot find a safe quiet and comfortable place to sit now some folks feel really silly meditating and I feel really silly doing this kind of thing particularly if they’re exposed so find yourself somewhere where you can feel really comfortable really safe and you’re happy to just switch off breathe loudly you know all of that kind of stuff and you won’t feel nervous that you know someone might be watching or something so find somewhere really nice quiet and comfortable to sit and safe I work I used to well I mean I didn’t breathe loudly but I used to nip to the loo to do it as well so it’s getting away from people find yourself it’s where first step is where and you know shut the door give yourself a room take yourself away from things the second step is to consider how long do you want to do this for now beginners I think you look online the recommendation is probably five minutes a day which is actually a decent amount of time the more experience will probably go for about 20 minutes you know twice a day and in order to hit your time and to understand where you are you probably want to set an alarm however you do you don’t want something jarring you want something to gently bring you out particularly if you’re able to go deep and if you’re able to get into the meditation quite well you don’t want this bringing you back out of your of your new meditation you want to have something gentle so think about that – how long and how you’re going to come out of the meditation now the third step is comfort get comfortable where you have chosen to do your meditation now I’m in my chair a creak now as I move I tend to sit I have my feet firmly placed on the floor now this goes back to my healing days and it’s a bit deeper and I’ll just to explain about opening chakra points and channeling the you know the the heat and the white light through you so keeping your feet firmly on the ground enables you to feel very grounded which is really important when you meditate that sense of flying off otherwise so get yourself comfortable feet on the ground or if you like to sit maybe you’ve got the the yoga pose already but otherwise feet on the ground spine straight head up give yourself open up your body so you’re able to breathe better don’t make it uncomfortable for you as we walk through life quite literally our bodies take a shape that we’re used to dependent on the volume of weight that we’ve and the burden that we have on our shoulders so don’t make yourself uncomfortable over time you’ll be able to move perhaps into a you know different positions but just get yourself comfortable and there’s erect as possible in terms of your spine and where your head is then the fourth step is the breathing so get yourself set up with the timer get it on and then I always find closing my eyes is best because I’m able to really switch off and you can take yourself away so again going back to point one finding yourself somewhere safe if you’re closing your eyes you might want to be in a really kind of safe environment so you know one can come up and you know jar you or bring you out of the meditation that you’ve gone into so I always find closing my eyes relax a bit get yourself into it you know you’ve set your time and then focus on your breath and as you do that listen to your body and feel present as you breathe and perhaps try a count of four if you can in for four out for four and if I mean biome is pleased laughs again I don’t mind I really don’t mind but if you can get that breath right when I’d even just doing this now and talking about it puts me in a really comfortable relaxed I mean you might hear it sometimes in how my voice changes I get really comfortable and I feel it already so the breath is incredible breathing in slowly and then out slowly and if you’re so going well the next step is step five wondering if you wonder it’s okay just bring yourself back and focus on the breath and just do that for five minutes don’t berate yourself if your mind wanders just come back and I hope after you’ve done that you will feel so relaxed really incredible you know if you’ve managed to get into a really good zone you might have had things come from you know feel inspired have some intuition come your way maybe write down how you felt write down how many times your mind wandered as well or at least that you’re aware of and then use that as a benchmark for when you try it next time and and to reconfirm it doesn’t matter if your mind wanders it’s about practice it happens to everybody and that’s why we practice if you were to speak to experienced Yogi’s or you know anybody that meditates regularly I bet they also wonder from time to time so this is why we practice and then when you’re comfortable over time with the process and you find it easier to stay with the breath and you have a clearer mind you might be able to explore the other meditations I mentioned earlier and perhaps go deeper within you so you can feel your body and what’s happening and pay attention to where you’ve maybe got blockages and you know and what you might like to work on so just keep practicing it’s an incredible feeling so in what recap and in summary meditation can really help reduce stress fears and anxieties it can help us reach a higher level of awareness once we’ve got ourselves comfortable and practiced and it gives us time to unplug and reinvigorate our senses which have been dulled through the constant noise we expose ourselves to on a daily basis and the five easy steps number one where find a spot number two for how long number three get yourself comfortable number four do it do the breathing do your meditation and number five if you do one day it’s okay come back to yourself it’s not a problem focus back on the breathing and just carry on so I hope you’ve enjoyed that I have I feel really chilled out I won’t lie I was all kind of animated at the beginning yeah I’m really relaxed now so thanks for listening if you’ve got any thoughts if you meditate anyway and you’ve got any advice for me in terms of what you do or anything that you do this different love to hear if you try this and you want to share your experiences please share away I’d absolutely love to know how you get on and as always you’re just brilliant thank you so much for listening like you know I love doing this and I love being part of this you know mr. an experience that we’re going through so I hope this works for you contact details as always our email which is nathalie miller snow at gmail.com website sees the – day comm instr instagram is seize the day underscore today yes that’s right Twitter and Facebook NAT Millis now and the Caesar day page is well crikey there’s so much there be in the show notes you just have to click on them thank you so much for listening take care everyone look after yourself keep well you have been listening to seize the day now all contact information can be found in the show notes together with any links to websites or may have referred to in the show if you’ve enjoyed this podcast then come talk to us at a LESBIAN talk show chat group on Facebook email us on podcast at the lesbian talk-show comm or follow us on Twitter at lesbian talk show you can also join our community of patrons and gay exclusive content go to patreon.com/scishow the link is in the show notes thank you thank you thank you [Music] English (auto-generated)