If you know me you know I believe it's the simple rituals you introduce into your life that will create a healthier mindset. The easier something is to implement into your day the chances of it becoming a practice/habit is far greater and really I don't have time to spend hours trying to create my zen moments. So when I stumbled across the Instagram page of @pausewithalexis I was intrigued, here was someone that had a similar message to me creating moments of calm and she was doing it by simplifying meditation and showing just how beautiful "pause" moments can be.
So I followed, I joined in to her Thursday community meditation online and I'm converted! It's because of her simple, no BS approach to what we all want in life which are moments of clarity, moments of calm and a way to relax where you don't have to spend thousands of dollars dressing up to look the part and fleeting off to courses every five minutes that I just had to share her with you.....
Here are some words and tips from Alexis from Pause with Alexis....
The first few times I heard anything about meditation, I rolled my eyes and laughed it off. I pictured men and woman in robes chanting and crystals galore. Not for this business driven New York gal who had 60 employees and created her own business with success but was absolutely miserable on the inside. Why would she need that “woo-woo” practice?
That is until I hit rock bottom and began sitting every single morning 6 years ago. I led myself to the practice when I realized I had to make a change and I really did not know where to begin. I’ll be honest and say I started this practice from complete desperation.
Silence all the sudden became my friend.
I didn’t have a guru, I did not go sit under a tree or even go off on a retreat I just began with sitting in my own home. As time went on of course to no surprise or else I would most likely not be writing this, I began to work with teachers and find like-minded people who did not chant to me.
In the beginning I truly believe it’s about keeping it simple and finding what works for you it's not what we see in the magazines, its not about the fancy cushions or the perfect pair of pants! Let’s get real, it's about having the courage to sit by yourself in silence, and to just be, to give yourself permission to have thoughts and at times to even fall asleep!
So here are my top 3 tips for anyone starting a home practice to Pause or needs a re-start to their practice (which I seem to need every 6 months):
1. Set yourself up for comfort
Don’t sit cross legged on a cushion if that’s not comfy. It has never been for me and my lower back.
Instead....try a chair, lie on the floor, sit upright leaning against the wall, legs up the wall or even in the car.
Try it all! Most importantly be honest with yourself and listen.
2. Be realistic about time
If you’re just starting off try 6 minutes 3 times a week and build from there.
Three times a week will be so much more beneficial than 1 x 20 minute sit a week
Set a timer when you sit and include your set-up time and space at the end of your practice when you are allocating time for yourself. It’s all a part of the practice!
3. Put pen to paper
Some call it journaling while I like the term reflective writing. Having time afterwards to write down what came up for you in your practice, a chance to look back on what occurred in the silence. Sometimes that mosh-pit of thoughts, will start to make sense if you immediately put pen to paper after you sit.
If you would like to dip your toe into a no bull-shit community practice. Join me On-line & Live every Thursday at 6:30pm AEST for a contribution based community class.
Feel free to reach out with any questions at all! I love to have a chat :) Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website
With love + gratitude + courage - Alexis Guttridge