It’s been hectic around here lately.  Of course, when is it not?  I’m gearing up for my exhibit at the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, which I set up next week (eek!), as well as the Hilton Indoor Fine Arts Festival the weekend after that (double eek!).  Plus, the theatre company I work for just moved, so I have been over there almost every day this past week getting them organized and knocking down walls, AND I’m preparing for a play I’m assistant directing in September at a different theatre company.  Whew.

It can be a little frazzling.

There’s always a picture of Scotty that matches my emotions.  This one is the “excited yet slightly crazed” look.

So that’s why, for this week’s Inspired Monday, I’m sharing one of the ways I de-stress: meditation!

Wait no, don’t leave yet, hear me out…

I was skeptical too.  I had tried meditation a few times in college – there was a meditation club, in fact, that was formed by a senior illustration major, so she clearly knew about stress.  Sometimes it worked for me, sometimes it didn’t…and when it didn’t, I would feel guilty that it didn’t, and that just made me more stressed.

But really, everyone gets distracted during meditation, even experts, but most definitely beginners.  So honestly, if you’re new to it, cut yourself some slack, expect that you won’t be “good at it” and certainly won’t achieve nirvana, and adjust your technique.  If one mantra didn’t work for you, try another one, try a shorter or a longer one, don’t try so hard to “breathe correctly” (that’s really hard for me…I try to artificially deepen my breath until I feel like I’m going to pass out, which is not conducive to zen), sit in a comfier position, and just…don’t worry about it being perfect.
I swear, I did not make this post just as an excuse to push around more of my word art.
 It’ll get better after time.  And ignore the stupid proverb that you hear sometimes that people love to post on Tumblr or Pinterest with a picture of a cloud-topped mountain or some crap: “If you have time to meditate each day, meditate for an hour, and if you don’t have time, meditate for two hours.”  That is bull.  You don’t even have to do one hour…research shows that even ten minutes a day will help a lot to lower your blood pressure and decrease stress all around.  And if you miss a day, no big deal, do it the next day.  Or before bed, or during your commute, or in the shower, whatever.
Anyway, long novelettes about meditation aside, here’s the real reason I wanted to post today: to link you to some guided meditation videos and audio.  If it seems intimidating to just meditate on your own, these might be a huge help…they were to me!  I get way less distracted and feel a lot more relaxed with these…

Hayward Fox Guided Meditations: These are audio only, and are really great…the Blue Sky one works for me every time.

 How to Meditate: this one doesn’t get going until a minute in, and it’s short but sweet.

The Five Minute Miracle: this one is quite pleasant too, and is only about five minutes, so if you only have that long, this can do the trick.

Guided Meditation on Self Confidence: A bit longer…it’s 17 minutes, although that isn’t really SO long that it’s disruptive…if you have the time to get deeper into it, this is a good one.  And for this one, you don’t have to close your eyes, the video is very beautiful and serene.

There are tons more out there…any Youtube search will turn up a bunch more.  Anyone else know any good ones, or any other meditation tips or mantras that work?