Reach Activate A Daily Meditation Practice For Self-love “A daily meditation practice will help you get crystal clear with your boundaries and begin to understand what is your energy and what is not.” By Mara Branscombe Activating a daily meditation practice may be the greatest gift you can give to yourself. Creating space in your day for stillness, welcoming in a calm breath, and being a witness to the present moment can shift your energy from chaos into calm, from overwhelm into clarity, and from fear into grounded joy. When we begin to meditate daily, even for just 5 minutes, we have an opportunity to reprogram pathways of stress in our minds and bodies, some of which we did not even know existed. Many of us have programmed ourselves to be addicted to multitasking and our success is often measured by our productivity. When we sit with our breath, at first it can be very challenging, and we may doubt that meditation is worthy of our time. Then, as we begin to connect more fully to the present moment, we begin to unravel the details, the stress, the phone, the external stimuli, etc, and our minds become spacious and wildly expansive. This meditative space opens the gateway to attune more fully to your inner body, to clear the mind from a cluttered state, to check in with your heart and encourage compassion and unconditional love towards yourself on a daily basis. Transformation begins with how you care for yourself, how you show up to love yourself everyday, how you cultivate and activate your inner light/space from the demands of your day and the energies of others. You get crystal clear with your boundaries and begin to understand what is your energy and what is not. I love beginning and ending my day with silence. I wake early to ensure I have some time for myself (before my children wake) to light a candle and call in my gratitudes, followed by a short meditation. Sometimes I have more time and it’s longer, other times it’s only 5 minutes. Here I welcome in my various gratitudes, I open to self-love, supporting energies, and set an intention for my day. Then I simply attune to my breath and welcome in space. Here is a step by step guide to activating your own meditation practice: Set up an inviting space where you know you can sit quietly. This can be a place inside your home that is comfortable or a place in nature where you feel good to relax. You may have a pillow or a chair, a blanket over your shoulders, and a candle ready to light. Close your eyes and welcome in 3 (or more) gratitudes. Welcome in self love and self care. I use a mantra: “I love myself, I love myself fully, I love myself unconditionally” and repeat it 3 times. Begin to soften every part of yourself, as if you are releasing any expectations of your day or your meditation, and welcome in true presence in the moment. Let your breath become your guide, witness your inhale, witness the pause, witness the exhale, witness the pause, and repeat. As your thoughts emerge, which they always will, simply release them, and return to witnessing the path of your breath. When you complete your meditation, visualize yourself enveloped in light and welcome that light into your inner body. You are this light, carry it into your day. If you’d like to go deeper, I have an online meditation course called Navigate that will teach you yogic and shamanic breath techniques to calm and reset your nervous system and discover your potential to clear your mind and body of energetic blocks. Learn how to observe your daily triggers, transform them, and tap into the well of your intuitive nature. — Mara Branscombe is a mother, yogi, dancer, mindfulness leader, ceremonialist and spirit coach. Mara was awakened to the potency of Hatha Yoga in India twenty years ago. She is a Mesa Carrier in the Incan Shaman lineage and offers Reiki, intuitive counseling and shamanic healing to her clients. Teaching yoga and meditation for the past twelve years, Mara weaves together her background as a dance artist, her practice in the shamanic tradition, and her twenty years of experience on her mat. Mara is a regular contributor to gaia.com/mara and her most recent online classes and articles can be viewed here.