Wisdom Ask Emma: Maintaining Meditation, Intuition v. Instinct, and Yog d’Soleil This week’s wisdom and wit from a sassy sage. By Emma Mildon Ask Emma is our straight-talking, semi-irreverent, spiritualist-realist etiquette column for all matters metaphysical and mundane. We openly welcome and acknowledge all views, opinions, feedback, ideas, and questions. Please recognize that this is about spreading useful, positive, helpful, kind, practical tips. Should you feel inspired to share bad vibes or hate mail, we politely and respectfully ask you to peace out. Ask a question at firstname.lastname@example.org, or turn to her most recent book, The Soul Searcher’s Handbook, for more. When life becomes busy and therefore overwhelming my meditation practice starts to slip. Ironically, this is when I really need it the most! It has nothing to do with managing time: The slip ups are based on a fear of turning inward during times of chaos. Do you have advice to keep an anxious meditator’s practice on track? Go easy on yourself. We are human: We are not levitating, perfect, enlightened gurus. The human part comes with all the glory of stress, anxiety, doubt, fear… AKA life! If there’s anything I have learned from years of meditating it’s that sometimes the most restless, twitchy, nerve wracking, hard-to-stay-in meditations release the most for us. You are well aware of the benefits, so high five you, I will save you the lecture. And I can relate to sometimes not wanting to stir the subconscious slumbering pot. Try different types of meditation to find different kinds of grounding or calming. Transcendental meditations are short 20-minute bursts of meditation twice a day. You could also try a simple guided meditation on your iPod with a voice you find relaxing so you can literally plug in when you need to reconnect. Try mala beads to help you keep track of a mantra, or take a moment’s break in nature—there is a long list of options you can test out. Let yourself learn and try different types of meditation to help keep your practice on track. Just like you won’t always feel like a smoothie for breakfast, your mindfulness menu doesn’t need to be the same every day… There is more than one way to win the meditation game! Explore your options. I’ve been feeling anxious about my relationship. How do I know when to trust him versus my intuition? I feel ya! Literally! Feeling out vibrations, while being a great super power, can also mean that we sometimes get tangled up in the difference between instinct and intuition. I can hand-on-heart admit that I struggle with this same thing from time to time, so would like to share some of my soul sanity tools to help you when you get hit with a belt of anxiety. What does your gut tell you? Not your mind, your gut. Has something triggered for you? Does this have anything to do with your current partner and present situation or is this anxiety a stirring from the past? Is it just that your energy is out of whack? When we have our chakras out of alignment it is very easy to become down, lethargic, paranoid, easily stressed, sensitive, emotional… Instead of worrying about your love life, should you be putting effort into self love? What tools resonate with you to help you clear the anxiety? Smudge stick yourself! I like to exercise. The ocean can help, a bath, a book, a meditation, a yoga class: Find something that helps your detach from your fears when you are confronted by them. Come back to yourself. Healings and massages can help you release old anxieties. Try an energy healing like reiki or reflexology. Trust yourself. Trust the process. Trust your intuition. Be aware of your feelings, but don’t let them consume you. I always like to be honest with my partner when I get a kick in the intuitive gut. I simply say, “Weird, I just got a funny vibe about that.” Then it is left at that. I feel better for getting it off my chest, and more often than not my partner’s reaction is evidence enough that it was a simple imaginative worry rather than an intuitive download. Try those five tips, and try and check in with where you are operating from—head, heart, soul, or sorrow. I was in a beginners yoga class, just looking for a really great stretch. But the teacher started asking us to do advanced poses—she offered modifications and told us we could use the wall, but a lot of the poses were really hard. The class was filled with seniors, who were struggling. I, the youngest person in class, could barely do them! I was worried my classmates would get hurt, and I’m confused how some of these poses could be considered “beginner.” What should I do if this happens again? Should I have talked to the studio management? Yikes! It grinds my chakras when all you want is a chilled, flow, or yin yoga class and you end up with a front row seat to the yoga circus. I’m with you! Headstand or backbends are not my jam—especially if you had signed up for a gentle beginner’s class to find yourself in Yog d’Soleil. First point of call is to check in with the teacher. Who knows? She may not have been aware it was meant to be a beginner’s session. Failing that, I’d definitely share some feedback with the studio. It is important you can feel safe and relaxed in your space of yoga, so don’t be afraid to inquire. Should it still not resonate I recommend checking out a few different studios until your find a more gentle fit. Don’t forget that we’re sometimes put in situations to learn from the challenges presented. — Emma Mildon is an author, columnist, and spiritualist that specializes in spiritual research that she shares to her readers through her interactive website, app, and books. Giving her readers easy access to everything from spiritual scriptures across all religions, to different types of yoga to explore, crystals, feng-shui right down to how to work out your astrology and numerology. Be sure to check out her book The Soul Searchers Handbook or visit her website, emmamildon.com. You can also find Emma on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.