[Guest Post from Melissa Willis of Ever Growing Farm.]

Beyond the Hype - Three Benefits of Meditation

Meditation has been in the news for years now with seemingly everyone from your neighbor to the hottest celebrity spouting its benefits, but that's not what is going to get the majority of us into the sitting position focusing on our breath. Research and celebrities are great, but will they really encourage you to sit down with yourself each day, quiet your mind and look within? For longer than a day or two? Right.

What might helps us, though, is the realization that, by simply spending a few minutes each day focusing on ourselves, every remaining minute of each day will feel transformed in the most positive ways possible.

  • Now, there are as many ways to meditate as there are benefits for doing so. Whether you prefer to sit in silence and focus on a mantra, on your breathe or on the energetic fields around and within each of us...
  • Whether you go to a temple regularly, a retreat once a year or never leave your couch to meditate...

  • Whether your hands hold a mala or your iPod (playing a meditation track or the Solfeggio Frequencies, of course), none of it matters as long as you are taking the time to calm your mind, body and spirit with a few minutes (on most days if not every day) that are just for you!

So, why is meditation so important so important to me? Because I know that it works. Generally I have seen and felt how bad I feel without it and how good I feel when I practice it regularly.

Specifically, here are the three ways meditation has helped improve my life. I hope you will find some of your own truth in my experiences and allow them to encourage you to sit a spell with yourself.

  • Release Anger and Fear - Anger and fear are both valid emotions that serve their purposes in certain situations. However, when held on to and allowed to control our daily interactions, they can feel like poison to our bodies as well as to all of those around us. By sitting in silence and allowing oneself to simply let go of those emotions, you are able to approach to each day and it's interactions from a place of peace.
  • Reduce Stress - It seems as though we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off. There is too much to do and too little time to accomplish half of what we put on our To Do lists each day. However, just allowing oneself 5-10 minutes to stop, breathe and focus on self through meditation, can actually allow you to be more focused on the tasks at hand. In turn, tasks will be done right and, usually, in less time than they might have before your meditation.
  • Develop Kindness & Compassion - We humans are masters of Hate Speech, and I'm talking about the words that are said as well as the ones that never leave our mouths. Whether it be about ourselves or pointed at others, the purpose and the end result are the same, and it's never good. Practicing kindness and compassion for ourselves first (we all make mistakes/have certain attributes we are not proud of or think could be more attractive), then allows us to be kinder and more compassionate in our day to day interactions with others.

The truth is, we are all battling our own challenges and a little kindness (inwardly and outwardly pointed) can go a very long way.

Bio: Melissa Willis shares about her family’s adventures in Urban Farming on 1/8 acre in Santa Fe, NM on her blog Ever Growing Farm.

With 15 laying hens, a top bar hive of bees, five fruit trees and 425 square feet of active growing space, every extra hour in the day goes into producing as much of their own food as possible and learning many of the old skills that have stopped being passed down from generation to generation.  

Melissa can also be found on Facebook and Pinterest.

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