A Meditation Guide That Will Actually Make You Want to Try It
A.K.A. start meditating without committing hours of your already hectic day.
Meditating, if we’re being totally honest, feels for the most part, like one of those things that isn’t really for us, like only drinking one cocktail during 2-for-1 happy hour. The idea of taking half an hour to erase your mind and have no thoughts (a task that, frankly, seems near impossible) is certainly an appealing one, but it’s also extremely intimidating.
Which is why meeting Jennifer Kass was such a revelation. Kass is a spiritual mentor and writer, but she’s also a realist—and knows that for most people meditation can’t be an hours-everyday pursuit. Hers is a no bullshit approach that gives you the freedom to have meditation be whatever you want it to be—the key being that you don’t have to have a completely blank mind. After trying her new app, #lovepioneer, which gives you a daily affirmation and intention, we asked Kass to break down exactly how we can introduce meditation into our seriously busy lives every day. And just like that, the intimidation factor is totally gone.
Meditation is about your relationship with yourself:
“Meditation isn't about enlightenment. It's about enhancing our human experience by learning how to spend quality time with ourselves, like we would with anyone we loved and valued. It doesn't have to feel boring or intimidating—it doesn't have to involve mantras, techniques, or a goal of ‘no thoughts’. It's simply sitting with ourselves. Since we’re so used to running away from ourselves through distractions, addictions, being overly busy, or putting everyone else first, spending time with ourselves in stillness is a revolutionary idea. And it's life-changing.”
Crying or feeling suppressed anger is a successful meditation, too:
“We avoid ourselves because we are afraid to feel. We are programmed to think our emotions will overwhelm us and we'll go crazy. We think we have to be strong and hold it all together. Even when it comes to meditation, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect at it, do it right, immediately find inner peace or give up. If we stop holding it all together and let ourselves fall apart a little bit, the light shines in through the cracks, we discover forgotten pieces of ourselves; we experience liberation on a level we haven't before.”
“Sitting in a comfortable position is helpful to center yourself and allow anything to arise—an emotion you've never given space to feel; an idea or inspiration to come through; a moment of peace; a shift in perception around a challenge in your life; a connection to a loving presence within you. Practicing daily builds integrity, raises your confidence and helps you begin to let your best self guide you throughout the day rather than an old unconscious part of you that operates from fear. You can start with five minutes in the morning right when you wake up and let it naturally expand into 20 minutes or longer.”
“I created a meditation practice using intentions that I launched in a meditation card deck app. It focuses your time and makes your meditation proactive so it can directly affect your life and relationships, rather than feel like something that is disconnected from your daily life. This is a simple intention as you close your eyes and begin your meditation: I connect to my inner wisdom. I am centered in my heart and I allow all that arises in my loving presence.
This is a powerful practice of self-love and acceptance so you no longer deny aspects of yourself but instead allow all that is—judgment keeps us stuck. Love makes us grow.”
There are no rules:
“Your meditation should be a place you feel totally safe, a place where you can meet yourself and let yourself feel however you feel, with the awareness that there is love inside of you so great, so brilliant, that it wants to shine through. In stillness we connect with this loving presence within. Everyone has their unique path back home to themselves. Play music if it uplifts you while you sit. Use silence. Focus on your deep inhales and exhales. There are endless ways that we can connect with ourselves, but finding the way that works for us, and letting it change and evolve as we do, is key.”