In 2009 I had my first stint in rehab. I have a very vivid memory of a time when our counselor gathered us all into a room and had us sit in chairs that were placed in various places throughout the space.
He dimmed the lights, asked us to close our eyes, and began talking us through a “guided meditation”. His goal was to have us envision the scenes he was describing in an attempt to help us find tranquility. I wanted to punch him in his stupid face.
I was withdrawing from opiates at the time, and my mother had passed away a month before; so envisioning myself walking down a golden path of cobblestone into a field of friggin lilies was the very last thing I wanted to do.
I inevitably ended up storming out of the room in frustration. What the hell was the point of this? I wasn’t going to spend another minute humming and woosahing in a room full of addicts.
(I ended up relapsing the night I left rehab, perhaps I should have, in fact, taken that cobblestone path)
When I found recovery again in 2012, I would always hear people in the rooms speak of mediation and it’s benefits, however I still had a sour taste in my mouth from my first experience, so I was hesitant to try again.
One night after a particularly exhausting day with the kids, I decided to try and listen to something relaxing to calm my nerves. I stumbled across a guided mediation on YouTube and figured ‘what the hell’. I put my headphones in, closed my eyes – and 20 minutes later I was in a different world, separate from this one. A world where it was just me, and nature – it was so…Peaceful.
I know this probably sounds crazy to you, and that’s okay, mediation isn’t for everyone. I personally suffer from anxiety and insomnia, and have found these meditations to be invaluable.
As humans, our minds are constantly in overdrive. Technology has made everything so fast, so instantaneous. Doing a guided meditation allows you to slllloooooowwww dddooooowwwwn, and give your brain a break.
It takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it can be life changing. It’s like treating your mind to a much needed vacation.
I have made a list (with links) of my top 5 favorite guided mediations below. After the kids go to sleep, first thing in the morning, mid-day; whenever you have some spare time to rest-and just be present-do yourself a favor; pop some headphones in and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy world around you.
2) Jason Stephenson – Floating Amongst The Stars.
Listen to me people. I almost fell asleep just thinking about this video. It is my #1 all time favorite because: It is literally like you are escaping this world and exploring another dimension. (Okay, I’m sounding crazier and crazier by the minute. But trust me, just try it)
2) Jason Stephenson – Sleep Guided Meditation – Fireplace
This is one of my go-to meditation when I just need to decompress. It features the sounds of a crackling fire, and when the rain starts to pour down onto the roof of the cabin – It’s magical.
3) TheHonestGuys – Blissful Deep Relaxation.
This was the very first meditation I listened to when I tried again and I was asleep before the 18 minute video was over. The sound of the waves crashing combined with his soothing voice is enough to make even the busiest brains slow down.
4) Sleep Ezy Tonight-Floating Clouds.
After an exhausting day, press play on this one. It is perfect for pausing all of the thoughts you have buzzing through your brain. It completely relaxes you until you feel like you are floating out of your bed and into the clouds.
5) Michael Sealey – Detachment From Over-Thinking.
I am an anxious worry wart and this meditation has helped reel me back in, center me, and allowed me to focus on the present – more times than I can count. (This one doesn’t have any music – it’s voice only. If that isn’t your thing you might wanna skip it)
There’s hundreds and thousands of free meditations that can be found on YouTube. They have morning meditations to motivate you for a successful day as well. I wanted to share this in hopes of helping someone out there who may be struggling with insomnia, anxiety, or someone who just needs a damn chill pill. Let me know if you try any of these and what you think!
Here’s one I really like. Hope it doesn’t offend anyone. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=92i5m3tV5XY
I listened to the sleep meditation guide last night. Was up at 3am reading your blog wide awake. I fell right asleep right after listening. Always a fan of new guided meditations! Thanks TJ