By Laurie Stone, L.Ac.
Stress less? This is my big Yes! to Ziva Meditation.
I thought I knew meditation. I’ve done various forms over the last twenty years. I wouldn’t say that I followed any particular discipline or had total consistency with it, but regular enough. And even more so a few years ago after reading Hal Elrod’s “Miracle Morning” which really did revolutionize my mornings.
Instead of setting my alarm for just the last second before I have to jump out of bed, frantically rushing through a shower and breakfast to make it to work just on time, I’ve had a regular practice of getting up a little earlier to be more leisurely about it.
My morning is typically my sunrise alarm clock (I cannot live without this), then a 5 minute snooze, bathroom, and a variation of a 10 minute stretch routine or exercise, 10 minutes of meditation, maybe a little reading, journaling, or dog cuddles. Then I’m on the go.
So yeah, I thought I was a decent meditator. Then over the past six months I kept getting all these signs to try Ziva meditation. It showed up in my Facebook news feed, a friend mentioned it, someone I follow online was practicing it, and so on, until a few weeks ago I decided to dive in.
Emily Fletcher just rocked my world. She teaches a very specific technique of Mindfulness-Meditation-Manifesting that she calls Ziva.
This is not meditation for monks living in a monastery (though I bet it’d be good there too). This is meditation for busy people with busy lives who are overwhelmed and overstressed and wish to feel better. As Emily says…
You don’t meditate to get good at meditation. You meditate to get good at life.
Her excellent new book is now out: Stress Less, Accomplish More – she wrote this so that her technique would be more accessible to anyone interested.
I knew for me personally, I would be less likely to maintain a new habit just from reading the book, so I actually signed up for her 15-day online program. You watch one video a day and she guides you through the two daily meditations. By the end of the 15 days you are completely self-sufficient and have a technique that you can use on your own every day for the rest of your life.
What I didn’t know before that I know now….
Mindfulness is different than meditation. Most of what I was doing before now would be considered mindfulness.
What exactly a mantra is and how you use it. We throw the word mantra around and confuse it with things like affirmations and motivational sayings. It’s really just a sound word and a key part of how you access a different part of your brain. It’s not about sitting cross-legged on a cushion, touching fingertips, chanting “om” out loud.
The point is NOT about emptying your mind. Telling your brain to stop thinking is as impossible as it is to tell your heart to stop beating. That’s its job.
That it IS possible to be a busy bee and find time to meditate for 15 minutes twice daily. So many people are in competition for the title of “You just don’t understand, I really am the busiest person in the world”.
This was the one rule I balked at, especially when I learned the second one was supposed to be before dinner. “Ugh I can’t do that – I work, I run a business and wear most of the hats in it, I teach classes, I have obligations at home. I have meetings and appointments and continuing education classes. You don’t understand how busy I am!”
But I made a promise to myself to do it, and for three weeks now, I have found a way – it’s a different time each day but it IS before my dinner. Sometimes it’s right after the last patient leaves the clinic, sometimes it’s while being a passenger in the car (not the driver!!), and sometimes it’s while I’m waiting for something/someone. And you know what? It really does make my evenings so much better. I now believe that I don’t have time to NOT do it.
Some things I’ve noticed so far…
About three days in, during one of the sessions, my jaw relaxed and dropped. Physically and noticeably. I knew I carried tension in my jaw but had no idea how much.
I also definitely went through some unstressing that she described – I had incredible fatigue that felt different than anything I experienced before – it didn’t feel bad, I didn’t feel sick, I didn’t feel like my adrenals were burned out or anything, and I could get through the day and work just fine. I was just profoundly tired for a good week, going to bed earlier, feeling good about slowing my pace a little bit. Then this fatigue gradually started lifting and I’ve had more creative ideas recently than I’ve had in ages.
And the sleep, ohmygoodness, the sleep. I was surprised at how deep I’ve been sleeping. Some of my dreams have felt like full-length feature movies, so vivid and detailed. And I thought I had fairly decent sleep beforehand.
Let me share another big helpful tip from Emily: A deep meditation is no better for you than a shallow meditation. Just get yourself into the chair twice a day every day.
This helps me because occasionally my brain is fairly restful, feeling like a really cool deep meditation. But a lot of the time, my thoughts are like a dog chasing a squirrel around a merry-go-round at Disneyland – all over the place. Also known as the “monkey mind.” I no longer judge that as bad – it just is. And it’s no reason to avoid meditating.
These are just some of the things I’ve noticed personally so far, and I’d be curious to hear about what you experience if you decide to try Ziva.
In the meantime, I will continue to sit myself down twice a day, every day and stress less!
The book links above are “affiliate links” with Amazon. This means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive an affiliate commission and there is absolutely no cost to you. I have no affiliation with Ziva Meditation other than just being a very happy customer!