For me, meditation always seemed like another of those 21st Century buzzwords that I felt I should probably be using when talking about living healthily. It also seemed like something I should probably try which is why I insisted on buying multiple books on the subject on various occasions when I was “Finding myself”. Up until last month, I realised I hadn’t been reading them properly and I certainly hadn’t been trying very hard when it came to feeling all zen as I pretended to practice meditation.
Aside from working a full-time job, some part-time work and managing a blog, I like to find outlets that show I have some free ME time. This is why I sometimes venture to the pub for a cocktail and make friends with the staff in Starbucks so I can feel like less of a loner as I do my writing on a Saturday afternoon. Cross this with the fact I start a course soon, have a big basket of relationships to keep up with and like to dabble in the occasional ‘Come Dine With Me’ episode and well, my free-time is rather scarce.
As we all get busier, it seems that this is the time to become more self-aware and learn how to chill and be with ourselves. This is what Hilda Carroll of The Happiness Business taught me when I embarked on an online meditation course with her in June 2015. Come Om With Me is exactly what it says on the proverbial tin; it’s all about the “Om” and well, Hilda is the “with me” as she is right there with you from day one. You (the beginner) learn the skills to sit still for between 5 and 20 minutes per day and have the support of an expert there for any questions via a Facebook group and email. So, how does THAT work you say? Well, you’re brought to Hilda’s living room without actually having to move. She mails a video each morning for 28 days with advice on a specific area of meditation. This includes posture, sitting position, breathing and resources/tools to have nearby such as music and incense. Of course, Hilda knows we’re all human and so, advises participants to take it at their own pace and not berate themselves should a day be missed or meditation time become more varied. As Hilda would say herself of this traditionally religious practice:
“One of the main reasons people don’t get started with meditation is because they think they don’t have time for it. And the truth is that even as little as five minutes can make a difference to our wellbeing, as long as we make it a regular practice.”
As I’ve said in the past, it doesn’t need to be complicated. Developing a new and positive habit is manageable so long as the tools and support are there to encourage success. The fact that you don’t have to leave the house is, in itself suitable for busy bees like myself; add to that the fact that Hilda has designed each video and audio to be short and concise so as to ensure ease of use, and it’s a total winner.
Like any beginner, questions are bound to crop up. I felt myself thinking and sometimes saying “This might be a silly question” as I bombarded Hilda with queries of how to breath, manage thoughts during the process and whether or not it sounded like I was doing it right. Her support was fantastic and made it feel like she was right there giving a high-five from when I got the first five minutes done. Now, I’m working on doing it myself everyday and still feel the support as I hear Hilda’s direction on the downloaded audios.
Hilda runs her courses regularly and will run a new one for the month of August. It’s a more flexible online course in that you don’t need to do the whole lot and so, can pay a lower fee. As Hilda says, “Sign up at anytime, start straight away.” The course is super flexible and details on this course and the specific course I did (starting again in September) can be found here.