Life, Soul Homework, Universe

Home Inside

I’d been trying to learn how to meditate for over a year when I came across a video from a yoga teacher who said meditation is more than just having a quiet mind.

She said, “the goal is not a quiet mind. The goal is to be present and aware of what’s going on in your mind long enough to create a habit of coming back to the present moment.”

Because my mind is constantly wandering, that advice has been extremely helpful to me. I’d never been able to achieve true meditation because I couldn’t get to the quiet place. I never believed I’d be able to do it.

Okay Kari, just sit still and breathe.

Here I go.

Breathe in and breathe out.

Just relaxing and not thinking of anything.

Just being in the moment.

Was that a cardinal I just heard outside?

I wonder if I remembered to fill the bird feeder….

Bring it back in to this moment.

I’m breathing in and out.

Focusing on what my body feels like as I inhale and exhale.

Did I just feel a pain in my stomach? I wonder what that was? Do I need to worry about that pain or am I just going to…

Keep breathing and focus on my toes and work my way up to my knees and stay in this moment as I inhale and exhale.

That’s much better.

You know what really creeps me out? Men who smoke pipes.

Shit.

Where was I?

I truly meditated for the first time in January. It was a guided 10 minute meditation, and I was so excited afterwards

I believe the advice I received from the yoga teacher helped me reach this place. Knowing that it was okay to let my thoughts wander when trying to meditate as long as I gently keep reminding myself to return to my inner home base.

I got stuck on the lie that if I couldn’t sit motionless and be zen, that I would never be able to meditate. Meditation looks different for everyone, and there are many ways of getting to that home inside.

Valerie June’s album, The Moon and The Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers, is one of my all-time favorite albums by any artist because I could listen to the entire album from beginning to end and appreciate every single song.

I’m sharing this post today because I felt someone could benefit from Valerie’s words and music. It’s nice to have a place to call home on the inside.

At the end of the song Home Inside, there is even 30 seconds of silence. In an interview with American Songwriter, Valerie said:

“Silence is important,” June explains. “At the end of the record, there’s the song ‘Home Inside,’ and then there’s what I call a silence second. It’s 30 exact seconds of silence before the bird songs begin. I think all the songs that I’ve ever written have come from that place.”

It’s nice to get lost inside songs and find some respite.

I hope you’re able to find that respite inside of yourself as well.

Best Guided Meditations of 2022

28 thoughts on “Home Inside”

  1. I have found that being able to focus on breathing and gently bringing myself back to my body when my squirrel-brain wants to run around is the best cure for insomnia. I just notice, “Oh, hi brain, you’ve wandered off again,” and I guide it back to our body. Glad you’re finding so many tools that work for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Years ago I took a class called Centering Prayer, which is the Catholic version of meditating. It was helpful to learn how to focus on breathing and learn how to re-focus your mind when it drifts. However, I find that I’m at my meditative best when I’m in nature, walking through it or gazing upon it. Not as structured as *proper* meditation but it works for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it easier to meditate in my backyard! Meditation, prayer, and other types of spiritual practice, in my opinion, can take on a variety of forms. Humans attempt to fit everything into tidy little boxes. That’s probably why I fought for so long.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oooh, love this! I meditate daily, and I do a guided meditation weekly. I do think so much of it is just being present, and being aware. Someone told me that I could meditate at red lights, and I actually do that. Breathe in, breathe out. This was so great to read and I’m so glad you have achieved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Mindfulness is a huge practice that helps me meditate. I think mindfulness alone is sometimes better than meditation. Being in the moment and not worrying about the next hour, day, month, etc. has greatly reduced my anxiety throughout the last two years.

      I’m so glad you have this practice too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for a post that resonates with all of us of the “wandering minds.” It remined me of Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Calmness is the living breath of God’s immortality in you.”

    Thank you for this moment of calm introspection through your post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I love that quote!

      I think that many of us believe meditation is inaccessible due to attention issues, when we may benefit from it the most. I am evidence that if you stay with it long enough, it will happen. 🙂

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

      Like

  5. I have “monkey mind” so I can certainly relate to this post! I find it extremely hard to sit in silent meditation. But I love guided meditations. My favorite (free) app is Insight Timer. You can choose different subjects, lengths, just music, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s why my therapist last year had recommended that book, Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind to me. It was really good, but I need to read it again because I feel myself slipping back into my old thinking habits that feed my anxiety. Yes, Insight Timer is free! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Was this post directed towards me and my wandering brain. Quieting the thoughts is one of my biggest challenges and from reading the comments, I’m not alone.
    Her music and words are mesmerizing. I can say the same about your palm in the basket by your front door.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chattering minds think alike.

      This explains why all of us get along so well. Perhaps we need to host a chattering minds conference. Can you imagine what a beautiful chaotic mess that would be?

      I just love Valerie June.

      Zoe, that palm has been with us for many years. And guess where we got her? HOME DEPOT. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. My 6th grade teacher, Sr. Josephine, lead us in meditation once. I always try to recreate that if I want to try to meditate. Honestly though, my mind will not quiet. My mind is always jogging in place at its very quietest. I laughed at your drifting thoughts. Glad this is something you’re starting to figure out.

    The last time I noticed breath in and out was last night when Coach was snoring, a very quiet snore, but a snore nonetheless. I was VERY aware of that breathing, but I don’t think it counts for meditating, especially since it was irritating the heck out of me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you learned to meditate from a nun.

      That was my mind! It’s been a long journey.

      Yeah, counting snores might make meditating difficult. Unless they are you’re own, then you’re mastering meditation. 🙂

      Like

  8. Oh my goodness I’m laughing soooo hard at this. I do this EXACT same thing!! I will say this, being in the moment for me has turned into a walk in the woods, or clipping my flowers, or getting my hands dirty in the garden. That’s where I find that my mind is able to finally sigh and just enjoy where I am in this life.

    Liked by 1 person

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