Neigh #6…Make time to meditate. Stop and breathe. Ask for guidance and listen for the answers that surround you. In the quiet you can hear what your heart is saying. Stay true to yourself and you will experience peace and serenity in your life.

Meditation is a new tool for me in my recovery. I thought that you had to light a candle, sit on a mat, cross your legs, and hold your hands in a prayer position to meditate. While that’s one great way to create a quiet space and focus on the stillness, it’s not the only way. You can meditate in many different ways and at any time of the day or night. Centering your being by intentionally slowing down and breathing is a great way to start your day, give yourself a spiritual lift during the day, or help you fall back to sleep in the middle of the night.

I started meditating in my rehabilitation center. We practiced sound meditation, which uses musical instruments to create a calming effect, allowing our minds to slow down as we concentrated on the sounds. The idea was to focus on different parts of our bodies instead of on the crazy thoughts that occupied space in our minds. We also sat across from one another, staying completely quiet for 5 minutes, looking into each other’s eyes, and finding a sense of calm from the person across from us. Both experiences seemed awkward at first. By the end of my month’s stay, my favorite lesson to attend was the sound meditation.

When I returned home, I began doing reading meditations and it is a practice that I continue today. I read at least four meditations daily, assuring me that there will be at least one positive thought to focus on. I am inspired with new ideas or I am comforted when I’m stressed. Sometimes I’m given the message simply to be in gratitude in every moment of my day.

My go-to is my breathing meditation. I can do it anywhere, but my favorite place is in the barn. I begin every Serenity in a Barn with a meditation with the horses. We stand with a horse and concentrate on our breathing. We focus on the noises in the barn, feel the wind or the sun on our faces, experience being heart to heart and matching our energy with the horses’ energy. It gives everyone a chance to slow down and focus on their hearts instead of on their busy stress-filled days.

If you don’t have a horse, remember that you can meditate anywhere by breathing, quieting your thoughts, and bringing your focus to your breath or your heartbeat.

If you don’t have a horse, remember that you can meditate anywhere by breathing, quieting your thoughts, and bringing your focus to your breath or your heartbeat. You can be in a car listening to soft music, taking a walk, or if it’s the only place you can find to take a private moment to breathe, in a restroom! Wherever you are, breathe in and out, slowly, until you feel in control of your stress or anxiety. Keep meditating until you are relaxed and ready to face the moment in a better, healthier place in your mind or body.

Meditation can be prayer time, a time to allow healing in your soul. It can be sitting and listing three moments of your day that you’re grateful for. It can be listening to quiet music, or listening to nothing, which is powerful too. In a world of cell phones, internet, and social media, it’s easy to be distracted. Choose meditation to fill yourself with peace and serenity.

Our horses are waiting to meditate with you. They will help you slow your breathing. Without judgment they will see into your soul, taking away anxious, stressful thoughts and allowing you to listen to what your heart is saying. Make yourself a priority today, and we will see you in the barn!