Try Personalizing Your Meditations

Meditation and I have had an on-again, off-again relationship since I was twelve. Sitting for long periods not only hurts my back but makes me painfully aware of how heavy my head is. I get cold, twitchy, and itchy, and basically resemble a kid on a sugar binge. If I manage to stay relatively still, I fall asleep. While this totally describes my meditation practice at age twelve, I am chagrined to admit it’s not far off from my current reality sometimes when I just can’t get grounded.

Through the years, I’ve found ways to make my meditations meaningful. Experimenting with sounds, mantras, and different types of meditations has been beneficial to my practice and overall mental health. The one thing I’ve learned is meditation is truly a practice. I read about people who sit in silence for one to three hours a day, every day, and I am astounded. For one, my house is only quiet that long in the middle of the night. Two, my antsy ass won’t make it past thirty minutes, fifty if I’m lucky.

One thing I found to be so powerful (and more beneficial than trying to increase my meditation time) is writing and recording my own meditations. The power is in speaking words of light and affirmation over myself. Admittedly, it wasn’t easy at first. In fact, I had to meditate a bit to get clear on what to write. However, once I finished my first guided meditation, I realized there is often a distinct difference in the energy when you speak affirmations versus when you hear them from others.

I first noticed the difference when I discovered I could record affirmations on the My Affirmations app. While I do not like the sound of my own voice, it was definitely better than just reading the passage or hearing a computerized voice. It felt like a daily pep talk, albeit prerecorded. Then I decided to add my own affirmations. I wrote things I needed to affirm in myself. For example, I am shielded. I can let love out without letting negativity in reminds me that I do not have to be a sponge for every person I encounter, and I can feel the full range of emotions without fear.

After playing with the recorded affirmations, I found a meditation script and recorded it on my voice app. You get the progression. The first two meditations I recorded were self-love and a grounding meditation. I searched for meditation scripts, found the ones that spoke to me and seemed well-paced and relaxing, then recorded them on my Voice Recorder app. I listened to them when I went on walks because, at that time, walking meditations were more effective at reducing my anxiety.

It may take time to build up to writing your own meditation. Try starting with your favorite inspirational quotes or lyrics, a few affirmations, or reading a goal. If it’s a goal, describe what it’s like living that goal. So, you aren’t going to record, “I will be more organized.” Trust me, it doesn’t work. Instead, list out what an organized life looks like for you. “I wake up at 6 am. My clothes have already been chosen and ironed. I make my bed, put on my meditation music, and hop in the shower.”

When looking for guided meditation scripts, first search the type of meditation or subject. Are you looking for a grounding, loving-kindness, abundance, self-love, body scan, etc.? Once you have a topic in mind, look for words that resonate. Also, avoid words that do not activate the opposite feeling from the one you are trying to achieve. For example, I found that listening to grounding meditations that mention anxiety and panic actually heightens my anxiety. Additionally, I learned that when I need grounding, I prefer meditations that do not overuse visualizations. It’s nearly impossible to calm myself if I’m struggling to see the ocean, the fifty shades of the blue sky, happy sea animals, and billowing sails. That level of imagery is only beneficial if I am already in a relaxed state. If visualizations are not your thing, look for body scans, affirmations, and mantras, etc. I know someone who gets flustered by any visualization exercise beyond the colorful balls of light. It’s just not how their brain works. If this is you, try music and sound baths too?

The point is, you will probably get more out of your meditations and affirmations if you write (or find) the words you need to hear. Record them and play them back to yourself as many times as needed. My last note is, if you are using a script, feel free to substitute any words you desire, like you with I, or universe with God or heaven. If a word doesn’t feel right, find one that does. I know for me the word money didn’t always feel correct. I would mentally edit with a number for something more manageable. This taught me two things. One, I have a limiting belief around money. And two, I long for freedom more than a specific dollar amount. So now I will substitute money for freedom or abundance, which prevents me from mentally cringing or pulling out of the meditation to come up with the perfect dollar.

Try all the tips and let me know how it goes. Happy meditating!