Guided Meditations For Busy People
Heart-centered service providers and entrepreneurs know a thing or two about keeping the candle burning at both ends, for many hours at a time, and for many people. Just as it can be stimulating, it can also become exhausting when there is tons of energy going out and not enough being generated within.
Why consider meditating? The near-impossible odds of catching up or keeping pace in our busy world contribute to feelings that include regret (about the past) and worry (about the future). The good news is there’s a way to balance this: It’s called Being Present.“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery Click To Tweet
Often, the things our lives need most–compassion, forgiveness, inner peace, love, silence–are the very things we put off for another day. They don’t show up on our to-do list or on our calendar. Instead, they become wishes, and go unfulfilled, for that day rarely comes.
How do I know this? I’ve done it myself. For years, I said, “I should meditate.” For years, I did not meditate. Clearly, this was not an effective approach to meditation.
By now, you’ve heard about the benefits of meditation. Research has proven that meditation:
- changes neural pathways in the brain
- raises level of awareness and productivity
- reduces stress hormones
- increases compassion for self and others
And, I get it…knowing this and wanting these results, do not necessarily translate into taking action.
Resistance shows up. Mine included: I should do this. I don’t know where to start. I don’t have enough time. What if it’s not worth my time? What if it doesn’t work for me? Perhaps you’ve had similar thoughts or have different reasons for not meditating.
Come to think of it, the tiresome trio of “should, ought-to and struggle” have never paved the way to what matters most to me. How have they been working for you?
Eventually, I asked a powerful question. The one I aspire to pull out of my hat when what I know and what I’m doing are not in-sync:
How can it [meditation] be easy?
One key way was to have anytime access to high quality meditation resources. I decided to crowd-source, put the question out to my coaching colleagues and they responded wholeheartedly. The resources they recommended were free, varied, and forever changed my relationship with meditation.
For the first time, I discovered guided meditations that resonated with me. I went from not knowing where to start (so many resources!) or how to do it on my own (I wanted a guide!) to allowing myself to be led by a voice, a technique, and a way of centering that I wanted to return to.
Although I still consider myself new to meditation, the benefits I’ve experienced include greater sense of well being, clarity in decision-making, letting go of things (with less ado!), and taking quicker action.
Clearly, this list of meditations was too good not to share.“Do you make regular visits to yourself?” – Rumi Click To Tweet
In 2014, the first edition of Awesome Guided Meditations Coaches Love was born. I vetted every one of the recommendations. The Guide was downloaded and shared to jump-start and sustain mindfulness practices all around the world.
What follows is a revised and updated resource for Awesome Guided Meditations that Masterful Coaches use themselves and recommend to their clients.
Whether your meditation practice is currently non-existent, on-hold or consistent, don’t take our word for it. Experience it for yourself. We hope you will explore, experiment and enjoy one or more of the rich resources contained here.
In the first post of the Mindful Meditation Series, we curated top meditation books to get you started or re-engaged with meditation. I want to assure you that you can start right now, from wherever you are on the practice spectrum, and become more focused and relaxed through meditation.
In the second post of the mindfulness series, I created a Meditative Dip Audio for you to experience. It clocks at less than 20 minutes. Access it here.
Good stress or bad stress, guess what? It’s stress. Simply put, you cultivate more that is essential in your life by doing less. Everyone can benefit from meditation.
Your Leading True Call to Action
I challenge you to ask yourself how meditation could nourish you now. Maybe it offers a way to slow down? Maybe it’s a path to healing or greater self-acceptance? Or something completely different?
Whatever it is, put the time on your calendar and ask yourself what you need to make the practice easier. Possibly setting a timer, leaving a cushion set up or bookmarking your guided meditation for ready access.
EMPOWER TIPS: Set an intention before starting. THEN look at the guided meditations for one that could help you optimize the experience you’re going for. (ie well-being, wealth, relationships).
Put 3-4 sessions on your schedule each week for 10-20 minutes for the next 4 weeks and honor this commitment to yourself. Regardless of circumstances or outcome, commit to showing up on your mat (or chair). Observe how you feel, without judgment or expectations. Get an accountability partner if that helps and at 3-4 weeks, check in and celebrate your commitment to yourself. Ask yourself what you’d like to adjust (times per week, duration of session, resource). And keep showing up for the meditation experience that suits you.
Awesome Guided Meditation Resources for You
My objective in curating this list is to have anytime-access to a variety of guided meditations that are all in one place. Having high quality, professionally recommended meditations one click away greatly increases the chances of adding meditation to your self-care tool kit.
I am familiar with all the resources listed. Most of the guided meditations are free. When you bookmark this list, you can start, revive or maintain a resonant meditation practice of your own.
- Daniel Goleman
Renowned author and thought leader of emotional and social intelligence. This CD is helpful to learn what to do when you go silent, for deep relaxation and body awareness.
- Dan Siegel
Harvard trained physician, global innovator of brain science and author of Mindsight: The Science of Personal Transformation. Relaxing and centering audio “Wheel of Awareness.”
Ten-day trial program with option to subscribe and a mobile app. Meditation instruction lasts 10 minutes. Helpful to begin and sustain a meditation practice, integrates engaging animation and graphics. Tip: Many millennials find this an agreeable way to get started with meditation.
- Jon Kabat Zinn Meditation
YouTube meditation videos are free. Audios, videos, books and apps for fee. Kabat Zinn is Founder of Center for Mindfulness and Creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic.
- Kelly McGonigal
Leading expert on mind-body relationship at Stanford University. Guided, accessible audio practices to calm your mind and heal your pain. Tip: Kelly’s TED Talk.
- Kristin Neff
Self-compassion guided meditations and exercises.
- Orin & DaBen
Short (3-5 minutes) and full-length audios include themes of business, money, love and life purpose.
- Poulouse Mindfulness
Free 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class. Audios run 11-30 minutes in length and include body scan, sitting, standing and silent meditations.
- Susan Piver, The Open Heart Project
Free subscription delivers 10-minute meditation video instruction every Monday to help build or deepen a steady practice. Other options to deepen practice are available.
- Tara Brach
Weekly recordings, meditation and dharma (path of conduct) talks. Extensive meditation audio/video library. Special section for those new to meditation. Tara Brach is a world-renowned author, psychotherapist, master meditation teacher and practitioner who founded Insight Meditation Community of Washington, D.C.
- UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center
Easy-access meditations, breathing exercises and online classes for the new and experienced meditator.
- And finally, for those days you seek a slightly different approach to meditation: F*ck That: A Guided Meditation
As the name implies, this is not standard (G-rated) meditation fare. Irreverent meditations on YouTube with storyteller Jason Headley.
NOW, OVER TO YOU! Which meditation would you like to try? What would you add to this list?
A consistent self-care practice is essential for a healthy you and a healthy business.
Discover how to start and sustain a personalized mindfulness practice as part of your commitment to live a healthy, centered and resilient life.
With appreciation to the following coaches for contributing their favorite meditation resources: Mark Hoelter, Steve Mitten, Tia Sparkles, Megan Everett, Houkje Ross, Lianne Raymond, Anna Claudia, Novaes Mendonca, Vicky Jo Varner.
Want to share this Awesome List of Guided Meditations? No problem, so long as no changes are made and the article is shared with attribution and in full. For other uses, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Copyright 2016 Gail Gaspar Coaching
Hi, I’m Gail Gaspar. I help small business owners, entrepreneurs and coaches step in to purposeful career roles that result in more impact, fulfillment and revenue–through coaching, courses and exclusive content.