by Katie Jeanes

“I don’t know what to do.”

Sound familiar? Weʼve all been there once or twice. Picking a major, changing careers, trying to get out of a bad relationship, or just figuring out how to pay the bills. At some point or another, weʼve all uttered those six words. The thing is though, we DO know what to do. Deep down, we know what we love to do, what we want from our relationship, and what we want out of life. If only we could have more faith in ourselves and our decisions.

Well, we can! The most successful trick I know of is meditation. And not in the hippy, ashram, Buddhist monk way. Iʼll admit it sounds a bit “woo woo”, but it works, and thatʼs good enough for me. You can meditate just about anywhere you like. Walking, sitting, lying down, on the bus, before breakfast or after work. All you need to do is be still, quiet your mind, ask your higher self what to do, and then wait patiently for the answer.

If I just lost you on that last bit, donʼt worry.

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Meditating is easy and hard at the same time — kind of like life. If youʼre new to it, I suggest starting by physically sitting still for five minutes. This means no checking your phone, making lists or channel surfing. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. If your mind is racing with to dos and deadlines, stick all of them in a mental coat check. As one of my favourite mentors says, “All your worries will still be there in 20 minutes, you can put them away for a little while.” Once youʼve cleared some space, bring your question into your mind, say it in your head, keep breathing and see what comes up. The answer might surprise you, or as is often the case for me, itʼs a confirmation of what I thought I should do, but wasnʼt quite ready for.

You can also write your question on a piece of paper and hold it in your hand during your meditation. If you donʼt have a question and just need a mental break, try reciting a mantra or affirmation. If youʼre feeling really fancy, you can say it in Sanskrit.

“I am open and ready to receive” is a good one if youʼre looking for a little guidance but not sure where to start. If quieting your mind seems harder than catching a fish with your bare hands, youʼre not alone. This is the hardest part. Personally, I like to take it in baby steps. Start with 5 minutes (you can set your phone timer) and work your way up from there. Itʼs amazing what you can do if you practice.