As February throws out its last few cold fronts and the promise of spring approaches, many of us find ourselves wondering how we could possibly be two months in to 2018 already (weren't the holidays yesterday?)
We met Melanie Holst-Collins of Grow Your Lovespace during a Guided Meditation last year and instantly fell in love with her practice. Meditation can feel intimidating for many of us, but her words felt calming and accessible, event within the heart of bustling West Campus.
So, February felt like no better time to slow down and reset our mind, body and heart. As we get ready for this Sunday's session at Space 24 Twenty, we chat with Melanie to learn more about how she got started and what she can recommend to those of us beginning our practice.
Peep more below and follow Melanie's journey here!
Hey Melanie! We're looking forward to your Guided Meditation at Space 24 Twenty. Can you tell us more about Grow Your Lovespace and how your journey began?
I'm really looking forward to facilitating this sacred space as well! Grow Your Lovespace is a purpose driven platform and company that empowers, encourages and supports women and men in re-learning to accept their humanness in order to grow and enrich their spirit, through curated sacred spaces and positive, insightful online content.
I intentionally began this journey with Grow Your Lovespace in 2015 when I became certified as a Life Coach. My personal spiritual journey led me enroll in an Integrative Yoga Therapy teacher training, become certified and incorporate my passion for whole wellness, healing, Yoga and serving others to create this platform.
In addition to practicing meditation, what other daily rituals or routines would you recommend to help maintain a peaceful, introspective life-style?
1.Gratitude! Gratitude! Gratitude! cultivating a grateful heart, in the midst of every life experience is a daily practice that I have adopted and integrated into a way of being that allows me to experience inner peace that is enduring. Gratitude is the currency of abundance.
2. Turn paying attention into an intentional daily practice. Simply paying attention to your inner and outer environment throughout your day is such a healthy and helpful tool for attuning to yourself. Presence is free and accessible in any moment
3. Set intention. An intention is simply stating and claiming how you 'intend' to be, show up or move through the world at any given time, which then, on a subtle level, sends energy towards it. It can be as simple as stating, "I go about my day in peace."
4. Designate space to vibrate higher. Whether is reading a book, a meditation practice, talking out loud to yourself in order to process something, prayer, saying thank you, stretching, dancing etc, choose a space to retreat to every time you do it. You are creating sacred space. Creating a space that supports you in raising your vibration.
Many people express having a difficult time meditating or simply setting thoughts aside for a minute. Do you have any tips for beginners or those of us practicing at home?
I feel as though most people have a limited view and expectation of what meditation 'should' feel or look like, mostly because it is often portrayed as inaccessible. For beginners, I always offer a reminder that in stillness and silence, it is actually completely normal to become aware of your thoughts, more. That awareness is actually apart of the meditation experience. It is extremely normal to notice how active your mind is in stillness and silence. That is, indeed, the blessing, because we are not aware of that when our bodies are moving as fast as our minds are. That awareness is what offers us the opportunity to choose to slow down. The major key, is returning to your breathe. Using your breath as an anchor is the key to practicing presence. This shift in perspective about what is truly normal when practicing stillness and silence can create less anxiety and self judgement when practicing.
Do you have a favorite spot to meditate?
I love to be still and silent while out in nature because personally, I believe that is where I feel most connected to the entity that most people call God.
However, my second favorite place is the space I've designated in my living room for ritual, reading and meditating. I have artwork, colorful fabric and a little alter with healing crystals, calming, resonate images, sacred smoke tools (sage, incense ans palo santo)
What would you say are the main benefits of consistent meditation?
A consistent practice of meditation offers the benefits of:
1. Greater awareness of your inner and outer environments
2. An increased sense of peace
3. Frequent, intentional mental, emotional and physical 'resets'
4. The development of personal presence
For those of us joining you this coming Sunday, what should we expect? Anything you suggest to prepare beforehand?
I offer coming with no other expectation, except to simply have an experience that will enrich your spirit.
Before hand, I suggest thinking about how to intend to show up and intend to 'be' during our time together! Come with an open mind and an open heart.