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Meditation. At one time, you probably imagined a shadowy figure atop a mountain radiating powerful energy and focus. While this is probably true of people who meditate long and hard, it isn’t the way, or the only way to do it. However, apps, platforms, and our hectic lifestyles have really given this introspection process a facelift. What was once considered unattainable, elusive and mysterious, is now highly recommended and practiced the world over.

Besides helping us center ourselves and stay calm, it also allows us to step outside the circle and view our problems as a third person. Latest tools and platforms have also showed us that meditation can be practiced anywhere — from the comfort of our homes to a crowded place. Gone are the days when we imagined only a specific setting would help us acquire inner peace.

As the movement towards stepping back and breathing deep gathers steam, the ‘how’ of the practice, too, is constantly taking new form. Speaking of running as meditation, Founder of Chesapeake Yoga & Wellness, Julie Philip Turner elucidates, “(Running) helps you seek out new life and new civilizations and boldly go where you haven’t gone before.” Others take to painting, cleaning, organizing or gardening. Turning to a particular mindful activity to meditate helps create a routine. But it isn’t always easy.

We have thoughts at all points in time. In fact, it’s safe to say we are mostly stressing and worrying at those times. Author of Zen Habits, Leo Babuata shares in his blog, “if you have thoughts, that’s normal. We all do. Our brains are thought factories, and we can’t just shut them down.” However, when you take out the time to meditate, you are devoting those moments to de-stressing and viewing your problems objectively.

Babuata shares, “Before I started meditating, I never thought about what was going on inside my head — it would just happen, and I would follow its commands like an automaton. These days, all of that still happens, but more and more, I am aware of what’s going on. I can make a choice about whether to follow the commands. I understand myself better (not completely, but better), and that has given me increased flexibility and freedom.”

So breathe deep and do it often! Take the ConsciousLeap, Make You Happen!