I think it's safe to say that in today's chaotic, fast paced, and information-overload world, many of us are looking at ways to escape from the daily noise of our busy lives. To close the door on nagging to-do lists and emails, to reconnect with ourselves, our emotions, our well-being, and our sanity. And while the occasional beach vacation or spa day might suffice (if you're lucky enough to afford either of them), it seemed to me that lately I needed something more.
I've never been particularly drawn to meditation, but I have a few good friends who I know engage in a daily practice. So when I decided it was time to carve out some time and space in my own home to try this thing out, I asked my good friend Deb Achak if she would share her space with me for a day to talk about her meditation rituals, and allow me to style up her beautiful attic loft with details for a calm and minimal meditation space to share with you all today!
As you can see, this space is incredibly ideal for meditating! Not all of us are so fortunate to have a big open space like this, but honestly - it doesn't matter. If you're interested in starting a meditation practice or creating a space in your home for self care, you can do it just about anywhere. It's about picking out and prioritizing an area where you can focus on you for even just five minutes a day.
Put in a little shelf, bench or tray - any surface that you can dedicate to your ritual items - and make it work for you! If you plan on using it for meditation, include a rug or a simple meditation pillow (I have this one!) so that you can get comfy. Lastly, if you are in a small space, investing in a screen to block out other clutter or visual distractions can be helpful.
Next, focus on all the items you want around you during your practice. When I started reading up on essential elements for meditation, one of the biggest ones was scents. They can really help to calm and focus your energy! And they really work for me. But, while I enjoy a scented candle as much as the next gal, if you're using them a lot then you're going to burn through them quickly. Sprays are also great, but don't always linger long enough to do the trick. That's why I added an Aera diffuser to our space.
I've been using these in the office for years, and they are fantastic. You have complete control over how strong or minimal you want the scent to flow from the diffuser, and the oils are ultra-clean, hypoallergenic and so pure. The Smart Diffuser version even connects to their Aeraforhome app that allows you to turn it on from anywhere, so you can infuse your space with scent before you're even in it. And best of all, their scent capsules last an average of 500 hours.
Scent is so personal and therefore so important! For me, the 'Support Breathe' aromatherapy capsule was my favorite. A combination of eucalyptus, tea tree and pine, it feels grounding and opening to me. Other scents in this line include Deep Relax, Revive Morning, and De-Stress Mind. So your scent is literally correlating with your intentions for that meditation. Genius.
Another important ritual for any kind of sacred space is doing an energy cleansing. Some people use sage or palo santo to clear rooms, but I prefer using sound rituals - specifically a tibetan singing bowl. I'm highly sensitive to smells (hence my love of my Aera!), and using the bowl actually helps my mind to focus as the start of my meditation. Side note: there are some really great apps or playlists for tibetan singing bowls and I love using those too!
Crystals can also help bring specific energy to your space, but that's a whole other post in itself!! Deb's crystals include rose quartz (for love and compassion, and the heart chakra), celestite (for clarity and the throat, third eye and crown chakras), and citrine (for abundance and the solar plexus and sacral chakras). I also brought in a piece of selenite which has a cleansing quality not only for your crystals, but your own energy as well.
Lastly, I brought baskets to place items on the floor that I might want within reach. Having recently gotten more into tarot and oracle cards, I decided that these might be a good addition to my meditation practice. As it turns out, Deb does this too! She told me that at the end of her meditation ritual, she focuses on a question or thought for the day, and pulls a card. She also keeps a journal handy for any thoughts that come to her during her meditation. Having these nearby so that you can reach them without getting up from your meditation position is really key.
Mantras are also an important part of a meditation practice. Again, it's a topic that warrants a whole other post probably, but the basic idea is this: Mantras are there to help you focus your mind, which is why many people choose a mantra that isn't in their own language as it can be less distracting to their brains. Also, there is obviously something very beautiful about the tones and vibrations that come from these chants. I also like the idea of having a mantra that you can put up to look at. This print by Dorotea is perfect - it's happy and affirming.
Deb uses mantras that are associated with Kundalini yoga and meditation. Her opening mantra is: Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. The words mean “I honor (or bow to) the Infinite Wisdom, I honor the teacher within.” The mantra is chanted three times. Then, she moves on to this one: “Aad Guray Nameh, Jugaad Guray Nameh, Sat Guray Nameh, Siri Guru Dav-vay Nameh.” This mantra is for guidance and protection and is often chanted three times following the opening mantra.
I highly recommend finding a mantra that resonates with you and your focus or spirituality. It could be a religious text or you could also go with a modern mantra that comes in the form of an 'I am' statement. Whatever it is that you are seeking more of in your life or want to be, use that as your mantra. For example: "‘I am open to receiving abundance in all forms" is a nice open ended mantra. Or you can get more specific if you are working on yourself. 'I am strong,' or 'I am beautiful'. Repeating this mantra over and over to focus your mind until it's calm.
After visiting with Deb in her space, hearing about her practice, and adding my own essential elements, I can't wait to create a mindful space in my own home to get started on daily meditation! And as soon as it's set up, I'm sure I'll be sharing it and more of my meditation practice on here.
Also! If you're totally sold on having an Aera in your own space, we've teamed up to offer 20% off of diffusers for Coco Kelley readers, and we'll be doing an instagram giveaway soon, so keep your eyes open for that! (If you haven't seen my posts in your feed lately, now's a good time to turn on those post alerts so you don't miss it!).
To purchase your own diffuser, simply enter the code: COCOKELLEY20 at checkout. I can't recommend this product enough - not only for a meditation space, but any room. And they offer many scents outside of the aromatherapy line too. Hop over to check them all out here.