New practitioners of meditation sometimes have a hard time finding that mindfulness zone. Racing thoughts, to-do lists, and physical discomfort can be big roadblocks that many just can’t get past.
The first thing we recommend is to incorporate CBD into your meditation practice. According to a study done by MRI-Simmons, one third of CBD users swear by the hemp derivative to help them get into the right headspace. It makes sense—studies show that CBD has positive impacts on mood and focus, which may help calm your mind and improve concentration. Try a dropper full of Miraflora’s fast-acting full-spectrum CBD tincture, made from 100 percent organic hemp flower oil grown in Boulder County, Colo., 10 minutes or so before you begin.
Next, having a dedicated meditation space can be key to getting your brain and body into the right groove. For this, we asked Marla Goldberrg, meditation expert, energy healer, and host of the podcast “Guided Spirit Conversations,” to dish us her personal secrets to building a session-supporting space. Here are her six simple tricks.
No. 1: Earphones
Having earbuds on hand to play music or a guided meditation can help you stay in the moment. Not only do they fill your head with relaxing chords and words, but they can block out surrounding sounds that might distract you. “It’s like having your own personal sound booth,” says Goldberrg.
However, if you happen to be in a noisy environment that earbuds just can’t mute, Goldberrg recommends incorporating the noise into your meditation. “You can ask yourself, ‘What does that sound feel like? What color would it be? Does it have texture?’ Don't let it disrupt and upset you, just bring it in and see what happens. You may notice the incredible depths of sound meditation when you bring in those ambient noises.”
No. 2: Talismans
To create a space that feels inviting and safe, Goldberrg likes to set out items that make her feel connected to positivity. “I have an altar of stones and crystals and things that mean something to me. It could be a photograph of a loved one—or many photographs of many people you love or admire.” She says the idea is to surround yourself with things that relax you immediately when you look at them, so just by walking into the space, you feel supported. Bonus: When you travel, bring a few of these items with you to bring a bit of bliss with you wherever you go.
No. 3: Smudging Stick
Goldberrg recommends regularly smudging your space by burning sage to clear out any energy that might accumulate over time—especially when you’re stressed. “We drop energy wherever we go. Over time it piles up and it creates blocks,” she explains. Her advice is to allow the smoke to get under your chair (if you have one) and in the corners of the space where energy can accumulate. You can do this daily or once every couple of weeks, depending on the level of stress you’re experiencing.
No. 4: Blanket
If your temperature drops a bit when you become still, having a blanket nearby could help you stay in the moment. “I’m one of those believers that if you’ve got an itch, scratch it. So if you get cold, and covering yourself would make you more comfortable, do it.” She finds it best to just address things like temperature changes that might distract you so you can get back into your session. “Because once you have that thought that you feel chilly, you can have another and then they snowball,” she says.
No. 5: Incense and Candles
Filling the air with pleasant scents can help you focus on your breath by making the process more enjoyable, says Goldberrg. “Just pick a smell you like,” she says—it’s as easy as that. When you fill an area with a scent that you find joyful, she says “it just brings you to a different level.”
No. 6: A Comfortable Seat
While some forms of meditation, such as transcendental, call for you to sit on the floor, Goldberrg recommends a more comfortable chair, especially for those who are just getting started. “I think comfort is very important. Whatever you choose, you want to feel like you could sit like that for at least five or 10 minutes,” she says. And having a chair back to lean against is helpful to a lot of people. If sitting on the floor works for you, however, Goldberrg advises to use meditation cushions. Either way, the goal is to feel peaceful while you sit, and however you get there is A-OK. “The whole purpose is to clear your mind so that you can receive.”