Blaire's Midlife Coaching Tip - Get a meditation app
Blaire’s midlife coaching tip - Get a meditation app
Meditation apps can help you get the most from your midlife coaching and life changing decisions
Meditating without any support (just om-ing, for instance) is hard for most of us. Like anything it’s a skill, and with practice you may find you don’t need to be guided in your meditation.
But I find that it’s much quicker to get in to the state I want to be in when I get support from an app. If you’re on any of our midlife coaching or escape the rat race programmes I will ALWAYS recommend adding meditation to your day.
Here are my favourite meditation apps
Calm is FULL of a wide variety of meditations. You can choose a topic (relaxation, sleep, energy), a background noise (like lapping waves) and the duration of the meditation. The “bedtime stories” are great, allowing you to fall asleep listening to someone’s voice. It’s on the pricey end of the spectrum (lifetime membership is £399). But I always find something that suits my mood and the quality is excellent. The variety of voices and ability to set up the app as you like it (imagery you like, background sounds you like, duration you like) makes it a sound investment.
This is a great meditation app for sceptics. I like the tone of voice that Dan Harris, a TV newscaster who discovered meditation after having a series of panic attacks, brings to this app. Again, it’s huge with a large variety of different meditations to suit your mood and needs. There’s a little video before the meditation when Dan asks the expert some probing questions to understand the purpose of this series of meditation e.g. can meditation make you a nicer person? It’s more than a meditation app, it’s a whole programme that can take you as deep in to meditation as you like and it’s my favourite at the moment. Price is $99 per year which gives you access to a wide range of teachers and topics as well as Dan’s sense of humour and curiousity.
Everyone seems to love Headspace although I didn’t adore it. If you like Andy Puddicome, the voice and founder of this app, you’ll love it. This was one of the first apps of its kind to go mainstream and turned a lot of men on to mindfulness and meditation so that can’t be a bad thing. There is a great deal of variety in this app too, once you sign up. And you can learn the basics without paying anything. As with all of these apps there is a free trial so you can test it out and during this stage you do get some really valuable content. $12.99 per month or $94.99 per year.
Not strictly a meditation app, Brett is actually a yoga teacher. I first found her when I was looking for morning stretches I could do in bed before I actually get up and she delivered. I love her style which is super-relaxing and, as a yoga instructor, she keeps things nice and simple. Her guided meditations are FREE although you can donate if you want to support her more. There is less variety than the apps I’ve mentioned but then again it’s free. And I do find that listening to the same meditation over and over takes away the element of surprise which means I’m more calm. I know what’s coming.
Now we are getting in to woo-woo territory. But I do like me some Abraham Hicks. If you don’t know about this, “Abraham” is not a real human but an energy force who is channeled by Esther Hicks. In Esther’s early channeling Abraham had quite a strong accent. Now, not so much! But if you can suspend your sceptism, and actually listen to what Esther is sharing, it can really get you in to a great frame of mind. I like her morning meditation (“This is a good morning!”) but I know it’s not to everyone’s taste. It is free though so nothing to lose!
How to use meditation apps
There are hundreds of meditation apps out there and, of course, you can always just head to YouTube and pick one from there.
For me, the main thing is that you do include meditation in to your day. When we’re getting midlife coaching or taking a course to help us change our lives, one of the most important thing we can do is start to connect with ourselves and with the present moment.
Meditation not only relaxes you or helps you fall to sleep but, more importantly, it builds your muscle in terms of being in the present. And while you may start by only being in the present for a moment at a time, as you practice you will build more muscle and be able to tap in to that ability whenever you feel yourself pulled back ini to the past or fretting about the future.
There is no stress in this exact moment. There is only what there is, right here, right now. And if you’re seeking peace, joy or a sense of freedom, starting in the present moment is the quickest way to access that.
Want to slow down?
If all this has tempted you to slow down, listen to my interview with the wonderful Brooke McAlary from the Slow Home Podcst. She has some great advice about slowing down (and it’s not what you might think!)