Begin by doing the simple meditation described in the previous exercise once a week, and increase gradually until you are meditating six days a week for twenty minutes a day. Write out a schedule for yourself. Make the goals easier to meet than not to meet. Do not set yourself up for failure. We human beings change slowly. Respect who you are. Make your goals measurable and doable.
Here is a sample goal chart.
My Meditation Goals
Week 1: I will meditate Saturday at 4 p.m. for five minutes. I’ll turn phone off.
Week 2: I will meditate Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. for ten minutes. I’ll turn phone off.
Week 3: Same as week 2.
Week 4: I will meditate Wednesday before dinner for twenty minutes; Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. for twenty minutes. I’ll turn phone off.
Week 5: Same as week 4.
Week 6: Same as week 5.
Week 7: I will meditate Monday before dinner, Wednesday before dinner, Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. for twenty minutes. I will turn phone off.
Week 8: Same as week 7.
Week 9: Same as week 8.
The purpose of observing your breath is to keep you in the now. Your body knows exactly how to breathe, even during labor. All you need to do is be mindful of your breath. Observe it and observe it and continue to observe it. Continue to receive the next breath. Your jaw will relax. Your hands will relax. This practice of observing your breath will benefit your labor when you reach it. Using the breath to calm yourself will seem like second nature by then and you and your support person can use it to remain calm and focused.
This is all you need to do when you meditate. Many feelings will arise when you begin to focus on your breath. It’s okay. Feel them. They, too, will pass. Continue to focus on your breath.