As someone who grew up in a very loud Greek family, silence wasn’t something I got to experience often. Our “quiet voices” could be heard from a mile away, which may explain where my anxiety stemmed from.

As an adult, and after moving off on my own, I have discovered the art of meditation and silence. It wasn’t an easy journey, and learning to let go of all the preconceived ideas I had around practicing meditation was definitely the hardest part.

I have been working within the mindfulness community for a few years now, and have people constantly reach out to me asking to help them learn how to meditate. So today, I thought I would share my secret to sitting in silence to reach enlightenment.

First thing’s first, release any idea you have about how to practice meditation.

There is no “right” or “perfect” way to do this. The idea that your mind must be free and clear from all thoughts is silly. Meditation’s goal is to help allow yourself the time and space to sit and just BE – no matter how cluttered your mind may feel. Let whatever thoughts you have come and go as they please. We are humans, so of course our minds are going to race; don’t let this be the reason you don’t allow yourself 5 to 10 minutes to go inward and reflect.

The other thing to keep in mind, is that there is no “right” way to meditate.

There is no set amount of time you have to sit with yourself in order to feel like your time is validated. Weather you choose to sit in silence, sit with music, or listen/watch a guided meditation, as long as your intention is pure and precise, you have mastered the art of silence & meditation perfectly.

Also leave behind the idea that silence means no noise from the world around you.

In my opinion, silence within meditation comes in many forms: quiet, soft music, background noise, passing traffic, etc. As long as that noise isn’t distracting you from being able to take a look within yourself for a few minutes a day and really focus on your inner being, you are an expert at meditation.

December is a crazy and hectic time for most of us; so this month, I invite you to mediate at least once a week, in whatever way you see fit, and allow yourself whatever amount of time you need to just be and breathe.

Give yourself the gift of inner peace this season. We all have to start somewhere when it comes to self care and self reflection, don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Close your eyes, sit, and breathe.