Molly Smithson

How to Meditate if You’re Poor, Busy or a White Dude Who Mocks Self-Care

Molly Smithson
How to Meditate if You’re Poor, Busy or a White Dude Who Mocks Self-Care

I will begin with a rant about achieving inner peace.

White dudes who crack jokes belittling ‘woo woo’ practices: you’re demeaning and belittling people’s beliefs.

I didn’t have a super religious upbringing, but since I can remember, my nana told me we were witches. Family stories often related to paranormal happenings around death, coincidences, our strong-as-hell pioneer ancestors who did their own magic. As a tween, I played on ‘oracle’ websites, learning tarot card meanings. For my twenty-third birthday, I treated myself to a reiki massage and new moon meditation that changed my life. I left with a rose quartz I still hold dear today. 

How dudes reading this see me, if they didn’t already.

How dudes reading this see me, if they didn’t already.

I’ll gladly admit Wiccan/witchy/woo practices have little scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness. They simply make me feel good. It comforts me to believe that there’s a tangible flow of life that connects us all, which we can access that through… magic. 

While listening to crappy astrology jokes at the open mic I host, I often wonder if those dude comics mock other belief systems as much as they do astrology believers- commonly women, LGBTQ+ people of color and other oppressed groups.

If you do mock every belief system, I guess it’s fine, but also…Who do you think you are, Ricky Gervais?! 2005 called, it wants its jokes back. 

I also wonder if you’ve tuned in or opened up to what actually makes you feel good… So, if you are skeptical of the astral plane and have opened your mind to make it this far, CONGRATS!

If not, whatever, enjoy your lizard-brained life, fool. 

I invite you to now tune into that connection with a practice that HAS been proven to improve your life: meditation.

Did you know that: 

  1. Routine meditation can make making decisions easier.
    Life will be less stressful and one thing won’t send you spiraling into your terrible habits! 

  2. Regular meditation leads to neuroplasticity in the brain
    If you have suffered trauma, drank a lot, hit your head, it will make your brain get better! 

  3. Consistent meditation is more important than lengthy meditation
    Two minutes a day is better than 20 minutes once a month, so what do you have to lose???? 

  4. If you do it high, it can feel really dope!
    For all my ganja fans out there, again, you do you.

(1-3 copied word-for-word from this article)

Contrary to popular belief and cultural representation, meditation does not have to cost money. There are so many centers, books, classes, Instagram influencers with perfect asses and better colored books to stack their fancy tools on that it often seems self care is only for wealthy white women with hours on their plate. It’s overwhelming to just start.

Here’s the thing: you need nothing to meditate- just a place to sit OR EVEN LAY for a few minutes. Meditation is like kegels- no one even needs to know you’re doing it!

Motivated? GOOD! But my job is not yet done! Here are the cheap easy tools I used to get psyched and feel comfortable in a meditation practice.

MEDITATE FOR FREE WITH….

Phone Reminders

$0

The first step to building a habit? Doing it over and over again. Open up the reminders app in your phone and create a daily reminder for for a time that you pretty much always have free. You can do it around a meal time, when your alarm goes off and you lie in bed (this can make it easy to fall back asleep) or when you normally get home.

There are also apps like Headspace that will send you a daily reminder and motivational facts- I get a lot of notifications though, which can make this annoying because it lumps it together with my work brain. Also, the meditations are only free to a certain point.

Shells or rocks 

If you scoff at buying crystals, use little totems you find instead. 

My dad collected shells and rocks on his travels, which inspired me to do the same. He also had these rocks with inspirational words written on them, so yes, cis white middle class men can be woo too!!  

Oftentimes, I’ll run a rock, shell or crystal in my hands while meditating to focus on my present sensations, or even just keep it in my pocket for times when I seem fidgety. 

The universe may give you objects: a button or bottle cap, who am I to say? I prefer nature’s bounty but again, you do YOU. 

Youtube

Do you know how many people post free meditation videos on the internet? Probably thousands, i didn’t actually look. Again, science has shown that meditation correlates with increased kindness- and teaching others how to live their best lives through accessible online information is a modern kindess.

You can listen on your headphones in your room, out loud, naked in your living room, who are we to judge?! 

Also, if you have the time/physical ability, YOGA!!! Buy a mat at Goodwill and check out yoga with adrienne- search her videos for specific pains, your comfort level, different mental challenges you’re feeling. If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, do one of the 30 day challenges. I just finished one today, which I spread over 5 days a week, because I don’t keep a weekend routine very well… yet!

Want more? SPEND A COUPLE BUCKS ON….

Spanda cards, my candle and a shell: today’s meditation tools.

Spanda cards, my candle and a shell: today’s meditation tools.

Note: Amazon is evil but their affiliate link program is the easiest way to make these accessible and I get some $$, so don’t judge me- just shop by the links below, or find it somewhere else, or pretend all this money goes to Bezos’ wife like I am!

Color Changing Candles: $5

Candles are not just for cat lady spinsters anymore! In fact they never were, because we’ve been using them in various forms for millennia. 

Maybe, like me, your mom made you irrationally afraid of candles because they start fires. Here’s the thing. If you only use this candle to meditate for ten minutes, you’ll emerge a bit clearer, remember to blow out the candle and be safe! A candle used for only one practice also gives it a very special meaning and helps you drop in easier to your practice. 

Buy a candle at your grocery store! If smells bug you, there are scentless ones! I cannot stress enough how much the simple candle matters. 

I bought these color-changing candles at a hippie dippy store in Eugene for a lot cheaper than the link above, so if you can hit up StarGate or your neighborhood store has ‘em, do it! They are very entrancing and I actually cried out of the beauty of watching the colors melt from one side of the already-used wax to the other side of the candle today, which inspired this whole post. So, worth it.Oracles, tarot cards and books

Oracle and Tarot Decks

This is the most woo thing, but for those who feel intimidated: reading tarot is as sacred or meaningful as you make it: you don’t have to take lessons or follow the cards to the letter. It’s really a good way of addressing your subconscious thoughts on a matter. Start with a deck of cards that relates to your goals, interests or ideas- I do believe the right decks will jump out at you. Once you get one, study the book and if you can, keep a notes on your readings to return to.

When I’m cycling through a problem in my head or am worried about something, I’ll draw from one of three decks.

Lo Scarabo Tarot Art Nouveau Deck : $19

My first deck. With traditional figures, short descriptions and sensuous imagery, it’s good for questions about relationship dynamics or personal struggles. It was originally written in Italian, so if anyone is a good translator, I’d love to sit down and go thru the Italian part of the book!

Eight Coins Tattoo Tarot by Lana Zellner: $20

Did you know there are real artists that you can support who make tarot decks? My little sister and more-knowledgeable Wiccan Nora, who I may have read this and do a follow-up with her genius thoughts, bought these for me. They were an illustrators long-term project and I feel like that infuses good juju in the creative projects I ask questions about. Great for artists exploring new ideas or returning to old works.

Spanda Cards for the Entrepreneurial Spirit by by Andrea Adler and Sheila Lewis: $23

Featured in the photos above, this entrepreneurial deck inspired by hindu teachings (spanda is a sanskrit word, meaning the pulsation before creation) inspired me to meditate today! I pulled the card below and then came up with this post!

Things are What You Make Of Them by Adam J Kurtz: $12

A wildly inspiring artist, I saw Kurtz speak, fell in love and bought this book. It’s great for finding a page- and geniusly, Kurtz used m

You are a Message: Meditations for the Creative Entrepreneur by Guillaume Wolf “Prof. G” : $17.50

Anyone who has a title AND a single-letter nickname is cool, but someone also named wolf…. AND the fancier Guillaume? This guy fucks. As a result of that and also being a very smart man, he wrote a series of meditations for his daughter, then put them all in FOUR books! I have this one but have skimmed the others and they’re great… They’re also on my wishlist if you feel so inclined 😬


Bonus: Incense Matches

A cheap way to get ant space smelling good, so you can meditate wherever. Also very useful if you have a litter box/poop a lot. 

Comment or DM me other ideas for cheap meditation tools!