The idea of pursuing a meditation practice where you calmly sit, allowing thoughts to come and go without judgment, has been a longtime aspiration.
The challenge has been taking the time to slow down and calm my busy mind, which tends to jump around like an over-caffeinated kangaroo. I want to meditate, but despite the overwhelming evidence for the benefits of meditation on our brain and mental health I struggle, in all honesty! It highlights how hard it is to change lifestyle behaviors even when we know it’s good for us.
It makes sense.
I think of it like trying to give a client an elaborate food plan using expensive ingredients that are hard to find when they’re already stretched for time and have limited income. If it feels out of reach, it ain't going to happen!
To take on any new practice or behavior in life, baby steps and realistic goals are required. This is why I’ve been an advocate for zines as amazing tools for wellbeing. Their short format is digestible for the busy mind and time-poor, making them practical mental health resources.
These two guided meditation zines are classic examples.
Become Worry-Free Right Now: 12 Meditations for Transcending Reality
By Jessica Mullen, Illustrations by Adam Zapotok
I’ve typically associated meditation with sitting, eyes closed while listening to a soothing voice guiding softly through the meditation practice.
But Become Worry-Free Right Now is a touch different. This zine takes you through 12 guided breath meditations through written words. Jessica’s healing words intertwine with intermittent breathing prompts that will inspire you to not give a f*ck, having fun, letting go, believing in yourself, and more.
“Breathe in and raise your vibration!
Breathe out and release your resistance.
Relax into the perfect timing that is your life. Allow yourself to forget about your plans, your to-do list, your worries. Let yourself forget the feeling of rushing. Imagine you’re on a beach, and you don’t have anywhere to go. It’s just you and the view and your little cooler next to you, maybe some other person you want there. You have no plans. You have no deadlines…..”
Jessica Mullen, excerpt from Become Worry Free Right Now
I found reading through each of the meditations helped me remain focused instead of my mind wandering like it often does.
I was able to choose the meditation that suited to my current mood or things that were weighing me down. Reading them almost felt like it was my subconscious speaking. And I liked that you could pause at any time to reflect on the areas of the zine. There are also lovely, fun illustrations created by Boston Illustrator Adam Zapotok throughout the zine.
It’s one of my favorite zines, and it's packed with inspiration to keep you pondering on the words and practices.
It’s a perfect meditation zine to keep on the nightstand and read in a soft light when I’m ready to turn in or first thing in the morning to begin the day on a positive note. Jessica’s words really are magical.
Become Worry Free Right Now is a ½ size zine, 28 pages $5.95
By Heather Anacker
Embodied Meditations intrigued me the moment I saw its divine orange cover, finely illustrated with a body— roots stemming from the feet into the earth and an ora encircling it.
Heather has skillfully written and illustrated eight beautiful guided meditations that focus on tuning into your body. The meditations use visualization, movement, and voice, guiding you to feel a stronger connection within.
One meditation that I was drawn to was the howling meditation. I was uncertain at first, but howling can be recognized part of grieving and loss. It makes sense. A primal response, like crying, is vital for emotional and physical release.
As Heather explains, it’s a way to reconnect with your pack, near or far when alone or grieving.
“We howl for ourselves and each other, to connect to the longing in our souls. I encourage you to howl, howl from your wild free spirit”
Heather Anacker, excerpt from Embodied Mediation.
Another favorite with its heart-centered around embodiment and moving joyfully was the dancing meditation.
But really, every handwritten word in this zine is precious.
Embodied Meditation is a ½ size zine, 10 pages, $6.00
Image Credit: Brodie Vissers