Dr. Celeste Hamilton MSc, PhD
Meditation Teacher & Wellness Coach
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[00:00:00.000] – Laura Cicholski
I am Laura Cicholski. Welcome to the Finding Balance in Your Business Career, Finances, Health and Life podcast. Today. We are super thrilled to have Dr Celeste Hamilton is our special guest. Thank you for being here.
[00:00:14.610] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Hi, everyone. It’s a pleasure to be here.
[00:00:17.340] – Laura Cicholski
Dr Celeste Hamilton is a certified meditation teacher and wellness coach, helping busy professionals hack their brain in as little as 20 minutes per day so they can reach their next level of success faster. As a former research scientist in academic health care and medical affairs, professional and biotech, she understands first hand how to optimize wellness in the health care setting. She holds Masters and doctorate degrees in exercise physiology, level two Meditation Certificate from One Giant Mind and a Holistic Health Coaching Certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
[00:00:56.830] – Laura Cicholski
Dr. Celeste, those are amazing credentials. Thank you for being here today. How are you doing?
[00:01:01.650] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So great. Thanks for having me and for being here.
[00:01:05.280] – Laura Cicholski
Well, you have such an interesting background. Well, I think we’ll kind of start with that. And you always talk about helping healthcare providers, taking them from chaos to calm, which is where over the last year, it’s been very, very crazy. And I appreciate all that they’ve done for saving COVID patients and helping them out. Now, tell me a little bit more about, like, your story, and then we’ll talk about how you can give them some tips. But how did you go from? You obviously were in the research Department of health care, correct.
[00:01:31.500] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Yeah. So I started sort of my health care career in academia is in an endocrinologist office. I worked in running research trials and doing my graduate work in the Endocrinology Osteoporosis area for about seven, eight years. And when I finished my graduate studies, I moved on to biotech industry and worked there for or about the same around seven years in different medical affairs roles before fully transitioning to doing what I do today, which is running a full time meditation and wellness coaching business. I was called in that direction for different reasons, but fortunately, just due to my own journey and leading myself from what you described, sometimes especially in the health care setting, we find ourselves being extremely successful and busy and feeling a little bit chaotic and that busy.
[00:02:43.980] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So it was kind of a self discovery journey for me to lead myself to a place where I was still being busy but feeling a lot better in it.
[00:02:53.140] – Laura Cicholski
I know you bring up some great points, Dr Celeste, because you’re right. A lot of people, especially in healthcare , they’re successful. They make good money, they’re doing great with patients, have great families. And yet sometimes at the end of the day, they might be saying, gosh, my life is so busy. I don’t have any time for I’m doing well my career. Do I really have a lot of time for Hobbies? Maybe they’re taking the vacations every year, which is good. Put that on the outside of that.
[00:03:17.840] – Laura Cicholski
Do they actually have time to feel like they’re taking time for their very own, like, self care, which is very some very good points. Now you talk about being a meditation expert, which is so neat. I know some people with meditation like, I like meditation because I kind of know how it can change our lives and make us calmer. If there’s someone that says, Gosh, Dr Celest, meditation is not for me. I don’t think I can do it. Can we frame it a little bit into the different ways it can be thought of not just say, just meditation, like maybe some deep breathing, maybe pausing, inner focus.
[00:03:48.020] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
You know what, Laura? I love when people come to me or prospective clients or even just friends and family and tell me they’re not convinced with what meditation can do for them, because it’s a little bit of a journey. I felt the same way to myself. Meditation was something that was presented to me at multiple junctures in my life before I really came to a place where I was open to exploring it more or feeling like I could engage with it, if you will. So I think it’s very normal to if you haven’t had a lot of exposure to meditation or mindfulness in your upbringing, which I think is the case for most of us not being with generations.
[00:04:35.740] – Laura Cicholski
[00:04:37.290] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
It’s one of those things. With meditation, it sometimes can feel like it’s something else that we have to add to our to do list or fit in or already busy day. And then when we go to sit down and meditate, often it feels really uncomfortable where we feel agitated or we have a lot of thoughts. And it’s kind of just, like, not feeling great. If that’s you and you’ve experienced those things, I’ll just share with you. It’s part of the journey. And when we can understand look at meditation in different ways and what how it’s actually working to serve us, we can overcome that.
[00:05:17.190] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So, for example, I always explain meditation as a processing tool. So a lot of us think of it as a destination. We’re trying to sit down. We’re trying to achieve. We’re trying to do the perfect meditation when an actual effect. What meditation is meant to help us do is really enable us to be mindful or enable us to pause, be, still and connect with present moment awareness beyond our thoughts. And on that note, that can sometimes feel a little bit uncomfortable. And the reason that is because when we actually are able to carve out a little bit of stillness and when we actually slow down or take a pause, that’s when our body kind of says, okay, I can kind of just relax for a second.
[00:06:11.650] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
I can heal, I can rejuvenate, I can just let go. And so that’s the process of kind of of healing, healing off those layers of stress and fatigue, and that happens through activation of our parasympathetic nervous system response. And we sit down and we start to breathe into our diaphragm and sit in a meditation for a given amount of time. We default to this nervous system response that tells us we’re safe and that we can heal. And so if we can just think of it simply as a process processing tool, it’s time for us to actually just connect with whatever thoughts we have, connect with whatever emotions we have, what we’re feeling in our physical body.
[00:07:02.050] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
It’s time and just allow our body to do what it needs to do to release that and regenerate. So when I say processing tool, mentally and emotionally, meditation allows to basically process or move emotions and things through our body so that Lake can be released. And we can create kind of a spaciousness feeling of feeling better because we’re not kind of carrying around that emotional burden. And really, it all comes from starting with the breath, even if you’re not quite ready to sit down and engage in a 20 minutes meditation practice or even a ten minute practice, just starting with closing your eyes and putting your hand on your heart and just breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth a few times.
[00:07:53.680] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
You could do that in between a meeting, in between seeing patients in your car when you have a moment, it’s really something practical that starts with the breath and activation of that breath and digest response. And with a formal practice, you just allow yourself to develop a little bit more deeply in that space.
[00:08:16.620] – Laura Cicholski
Right. Well, you’re bringing up some amazing points. And I like how you’re talking about the fact that really everyone could benefit from it, because if someone is focused on their health, like I say, they’re trying to eat better, they’re trying to exercise. This is just another way of, like you said, activating the parasympathetic, which can really help to ensure, because obviously, wellness, we know physical wellness is important, but the emotional and mental, especially with all the health care providers, have dealt with over the past year. Right?
[00:08:41.520] – Laura Cicholski
That part of it. If someone’s just exercising, but maybe not focusing on what they’re feeling, their emotions, they could be ignoring that whole other aspect. Right? I mean, exercise does help mental stuff, but if you’re ignoring that other aspect of maybe pausing, doing some deep breathing, just focusing on how you’re feeling, that one being present in that moment, I feel like they could be missing the mental emotional wellness peace, don’t you? As well?
[00:09:06.820] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
If they don’t, you nailed it. And I always like to share with anyone that I’m speaking to or working with us. There are essentially six pillars of wellness that if we are kind of developed in each of those areas, we feel overall a sense of vibrancy or vitality. And like you said, these are not things that we don’t already know and are aware of the pillars that I like to share. Like you said, making sure you’re physically moving your body every day, making sure you’re eating healthy.
[00:09:45.870] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And a lot of times we do those ones really well, or we’re tapped into systems that can support us for those getting adequate sleep is another one. And sometimes if we’re busy and feeling stressed or anxious, that one’s a little bit difficult. But then, like you said, there’s three other pillars that more speak to kind of the connective or mental and emotional aspects of well being. So that’s mindfulness ensuring that we have strong social connections. So building a connection with ourself and as well as with others, really just being able to tap into a state of gratitude and really feel thankful for where we are and what we’re experiencing.
[00:10:32.810] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So I share those six pillars, usually when I speak about wellness and meditation, because meditation is really this very simple tool that doesn’t take very much time out of your day. And it’s simple to learn. However, it has a massive impact on each one of those pillars. So it’s like the thread between not only the physical, but with the mental and emotional aspects of feeling vibrant and healthy and well in our life. So just implementing a simple practice like meditation will strengthen your social connections, help you be mindful, help you feel more gratitude, sleep better, and even, you know, help you make better choices about what you’re eating and using more energy to be physically active.
[00:11:23.550] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So hand in hand.
[00:11:25.860] – Laura Cicholski
That’s really neat. And I like how you talk about the whole thread, almost like when you think of a thread, if you’re sewing something, you would think about my mom. So so things growing up and she would talk about fixing something. So it’s almost like you’re threading when you’re doing that with yourself, it’s almost like you’re helping your health to be the best that can be fixing it in whatever way you can. I love that those are really, really neat. And it made me think about you probably know Randy McNeely, probably as well from LinkedIn is talks about gratitude as well.
[00:11:53.530] – Laura Cicholski
And so I love how you bring that up because it’s right. Even if you’re having a day right of healthcare porviders having a tough day where they’ve had to deal with patients that could have been terminally ill or one patient after another if they can somehow I think in the middle of the day be able to say goodness, I’m thankful for this. I’m thankful that I’m here for I’ve heard some health care rides even say, well, I can say to myself, I’m thankful I was here for that patient when they needed me, even when their family couldn’t be in the room.
[00:12:18.310] – Laura Cicholski
You know what I mean? I take a different perspective. It’s still what they’re going through is so amazing and difficult. But hopefully we’re on the healing end of it. But I love this. So you talk about how they could kind of give the why behind why we should look into it, all of us to look into it. And then how can they talk about 20 minutes a day, which some people can do health care providers if they’re in the emergency room or different places? That might be tricky, or nurses running from room to room.
[00:12:43.800] – Laura Cicholski
But how could they quickly in between patients, maybe adopt some of these methods that could be helpful to them, but not take away from time they need for patient care, but give them kind of a healthy mindset throughout the work day, if that makes sense.
[00:12:55.760] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Yeah. Well, I always recommend usually, and it’s of course, more difficult if you’re working shifts or, like you said, kind of on the go, the full day and the timing and where you need to be beyond your control and patients. So that’s a very real consideration. But again, I would just say if you have 30 seconds to take a few breaths and close your eyes, I always say to just put your hand on your heart center, because really, what we’re trying to achieve when we’re working on mindfulness or meditation is a connection between our intellectual experience of life and our emotional and intuitive experience of life, which is basically having our hearts open and allowing ourselves to feel.
[00:13:52.880] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So I always just like to physically suggest that you make that kind of connection when you’re closing your eyes so you can connect your heart and what you’re feeling there with us. So it’s very simple. And I would say it helps a lot when you’re going through just transition. So if you’re going meeting to meeting or patient to patient, a lot of times we drain our mental and emotional energy and even our physical energy by not really closing off things that we are involved in. So I always like to say be intentional about how you transition.
[00:14:30.090] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So it’s like just taking that little pause can help you transition from one thing to the next and kind of close off that the energy that you just finish such that you can be more open and have a little more to give in the next scenario.
[00:14:46.820] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah. Which is good, because then if they go from one patient room to another, they obviously have to acknowledge what they felt with the last patient, but then they need to be able to move on to take care of the next one. Right. They can always bring every single thought of the last patient with you. I mean, it’s in your head still, but you can’t this will be focusing on every detail from the last patient and then be able to take care of the next one. Right?
[00:15:07.340] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Yes. And also just you could set a reminder on your phone or something to just a few times a day, even if it’s just starting with once a day trying to tap in before bed or when you first wake up, setting an attention for the day or breathing and just being aware of how you feel. In the end, we’re able to access calm and access our strength and capability when we’re able to connect to present moment awareness. So we obviously can do that in many ways. But I would say if you’re able to just give yourself a moment when you can to just ask yourself, how am I feeling right now?
[00:15:59.460] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
What do I need in this moment to show up the way I want to, what do I need in this moment to feel energized or who do I want to be there? How do I want to serve as a leader or caregiver and my domain. So it’s a lot of time that we’re kind of caught up in our checklist, and it’s really helpful to just think about ways to check in a post check things off. Yeah, tapping into I always say doing a little mini check ins or doing a few deep breaths when you have a moment is a great place to start.
[00:16:36.430] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And just acknowledging, starting with that self awareness piece of how you’re feeling, because we experience a range of feelings and emotions throughout our days and lives. And just taking a moment to honor that really helps us understand ourselves better, where we’re at and what we need to feel more, of our vitality and wellness.
[00:16:58.400] – Laura Cicholski
That’s a good tip. I love that because you hear there’s kind of a stigma sometimes with mental health things. I know we’ve heard different people say, well, it’s like anxiety, depression, different things. It’s just feelings. Just forget about it and it will go away. But we know that doesn’t happen right. When they do that, they’re kind of almost almost like you’re putting you could have, like, a sore that’s not healing or being taken care of under a bandaid. You’re not paying attention to it. It could get bigger and bigger as far as.
[00:17:24.360] – Laura Cicholski
So what you really like you mentioned, it’s really important is to kind of acknowledge it, right. But then be able to kind of move on from that right. And acknowledge it and say it’s okay. And then you move on to kind of then you move to kind of some more positive energy meditation after that.
[00:17:39.220] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Well, usually I would say the first step is giving yourself the time and space to check in and acknowledge. And then once you observe, once you’re able to just notice what you’re feeling, I always say it’s all about kind of decreasing resistance to it. So we’re kind of conditioned and program to think that we need to always be going strong and happy and smile on our face and we’re going to do it. And most of us are very capable and do that, even with extreme in the face of extreme levels of stress demand that we’re facing, and that’s all fine.
[00:18:15.160] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
But like you said, we don’t want to cover up and repress our what we’re feeling emotionally and what we’re carrying, especially when you’re interacting with sick patients or whatnot like you’re being ethically you’re carrying the burden for those different patients. So what I always say is sort of those feelings in and we start by releasing the judgment around kind of being angry. Why am I feeling sad, or why am I feeling anxious or release the judgment and resistance to what you’re feeling? Because we don’t live our lives in our head in our thoughts.
[00:18:56.540] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
We live our lives and experience. So the way that we feel is really a powerful indicator of how we’re experiencing our life. And so we want to listen, and then we need tools to be able to process that. Meditation is one processing tool, help move emotional stuff through us. So if it’s a stuck over the years, a meditative practice will help you bring it up and release it. And then there’s other simple things you can do. One thing that I do a lot because I’m a chatty Cathy.
[00:19:28.870] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
I like to just voice, note myself. I’m like, oh, my gosh, I just need to express something. And if I’m not able to just call friend, family member of someone else to chat it out, then even just the act of physically expressing and talking something out or writing something out.
[00:19:49.180] – Laura Cicholski
Just getting that’s why I was thinking about journaling.
[00:19:51.800] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Okay, journaling is a great one. It’s the process of kind of releasing and allowing it, giving a voice, so to speak. And other things, like just physical movement can help you process whether it’s a walk or dancing, music, just things help you basically shake up the energy.
[00:20:15.150] – Laura Cicholski
It’s good. And I probably leave through journaling and also doing the pause. The more people that will do the pause and healthcare providers, the more they’ll probably realize in looking back to the Journal as well, once they notice that how things might have changed, like maybe a few if they do more this pausing and meditation that maybe a couple of weeks down the road, what bother them so much triggered them at that point 2 weeks ago isn’t triggering them now. Maybe it’s something new, but maybe they’re also working through it.
[00:20:41.540] – Laura Cicholski
Have you found that with your journey and experience?
[00:20:43.600] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Definitely. Yeah. One thing that differentiates meditators from non meditators is the speed at which you can be faced with something challenging and recover from it. With a well developed meditation practice, it enables you to feel a sense of stability and capability in the face of whatever it is. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have problems or you don’t feel happy, like, as irritated. You still experience all that. It’s just that you’re able to recover more quickly. And for those of us who don’t really have tools or mechanisms in place to support us through difficult experiences, it’s harder for us to identify what it is and kind of process and let it go a meditation is again, something very powerful to help us just get these to that cycle of feeling, something connecting with, letting it be and then letting it release.
[00:21:48.500] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And then it’s like moving on. So it helps us just recover and be less feel fearful or less triggered, like you said, by things that might have triggered us in the past. So it’s a great example is good.
[00:22:05.570] – Laura Cicholski
Yeah. We always want to improve every day, whether it’s our career or business or in our life or with our relationships. And I think it’s a good way to do it just to kind of move of yourself along the continuum, which is awesome. Now you talk about something called Giant Mind Being technique. Meditation technique. What is that? Because I believe didn’t you have a certificate as well? So I don’t know what that is.
[00:22:25.120] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So One Giant Mind is the organization through which I’m certified. So it’s the type of meditation technique that I teach and practice myself. So I’ve been practicing for about six years personally, and I teaching for a couple, and it’s called the being meditation technique. So there are a lot of different types of options for learning how to meditate out there. So what’s nice about this technique is that it is again, what’s called the being meditation technique. And that means is just that it’s a meditation technique that allows us to just learn how to be still and bring ourselves into present moment awareness beyond our thoughts.
[00:23:16.010] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So that’s kind of like if you’re starting out with meditation or if you’ve tried meditation and you’re finding it difficult with certain meditations that require focus or visualization, you want to start with just getting comfortable with being still and being present, like the first thing you want to achieve. And then once you’re able to just be still and observe your thoughts and observe your feelings and connect that way, which is what this technique allows you to do, then any other kind of meditation technique that might be more focusing technique.
[00:23:52.050] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So I like to say it’s a foundational kind of technique to get started. And there are different types of being techniques. It’s just kind of like a great place to start and then build on from there. And it’s also something that is just takes a very effortless approach.
[00:24:14.370] – Laura Cicholski
So it’s our busy days.
[00:24:18.980] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Yeah. We think of meditation again, we need to be sitting cross legged or sitting in a certain position.
[00:24:25.920] – Laura Cicholski
That’s right. Yeah.
[00:24:27.720] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
This technique is not about that. It’s all about encouraging acceptance of whatever is naturally occurring into meditation. We want you to be comfortable while you’re practicing, feel as though you can just let go of any preferences or expectations of how the meditation should feel. Like just start to again decrease that overall feeling of resistance we get when we feel uncomfortable, emotion or feeling. So it’s a great technique. It’s super simple. It’s something that only takes 20 minutes a day, to practice. And so when I first started, that’s what I loved about it, because it was just so practical in my biotech career and as a parent.
[00:25:15.510] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And even now as a busy entrepreneur, sometimes finding an hour out of your day to do something or if you’re already finding time to exercise, and then you’re going to add this on. Most people can find most. Most of us can find 20 minutes somewhere in the day to tap into a media safe practices.
[00:25:33.720] – Laura Cicholski
It’s right. You bring up a good point and you’re going to lead us through a just maybe a ten minute version. But this is a two minute version in a couple of minutes. And one thing that you brought up, and these are really great points for bringing up. I had a friend years ago that I go to yoga with me, and she’s a big runner. Exercise aerobics. We always aerobics together. And at the end of the yoga, she was like, wow, he’s like, I was wondering when we’re going to start sweating and I didn’t sweat at all.
[00:25:57.150] – Laura Cicholski
You know what I mean? It was so quiet for her. And I kept telling her, and she was like, at the end, she was like, I don’t know if this is for me, but as I keep talking to her now, I think she’s doing it more often now. But at the beginning, she was like, Wait, this is too quiet. She almost wanted to start running up and down the stairs as we were doing yoga, because he is used to the go, go, go. And I said to my friend, I said, this is so good for you.
[00:26:17.760] – Laura Cicholski
If you can just get used to this part, you’re not supposed to really break a sweat. It’s just supposed to be you focusing. And I think for all of us, I know when I first started, it was scary because I’m like, oh, it’s just really my thoughts and myself. It’s almost a scary part. You’re alone with yourself and your thoughts and wondering. But I think if everyone can take some of these techniques you’re talking about and integrate them in their life, I think the well being will even improve you more than it is right now.
[00:26:40.800] – Laura Cicholski
[00:26:41.560] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
It’s a simple approach which has a large benefit and developing areas of wellness. Yeah.
[00:26:51.720] – Laura Cicholski
Which is good. Last question, before we go into the meditation, I know I’d had Susie Marsh on our podcast a couple of weeks ago. She talked about clearing out your physical spaces, whether it’s offices or whether it’s your house to make space, make things less clutter and less stressful. You’ve talked about I’ve seen you on LinkedIn talk about creating space mentally and emotionally. That’s so interesting to me. Could you go into that a little bit about how health care workers and others could do that? And the excellent.
[00:27:18.280] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And that’s a concept that, again, has come up a lot in conversations. I have been having a recent and even for myself. And I love how you mapped it back to physical space because it is so telling. And so immediately you can experience immediately the effects or the spaciousness that you feel when you kind of declutter or creating a space that is energetically pleasing and calming for yourself. Physically, yes. But then there’s kind of the mental and emotional aspect. And how do we create space in that vein and different ways to create that space?
[00:28:04.790] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
But again, it’s all about kind of not suppressing our emotions or moving away from feeling like we need to numb them, suppress them, deny them, and instead we move into embracing them. They always say the healing is through the hurt. So it’s all about really embracing our emotions and our thoughts and really just bringing awareness to have what they mean for us and maybe identify why we’re feeling that way. So I always say we want to clear out that mental and emotional clutter that’s maybe built up from different things we’ve experienced.
[00:28:48.460] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And again, we just want to embrace the emotions and feelings, release the judgment around them, observe them, and then figure out a way to process and move them out of our energetic body. So we are existing as spiritual beings in a human existence. So it’s partially kind of that spiritual experience of life that we want to kind of keep our energy as clear as we can. And part of that is just making sure that we have tools in place and support in place to deal with things that are mentally and emotionally challenging.
[00:29:30.130] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So they don’t kind of block up our energetic system or take up space that we have is just think about it. If you’re kind of upset about something, just think about how you go out your day and it’s on your mind. You’re feeling kind of off about it. You’re feeling drained. It’s clogging up the spaciousness that you experience. Just like you clear a space. You can clear your space kind of internally energetically so that you feel just lighter and are able to kind of access more joy, which is great.
[00:30:02.310] – Laura Cicholski
I love that. And like you said, I think that even if it’s something that has been a current emotion or whether for ourselves or for health care provider, doesn’t mean that that emotion has to be the what they’re feeling of truth in the future. Right. It could be just where they’re at right now, presently, what they’ve experienced. But because could they move that they can move it on in the for future to be more of a positive emotion they’re feeling more often? Is that correct, too? Yeah.
[00:30:24.840] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
I think with the emotions, it’s like we want to recognize them for what they are and just honor them for what they are, and we don’t need to necessarily change them. It’s more about bringing awareness to the fact that you’re feeling them and just allowing yourself to connect with it and understand why might I be feeling like that? And sometimes it takes a while to just understand it or to connect it to whyever it’s coming up for you.
[00:30:53.280] – Laura Cicholski
Exactly. You’re making some great points. Would you like to lead us through a few minute practice, then? Is this a good time for that?
[00:30:59.490] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
I would. Yeah. So I’ll lead us through about a ten minute.
[00:31:04.440] – Laura Cicholski
[00:31:05.310] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Meditation practice. Does that work?
[00:31:07.060] – Laura Cicholski
It’ll be guided. Okay.
[00:31:10.700] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Perfect. So what I’m going to ask you to do and one who’s listening to the replay is just to make sure you’re sitting in a comfortable position with your back supported. So if you’re sitting in a chair, you could be sitting on the floor resting against something. So we want our back support so that we can just allow kind of gravity to take effect on our body. We can just comfortably relax into the meditation, and we want to make sure that our head and neck are free from resting against anything.
[00:31:43.960] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So the reason for that is just that. Again, there’s different ways to practice meditation for this technique. We’re not intending to go to sleep that we want you to be sitting up when we actually lie down or rest or head against something, it induces them tends to induce sleep chemistry. Well, yeah. Just sitting up, head and neck free from resting anything but lower back supported and just ensuring comfort. If at any time during the meditation, you feel discomfort, just going to shift your position and get comfortable again.
[00:32:18.760] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And so just close your eyes. And to begin, we’re going to let go of any expectations or preferences that you might have about this meditation experience. So when we let go of expectations and preferences, it leaves us in a state of acceptance and allows us to just innocently accept each moment as it comes. So again, we just want to be comfortable. And if at any time through the meditation, we feel discomfort, we’ll just shift our position to get comfortable again. So before we start the meditation, we always want to take a few moments to settle down and prepare our body for it.
[00:33:00.980] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So let’s start by taking a deep breath in through our nose, into the belly, drawing further breath into the chest, holding and then release. And again, just take a deep breath in through your nose, into the belly, into the chest. Hold, release. And one last time deep breath into the belly, into the chest, holding and release. And now I want you to just allow your breath to settle into a natural rhythm and just start to scan your body and notice if there’s any part that may be holding tension.
[00:33:51.430] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
You might notice it in your shoulders, in your face or your jaw. Just completely let go. I just want you to allow yourself to feel the effect of gravity in your body. Just observe any part of your body that may be resisting this natural force, just completely surrender. And as you’re doing this, you’ll notice that you’re now becoming aware of the body and the mind moving in the direction of gently settling down. And now just become aware of any sensations that you’re feeling in your body.
[00:34:42.340] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And I just want to invite you to identify the most predominating sensation that you feel. And without judging it or analyzing or trying to change that feeling, I just want you to allow your awareness to be with the sensation and just know that you’re not required to necessarily understand it or to try and dissolve it. Want you to simply be with a sensation and in bringing attention to your body, we start to begin to observe the condition of our mind. Just notice to what degree you’re able to be with any body sensation.
[00:35:41.100] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Just notice how often the mind flitters off onto something else and without any judgment of the mind nor desire to control it, nor an attempt to block other thoughts from naturally arising. Just simply allow yourself to observe the condition of the mind. And when the mind naturally wanders, don’t resist it. This is a very natural and normal thing to occur in meditation. Just remember, we want our approach to be the effortless natural and spontaneous. And now I want to invite you to just observe the activity of the mind.
[00:36:37.360] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Just notice if the mind is busy or if it’s agitated or notice if it’s calm and quiet, whatever you’re experiencing, just simply allow it to be and don’t try and change it in any way. Just effortlessly observe. And now bring your extension back into your body. Just notice what sensations you can feel. Notice if you’re comfortable. Notice if you’re slightly agitated. Just effortlessly observe. And now just start to bring your attention to your heart center and just notice what sensations you have in your chest and without trying to change it.
[00:37:48.750] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Just effortlessly observe and now bring your awareness to your breath. Observe how you’re breathing. Just notice if you brought the shallow or deep. Just effortlessly observed.
[00:38:21.750] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And now I want you to draw a deep breath in through the nose again into the belly, holding the air in the belly, drawing further breath into the chest, filling along completely and release through the nose. I want you to continue to take three more breaths and through your nose into the belly and then out through the nose. And now keeping your attention on your breath. I just want you to allow it to settle into a natural, normal rhythm. And whilst maintaining awareness of your natural effortless breathing, once again, just bring your attention to the feeling in your heart center.
[00:39:29.420] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Just notice what sensations you’re feeling in your chest. All that is needed is the innocent witnessing of the sensation. And just observe how you are now simultaneously aware of the breath and the sensations in your heart. And if the mind wanders effortlessly, just come back to your awareness of the sensations for the next few minutes. Just effortlessly witnessed simultaneously the sensation of your heart area and the soft, natural flow of your breath. When you realize the mind has wandered away from the breath and heart, just effortlessly turn your attention back to it.
[00:40:21.950] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Remember that forgetting to be aware as part of the practice so we don’t want to resist it. And if at any time you feel any discomfort with your position, just simply move to get comfortable and allow yourself to take the whole meditation experience as it comes. No effort, no resistance, just simple, innocent awareness. And we’ll just meditate for a few minutes. Now, just keeping your eyes closed. I want you to start to bring your awareness into your body for a few moments. Just become aware of how your body is feeling.
[00:41:08.590] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And we’ll just sit easily for a few minutes before we open our eyes.
[00:41:17.620] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Just want you to start to notice if you’re experiencing something different than what you are at the start of the meditation. Just notice how the meditation might have affected you. Now, if you feel more rested, more aware, more calm. And now just take a deep breath into the belly, into your chest and slide it out. And just begin to move your fingers and toes stretch out a little. And whenever you’re ready, you can slowly open your eyes and bring your awareness back into the space.
[00:42:01.160] – Laura Cicholski
That was really good. That was very calming. Like you said, very calming.
[00:42:07.070] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Yes. Just being with ourselves, having time and attention to ourselves and just noticing what we’re feeling in our physical body, sometimes slowing down to really connect with that.
[00:42:26.500] – Laura Cicholski
It’s so interesting, even that the hardest part for me was those three minutes when it was completely silent. Like, you know what I mean? That like when you were talking the whole time, I was rolling with that. And then I was like, and this is a long time, the three minute part. No one was talking. I was just sitting there. And so it’s interesting. I wonder if this is similar to, like, when you start a new exercise routine, you start slowly, right? You don’t just start running 5 miles.
[00:42:48.760] – Laura Cicholski
You’d start slowly. Is this the same thing where you start slowly? Maybe someone does it, maybe for 30 seconds at a time, is that right? And then you build up because it’s the longer the goal, the longer that you do it each day, the better it is. Is there a time thing with it or just that you’re giving yourself more time to focus on yourself.
[00:43:06.440] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So it depends on the technique. So a great place to begin if you haven’t had a lot of exposure to meditation, is to experience like we just did together. A guided meditation. Actually, I usually play music, which helps.
[00:43:23.210] – Laura Cicholski
I forgot to turn it on for those. That’s good, though, but it is good for us, though. It is good to be the whole silent thing that is good.
[00:43:31.820] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So the other side of that is. So to answer your question, no more is not always better, particularly with so what I guided you through and this experience was kind of a taster of, you know, a meditation that helps you just connect to present awareness. So in the technique that I teach and practice myself, it is silent meditation. It’s practice with a mantra. Mantra is basically a Sanskrit word that you think as a sound in your head, and it helps you kind of anchor. It gives you an anchor point so that you’re not kind of sitting there wondering what to do. Right. we think the mantra, but like you experienced, I’m so glad you brought it up is when things are silent and when there’s nothing to kind of latch on to, that’s when things start to come up for us, then we start to really hear our thoughts and our emotions start to come through.
[00:44:36.790] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And we want to tap into that. We want to move into that place where we are sitting with ourselves and starting to allow it because it is uncomfortable, but it gets more comfortable with time and you get used to just being an observer. So for this particular the technique that I teach, when you’re first starting out, the recommendation is 20 minutes once or twice a day for about the first year that you practice. And then there’s ways to deepen once you have an established practice. But just depending on the technique or style, there’s different lengths of time to kind of do it.
[00:45:20.770] – Laura Cicholski
If someone’s just brand new, maybe they can start out. If they’re saying gosh that’s way too much, I can’t. But can they just start off a minute or two a day trying to do it that way? Sometimes small chunks we can do where the big Moan Everest looks so daunting. Does that make sense? Yeah.
[00:45:35.310] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
I think the idea with meditation is that we want to develop a regular practice. So if five minutes a day is something that you think you can manage, then you’ll reap the benefits from five minutes a day.
[00:45:49.670] – Laura Cicholski
But if you want to make sense.
[00:45:51.100] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Go a little deeper and optimize the benefits with a specific technique. Then practicing the technique as instructed is the way that you’ll experience the benefits. So sometimes what I find is that if people are kind of just dabbling in meditation, which is totally great to start, because that’s how you start, encourage everyone to dabble – what you like.
[00:46:15.920] – Laura Cicholski
If you like music.
[00:46:16.810] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
If you like guidance, help you cause be still rest. So please do that. And then if you kind of get to a point where you’re like, you know what I really want to experience? The maximum benefits I can from opening a meditation practice and pick a technique that resonates with you, learn it and practice it as prescribed, if you will. And that’s how you’ll reap the optimal benefits. So, for example, this technique that I teach it’s instructed you begin with 20 minutes a day. So at first that seems hard for some, but it’s very simple to learn.
[00:46:55.630] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
And it’s just it’s like building the muscle, if you will. At the gym, you got to start and get your attention to basically do it as instructive so that you can get the results you desire to get. Yeah.
[00:47:11.400] – Laura Cicholski
Which makes sense. It seems like you might also, as you do more of this with your mind, I wonder if it would also have ideas come to you as far as, like whether you’re in a business or career with your life. You know what I mean? Different thought of where you’re supposed to head, if it’s a different direction. Has that ever happened to you? Maybe it did, right, because you went into being a coach.
[00:47:28.660] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
[00:47:29.660] – Laura Cicholski
[00:47:30.110] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So, I mean, every meditation technique, the primary goal of meditation and our self awareness, and what that means is we essentially get better at understanding our feelings, our thoughts, our belief systems and understanding. We get to know ourselves better. And from that place is where we really start to experience better clarity and alignment with who we are and how we want to live our life. So absolutely, what you describe is definitely an experience of expanded self awareness. So as we as we develop our self awareness and develop our meditation practice, definitely creativity, insight will come through.
[00:48:17.830] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
It comes through in different ways, depending on who you are and your kind of experience in the world. So people have visions of things. Other people have creative ideas come through or kind of like thoughts, remember things that kind of serve, whatever it is they’re working on. So I’ve definitely noticed that for myself. For me, it’s like writing ideas. And I have thought about wanting to create and write. But with meditation and expanded self awareness in general, it fosters or natural nature and desire to create, if you will.
[00:48:59.640] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
So we’re here. We are creative beings, and it also strengthen’s our desire to want to serve others as well. And absolutely. It definitely helped me become clear on which direction I wanted to take my life when I made that shift.
[00:49:21.140] – Laura Cicholski
Which is Sony, your story. And obviously, healthcare riders do a great job of serving and that’s kind of a lot of things why they went to the industry. So we thank them again. It’s been great to have you here with us. Today is our website where our audience can find you.
[00:49:32.560] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Yes. So it’s pretty simple because it’s just my name. So it’s DrCelesteHamilton.com. And please, if you’re headed there, please check it out and feel free to book a call. Love to connect with you and just understand your journey, brainstorm some ideas for wellness, or have a conversation about meditation and how it might be something supportive for you. I’m always open to connecting and to just chatting and seeing if there’s something I can help you with or someone I can connect you with to take you one step further on your journey.
[00:50:15.800] – Laura Cicholski
It’s been great to have you here today, and we thank you so much for your tips. I know you’ve given them a lot to think about, and I really think this is something that I hope health care providers and others look into, because I think it can enhance every area of their life. And thank you so much for your time.
[00:50:29.520] – Dr Celeste Hamilton
Thanks, Laura. Is my pleasure.
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Dr. Celeste Hamilton MSc, PhD is a certified meditation teacher and wellness coach helping busy professionals hack their brain in as little as 20 min per day so they can reach their next level of success faster. As a former research scientist in academic healthcare and medical affairs professional in biotech, Celeste understands first-hand how to optimize wellness in the healthcare setting. Celeste holds masters and doctorate degrees in exercise physiology from the University of Toronto, Level 2 meditation certification from 1 Giant Mind and a holistic health coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
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