What you’ll need: time and patience (those will be easier to find once you start looking for them, we promise). Optional: subscription to Soul Alive, $9 a week or $29 monthly.
When we think of hobbies we tend to think of things that require a box of materials that you use a honed skill to turn into something new to show off on your mantlepiece or to gift to someone else (be it a cake, a terrarium, or whathaveyou), with a satisfying outcome. You might not think of meditation as something that fits under that umbrella. But join me in a metaphor, if you will: the box is your mind, filled with all the thoughts and anxieties that are jumbled within it; meditation is the tool or skill that you use to recalibrate it; and your more relaxed and adaptable new mindset is both the satisfactory payoff and the thing you have to show off. It can be hard to know where to get started, but what if you could channel the hours you lose in existential states of disassociation and into a relaxed and focussed state of mind that can even lead to euphoria? You can. One way you can get started is with the guidance of Soul Alive, a Sydney-based businesses and Australia’s first livestreamed meditation service. It aims to help introduce meditation in a convenient and relatable manner. While founder Luke McLeod (who hosts many of the guided meditation with his deep, soothing voice) honed his skills at a meditation centre “in the foothills of the Himalayas”, Soul Alive also ditches the stereotype that the only way to meditate is while sitting on the top of a foggy mountain, tied up like a pretzel. With short, livestreamed sessions that are easy to slip into my Google Calendar, an on-demand library of practices curated for sleep, stress, energy and focus, even my unconditioned mind is learning to unplug and take stock, and I’ll be damned if I’m not motivated to keep it up. You can sign up for a free one-week pass here. (Alannah Maher, Sydney lifestyle journalist)