How I ‘Cheat’ At Meditation

by MichelleStewart on October 24, 2016

How I Cheat At Meditation

After almost tearing my hair out for months searching for a solution to a better work/life balance I completely stilled my mind during meditation one evening and the answer came.

I simply thought to myself a few times, ‘What is the solution?’ and then just let the thought go and waited.

I admit I was a little freaked out when the answer came to me within a minute or two, as if a higher power was communicating with me. I know, it even sounds really woo-woo to me (and I’m a woo-woo kinda gal), but that’s the only way I could describe it.

The answer was that I had to give something up. My online business was taking off, but my local private drum student numbers also kept increasing. The answer that came to me in meditation was that I needed to let some local teaching go. The guilt I felt handing those pupils over to another teacher weighed heavy on me.

At the same time I was overcome with this sense of relief and inner knowing this was the right answer and knew that meditation would then forever be part of my life. 

I now consider it to be my way of talking to The Universe.

Even though I’ve been meditating for quite a few years I still think of myself  as a ‘cheat’ at meditation because I haven’t actually mastered sitting still in a chair with my feet on the floor in complete silence. 

I like to lie down and listen to meditation tracks because I find it more relaxing. Sometimes laying down isn’t an option so I just try to find a comfortable position wherever I happen to be.

My first experience with mediation was when I ordered the sample Holosync cd from CentrePointe.  It explained in great detail the benefits of meditation and the Holosync program and then provided about six minutes or so of a sample meditation track.

I would listen to those six minutes then rewind and listen again and again and I honestly felt the benefit from just the free sample track.

Since then I’ve invested in a few meditation programs, but I’ve also recently finished the free 21 Day Meditation Challenge from the Chopra Center.  

I was having one of those rare weeks where I felt like I wasn’t quite myself and a little down. I can honestly say that simply starting Day 1 of the challenge snapped me out of my gloomy state. That’s how powerful mediation can be. 

My son even enjoys listening to soothing tracks when he has trouble getting to sleep and used to call it ‘medication’. He’s not far from the truth there.

I’d also recommend a great video series by my good friend, Dr. Michael Brant DeMaria. He has a free 7X7 Meditation Challenge on YouTube and it’s perfect for getting me back into meditating if I’ve been away from it for a while.

Michael has the most relaxing voice and presence of anyone I know. As a 4-time Grammy nominee it’s no wonder his accompanying music is also phenomenal.


  1. Listen: Guided meditation tracks (someone talking over relaxing music) is a perfect way to get started into meditation because their words will help keep you from drifting off into your own random thoughts.
  2. Block: Use headphones or earbuds to block out surrounding noises like traffic, voices, machinery, etc.
  3. Announce: Let whoever you live with know you’re going to meditate so you’re not disturbed.
  4. Go Dark: If your room is too bright once you close your eyes wear an eye mask.
  5. Ignite: Light a candle and set an intention for that day’s meditation as you light it.
  6. Unplug: Turn off text, email and social media notifications on your phone.
  7. Create A Space: Create a sacred space that feels special to you. Mine includes candles, small items of personal importance, crystals and a few photos. However, don’t wait until you have the ‘perfect space’ set up before you get started. 
  8. Release: Let go of expectations of how to meditate correctly. Just get started on the journey.

Do you meditate?

I still consider myself very much a novice on this journey so if you have any tips you want to share or the process you follow I’d be grateful if you left a comment below.

~ Michelle


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a wee bit about me . . .

by MichelleStewart on March 17, 2014


How can someone go from being an exhausted musician and teacher and depleted soul to a passionate and inspirational leader in the field of music, making videos and internet marketing? 

300406_10150386965607922_3604206_nWell, that’s exactly what I did and now I coach other musicians and creatives on how to share their talents with the world. 


Born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada, where I was immersed in Celtic music from a young age, my passion has always been drumming. I run the Pipe Band Drumming programs at two private schools in Scotland, the Bodhrán summer course at the Gaelic College in Cape Breton and have taught through the Royal Scottish Academy of Music And Drama, and numerous music camps throughout the UK and North America.

While getting the chance to teach drumming for a living was a dream come true for me, it got to the point that (because I was teaching so much) my voice was being strained to the max. and told I might need surgery.

These serious voice issues forced me to look at alternatives to teaching one on one and during my journey I discovered how to teach thousands of people at the same time, even while I slept.

My YouTube videos teaching the Celtic hand drum, the bodhran, are watched in every single one of the 199 countries in the world and have well over 1.5 million views. My online course, BodhranExpert Platinum Membership, is one of the first musical instrument online video tutorial courses of its kind that makes the student feel like I’m actually in the room with them, taking them by the hand through their learning journey.


Most widely recognised for my drumming videos, I am also the force behind teaching people how to reach their global audience, speak from their core (authentic self) and how to clone themselves through video.  This isn’t just information I’ve read or learned about. I’ve actually DONE what I teach.

Writing is quickly becoming one of my newest passions. I am one of the co-authors of the International Best-Seller ‘Hot Mama In High Heels’ and currently working on a new book.  

Film and TV

Another part of my life is working as a Supportive Artist in TV and films. You can catch me (and my red wig) in the Outlander episode ‘The Devil’s Mark’ – Season 1 Episode 11.

I recently worked on a Scottish soap opera that should be airing in October 2016.

Family Life

I live in the picturesque town of Crieff in Perthshire, Scotland with my husband of nineteen years, Scottish musician and composer, Mark Stewart, along with our eleven year old son, Cameron.

Family Pic

Land Of The Castles

I’ve always dreamed of living in the land of castles and now I can actually see one from my window.


The photo of Drummond Castle was taken from our 3rd floor music room. I admit, I had to use a bit of zoom,  but here’s a video clip showing a closer view of Drummond Castle and its stunning gardens (also used in Outlander Season 2).



Protected: Hot Mama In (High) Heels – Audio Chapter

October 9, 2013

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Hot Mama In {High} Heels

September 6, 2013

Hot Mama In {High} Heels – Daily Tips To Rock Your World As A Woman I am so honoured to be one of the co-authors of the International Best-Selling book ‘Hot Mama In {High} Heels’ along with 20 other inspiring women. The book is geared towards helping women, but my chapter topic applies to everyone. (So […]

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