No one can make time. No one can change your habits or routine. For relaxation and meditation to have an effect on your life, you need to make an agreement to honor yourself by doing it. This is actually a commitment to your own sanity and freedom. It is not to anyone else—not to a teacher or even to your family—but to living, for with this you will find a far deeper joy and happiness. That choice has to be made by you. You can change the way you look, where you live, even who you live with, but unless you connect with who you are inside, then none of those external changes will make much difference.

Entering into the Quiet
Taking time to relax or meditate is not the same as going for a walk or quietly listening to music. These are wonderfully relaxing activities, but they do not have the same effect as simply being still. Even 10 minutes a day can achieve enormous change, which will help all those around you as much as it does yourself. Others will find it easier to communicate with you, will enjoy being with you and will even be motivated to help themselves more. As peace is contagious, let's start an epidemic!

There is great beauty and joy that is your birthright, and you find this when you let go of resistance and stress and reconnect with that quiet space within; when you discover your essence rather than focusing on the content. A stressed mind sees life as a burden or constraint, while a relaxed mind meets life with dignity and fearlessness.

Sitting Quietly
Sit comfortably with your back straight. Take a deep breath and let it go. Eyes are closed; breathe normally. Begin to silently count at the end of each out breath: Inhale...exhale...count one; inhale...exhale...two; inhale...exhale...three. Count to 10, then start at one again. Just 10 breaths and back to one. Simply following each breath in and silently counting. So simple.

Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of Be The Change, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World. They are featured weekly contributors to, and Ed and Deb write Sprint's The Daily CHILLOUT inspirational text messages. They have three meditation CDs: Metta: Loving Kindness and Forgiveness, Samadhi: Breath Awareness and Insight and Yoga Nidra: Inner Conscious Relaxation. Deb is also the author of the best-selling book Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award.

Keep Reading More from Ed and Deb Shapiro:
The beauty of living in the moment
Why meditation is the greatest gift to give yourself
How meditation can calm your mind