There is SO much you will either hear from other people, or from your own mind, that makes the idea of meditation very off-putting.
It certainly sounded off-putting to me.
And once I was interested, I felt like I didn't have the time. In a busy life, it can feel like a waste of time. But in fact, I'd argue the busier you are, the more you need it, and if I was in a hypothetical scenario of everyone having to follow one law I'd created, it would be this: everyone would have to meditate daily.
Why do I believe it's so powerful? Read on...
1. It's NOT not thinking
Meditation is NOT about trying to create a calm, still, quiet mind. You will sit there and you will last about 3-7 seconds without a thought!
Often in our thoughts, we're locked onto the past or the future, playing out scenarios that either have or haven't happened yet.
The practice is this: you focus on a breath (or similar) sensation, and every time you notice that you have become lost in thought, you gently recognize it and choose to come back to the breath (or whatever else you have chosen to focus on). This IS what meditation is, and it's what many mindfulness practices teach also. The art of being aware; in the moment.
2. You cannot be good or bad at it
Because, as described above, meditation is a practice, you cannot be good or bad at it. You can simply experience it. The mind is not good or bad. You are not good or bad. All you have to do it show up for it, and witness the mind. When we meditate, we notice without judgement when we are distracted or not. If we think we have had a good practice, or done really well today, we've probably missed the point of our meditation!
3. You do it BECAUSE you have a busy mind
See point 1. Just because you are always thinking so frantically and have so much to do, means you need meditation MORE not less. Saying you are too busy to meditate is like saying you are too dirty to take a bath. We need meditation to create the distance from our thoughts, so we can become more tapped into who we truly are: peaceful, joyful beings with a deep inner confidence.
4. It's not about stress-relief
Well, what the point of it then, that's the whole reason I'm doing it?! Stress management and stress relief IS a lovely side-effect. The feeling of slowing down, and having stopped to take time for ourselves, is lovely and very beneficial.
But the point of meditation is not to be peaceful. It's not a feeling.
The purpose of meditation is to change the relationship with our thoughts; it's about recognizing that they are just that; our thoughts and are feelings are not US.
You might liken this to a busy road, and without meditation, we jump into each and every car racing past. We're thinking about what to have for dinner, and that deadline at work, and have we got our pants on inside out, and that witty retort we should have said to Sheila at lunch and what is our life's purpose and did I pay that phone bill or not?! With meditation, we learn to stand at the side of the road. We see the cars, but we don't have to jump into them.
Another way is to liken it to a sky, with clouds. The clouds are our thoughts and are feelings. With meditation, we learn that we are the sky, and we might feel or think many different things during that day, but actually, we are still the sky. And the sky is innately peaceful and joyful.
5. It's not a waste of time
I know my mind constantly tells me 'I don't have time'. It also really will use any excuse to NOT meditate. Our mind, our ego, finds safety and security in the thoughts and feelings that define it. I am a teacher, I am shy, I like hot dogs and hate running etc. Only some of those are true!
We have to cultivate an interest and raise the priority of meditation in our mind in order to be able to turn up consistently to practice. There's NO instant gratification; we don't feel instantly better when we meditate. You're going to feel unwilling when the mind is sitting in a story line it likes, and in a culture that shouts YOU'RE NOT WORTHY if you're not productive, making time for meditation becomes an audacious, radical thing that you can do for yourself to transform your life.
6. You don't have to sit cross-legged
Please, sit comfortably. Sit in a chair. Rest your back against something. You don't need to be in active wear. You don't need gadgets or the perfect setting or peace and quiet to do it in. Just start where you are, with what you have. I hate when I search for images for meditation and all that comes up is people sitting crossed legged on the floor and making the lotus sign with their hands. Just sit. Close your eyes. And focus on your breath. That's all we really need.
Curious to know more? And maybe to begin your meditation journey?
I've just created a NEW meditation bundle that you can download for FREE! It includes my 17-page e-book called 'The Meditation Plan', plus 10 breathing audios and 9 short meditation audios to create incredible, unshakeable self-belief. You can download it - for free - here.
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