I can’t meditate! (Good news: 3 myths about meditation – busted)
“I can’t meditate! I find it impossible to stay still and to think about… nothing (!)… for 30 minutes per day. This is only meant for the yogi on his mountain!”
Yes, I totally get you!
For me too, when thinking about meditation, the following image would come to mind: a levitating yogi, wrapped in a bed sheet, in lotus pose with his index finger and thumb in gyana mudra (more about mudras in a future post), surrounded by light. This image would just make meditation even more inaccessible for me, the average person.
The alternative was of course to make comments such as: meditation is a waste of time, meditation is only for the enlightened, etc.
But actually meditation is neither inaccessible, nor unproductive, on the contrary!
Multiple studies (the British researchers, again?) show that this practice:
- Improves your focus & memory (thus saving time)
- Relaxes you and reduces stress (show of hands who needs that)
- Increases your tolerance, acceptance and your level of happiness
- Improves relationships (including the most important one: the relationship with yourself)
- Strengthens the immune system and improves the overall health
- Slows down aging (where do I sign?)
Moreover – what convinces me even more – highly successful people, may they be athletes holding world records, CEOs of the biggest companies or internationally renowned thought leaders, all have stated they meditate daily. Meditation is a tested habit, approved & recommended by people performing at the highest levels in each area of their lives.
From my own experience I can tell you that meditation lifts the fog off your brain and gives you clarity, that through meditation you can find answers and regain lightness, relaxation and the sweet inner peace. You come out of meditation more rested, more present, more patient, wiser, resourceful towards obtaining what you desire and with a better perspective over life and the world around you.
Are you now convinced that it’s worth trying?
If yes, or if you were already convinced, but were facing some obstacles, let’s bust some myths about it means to meditate.
- “I shouldn’t be thinking about anything while meditating.”
Good luck with that! … cuz it’s impossible not to think about anything.
The difference is made by how you deal with those thoughts (tadaaam). You have 2 minds: the thinking mind and the observing mind. While meditating, you enter the observing mind and just watch your thoughts as a slideshow, without them affecting or absorbing you – you remain separate from the images that unfold in front of you. As soon as you feel you got absorbed by a thought, just come back your observing state, into your observing mind. Don’t worry or beat yourself up, it is so natural to get absorbed, but you will notice, how with practice, this will happen less and less and you will be able hold the stillness and neutrality state longer… and that feeling of inner peace is simply priceless!
- “I need to meditate for at least 15 minutes, in order to be able to say I meditated.”
Who decides that? The decision belongs to you, and I can tell you that even if you just close your eyes for 30 seconds and take three deep inhales and exhales, you’ve already meditated. Why? Because by simply concentrating on your breath you release tension, you calm down and you connect with your inner self. I invite you to try this out and observe how your whole perspective of the situation and of the world for that matter changes, by simply breathing with control (More about the magic of breathing in a future post – sign up for the newsletter).
- “I need to be completely still while meditating.”
Of course you got demotivated if you thought you need to be still like a rock while meditating!
First of all, there are practices such as walking meditation. Secondly, a great meditation for beginners is to concentrate on a movement of a part of your body, in order to focus the attention (more about types of meditation in a future post). Thirdly, some of us obtain the benefits of meditation while knitting, petting a cat, taking a hot bath or washing the dishes. The main purpose if your to relax, to detach from the monkey-mind, which jumps from one thought to other, from the past to the future and vice-versa, to connect to the present moment and to your true self.
So, am I right you meditated already without even knowing?
To start with, I suggest you put your timer for 1,5 minutes, ideally in the morning the start the day in a great way, and to follow these 5 steps:
- Sit comfortably, rooting sit bones into the earth, with your back flat against a surface (wall, back rest, edge of the bed)
- Close your eyes
- Relax the muscles in your body from head to toe
- Inhale and exhale, counting you’re your breaths until you get to ten (1-inhale, 2-exhale, etc.)
- Once you get to 10, start over from 1, until the alarm turns on.
Congratulations, you’ve meditated!
Maybe at the beginning you won’t feel a big difference and that’s OK! There is no rush nor pressure, everything will happen at your own pace. And practice makes perfect. Enjoy the ride and don’t force anything. Trust that everything will happen the way it needs to.
You will start enjoying a sweet feeling of peace and grounding. Believe, you will step into the world differently on the days you meditate. Plan to meditate ever day for a week.
In a following post I will suggest a few ways to meditate.
Until next time!