‘I am so SH** at Meditating!’ – Do ONE thing
I have been chatting a lot with friends over the last few weeks and I think the great thing is that even though not everyone is ‘into’ meditation, a lot more people are starting to understand and accept that it has huge benefits! But the one sentence that people keep saying to me over and over again is ‘I AM SO SHIT AT MEDITATING.’ Spoiler alert…most people are unless you happen to be a Buddhist monk who meditates for hours at a time.
Now, I am absolutely no expert in this area but what I can talk about is my own personal experience with meditation. Maybe this might help people who find themselves getting super frustrated trying to meditate (THAT WAS ME – typical type A, always had to be on the go, looking for the next task)
Firstly, cut yourself some slack. We live in an era of distraction (LITERALLY EVERYWHERE)
Think about it: on average, people only work 3 minutes before interruption.
At home, 60% of people spend more time staring at a screen than talking with their partner. 88% use a second screen while watching TV. I am not here to lecture on screen time (that was kind of my last post) but what
I am trying to say is cut your brain some slack. If we are constantly bombarded with various forms of information you can’t expect your brain to just STOP. It does get easier to calm your mind but your mind is a muscle and like other muscles, it takes time & training. ALSO, the point of meditation IS NOT TO STOP YOUR THOUGHTS, so many people feel that the point of meditation is to have a completely clear mind, space between the thoughts does come eventually!
But when they arise, observe them and eventually they will pass. Be friends with yourself. I sometimes do guided meditations but sometimes I like to just sit there with some funky waves on in the background and ask myself, what do you want to think about? Ironically, this sometimes stops the thoughts arising. Be your own friend. Not your own enemy and if thoughts keep arising, write them down and get them from your head to paper! Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting cross legged on a cushion, chanting. Meditation can be anything. Just focus on ONE THING. If you’re doing the dishes, do the dishes. If you are out for a walk, be out for a walk not chatting on the phone. @siobhanohhagen sent out an email the other day asking how often do we just sit there with ourselves? LITERALLY, just ourselves. Us & our thoughts.
It is scary to think that we never really do this anymore. If we are driving, we listen to the radio. If we’re out walking, we listen to a podcast. How are we to get to know ourselves really when all we are being bombarded with is images and videos of other peoples highlight reels? Sorry for the rant, but the take away point on this matter is give meditation a go and instead of constantly trying to distract yourself when you’re bored, why not just sit with yourself and your thoughts? You might be pleasantly surprised when you stop ignoring your thoughts and actually start questioning and engaging with them.