I zone out every time someone mentions "meditation"
There is something about the word that makes me feel bored and impatient to get on with real action plans.
Can you relate? I get this image that meditation is impractical: sitting on the dirty ground in some isolated mountain meadow, chanting in languages I only pretend to understand, hoping to be lifted up out of my problems by the magical sound of "OHM."
Being this skeptical is a problem because I've been a yoga teacher for over 17 years!
Am I some kind of hypocrite to be teaching people to meditate when it's one of the last things I choose naturally?
So why do I keep telling people, "You gotta meditate - It changes everything"?
Because it really does -- hypocrite or not.
- If you are unfocused, hyperactive, and impatient you are a PERFECT candidate for meditation.
- If you are mellow, peaceful, and occasionally judgmental you are a PERFECT candidate for meditation.
- If you are driven, easily stressed out, and sarcastic you are a PERFECT candidate for meditation.
Get it? The biggest block that keeps you from learning is thinking that you have to BE PERFECT to even start.
That's like saying you can't eat because you're just too hungry. "I'm just not worthy of dinner."
So, let's get started right now with all your imperfections and distractions and strengths and weaknesses. Let's put some myths to rest and find out what meditation really IS and why it's going to work for you right now:
Meditation is being okay with boredom
If you haven't tried meditation because you're afraid it's too boring, I'm going to have to tell you to get over it.
What's your problem with boredom anyway?
If I told you that your boss called and said you can go take a trip to Bali and lie on white sand beaches for an entire week, would you say, "No, that's too boring." ??
I'll bet you would define that as relaxing and rejuvenating and inspiring, am I right?
Meditation is being able to recreate safe spaces inside your mind that allow you to visit places that make you feel like slowing down and enjoying the present.
Boredom is peace in disguise
One day I was chatting with a yoga student who was nervous to try a class because there was no music. He was afraid it would be too boring and that he would hate it.
As I was leading the students through the practice that day I got this idea that everyone wants peace. But society keeps us so busy and stimulated that we never feel peace.
When the music is off and you're focusing on your breath and the poses with pure concentration, that is the space of true peace.
It seemed so obvious. Peace is right in front of us at all times.
We don't need to travel to far lands or read piles of philosophy books. Peace is there for the taking. Learning to meditate, to face the boredom directly and sit with it -- that is peace.
That empty space has so much to teach you and bring to your awareness.
The boring stuff is going to be your new best teacher.
Meditation is NOT the absence of thought
If your mind runs in circles, that's okay. If your attention wavers and starts daydreaming or making lists or judging the person next to you -- it's normal.
Meditation is a practice of becoming aware of your thoughts. Meditation is becoming a master of your thoughts. This way your thoughts don't get so important and try to control you.
Think about the last time you were really hard on yourself. Just because you think it doesn't make it truth.
Undisciplined thoughts and emotional knee jerk responses will imprison you within your own mind.
Free your mind and become less involved with everything the mind says.
The mind is supposed to create "what if" scenarios and create worries. It's a survival mechanism. It helps you take the good and bad and create working emergency plans.
If the mind is allowed to worry without discipline, those emergency scenarios start to become our living reality.
As a recovering worrier, let me tell you how good the view is from here.
Thoughts come, get a nod of acknowledgement, thanked for the opinion, and then they drift away. It's really nice to watch thoughts pass by like clouds and not get soaked by the downpour.
Want to learn more about how to turn your thoughts to your advantage to supercharge your goals? Check out the Radiant Program!