It seems meditation is becoming more and more popular, which I love. I think it's a very healthy practice to quiet your mind even if it is for just 5 minutes a day. However, I find that many people make it sound super easy, "just meditate and you won't be stressed anymore." Oh, ok, cool. The yoga teacher will calmly tell you to "just close your eyes and let your mind fall into peace and quiet. Let the stress of your day go with every breath" in her soft, purr of a whisper. Most articles write about how meditating is the best, and easiest thing you can do for your mental, emotional and physical health, you just have to sit there and not think!
I'm sorry but the first thousand times I tried to meditate, it was more stressful than what I was originally stressed out about. "Am I doing this right? I feel like I shouldn't hear my own thoughts if I'm doing it right. I'm not doing it right. How do people do this? Should I count sheep? Breathe in, breathe out. What should I have for dinner after yoga tonight? That guy that walked in after me is super cute, I wonder if he knows how to meditate properly? Of course he does, everyone but me knows how to meditate properly." It was an inner battle more epic than deciding on the 6oz glass of red wine at dinner or the 9oz. Eventually, the more I practiced the easier it became but I am by no means an expert to this day.
To be honest, it was beginning to bug me when I heard people talking about their amazing 1 hour meditation when they got so deep into themselves they were on another level and all these answers and truths came to them when they needed it most. That seemed like something that would never, ever happen for me. I envied those who can completely shut off their thoughts and fully meditate.
Unfortunately, for many of the people I know in my day to day life, this is not ever going to come easy. We live in a society that is constantly go, go, go. We are told to move faster and work harder in order to achieve what we want in this life. We stress ourselves to the max and are exhausted by the time we get to yoga or to meditation, it's no wonder most people fall asleep within seconds of trying to meditate. So when we're told all day, everyday to be thinking and multitasking I can see how it's difficult to just sit their in silence and not dwell on any one thought. But let's dig a little deeper here. I'm only now realizing that maybe the reason I find meditating so difficult sometimes is the fact that it's scary. Being alone in my head with my own raw, unadulterated thoughts and feelings is scary. I knew I have baggage hidden in there that I didn’t want to start unpacking yet. Maybe we're afraid to truly let go of our conscious mind and allow those memories, feelings, emotions and thoughts to crawl their way to the surface and slap you in the face. I think that's enough to hold most people back.
Everyone wants to tell themselves that they are truly, 100% happy with their current situation and that they wouldn't change a thing; would that be the case if the deepest part of your heart and soul were asked the question? Maybe, but maybe not, which is perfectly fine. It's important to be mindful when meditating because a lot of emotion and truth can find it's way into the light. I'm learning to embrace and respect this new awareness. There's a reason I make the decisions I make everyday, it has a lot to do with the intuition and feelings that come after a session of meditating and yoga. So next time you're asked to meditate or do so on your own, take a step deeper. Tread lightly into the unknown, into the part of you that maybe you have been avoiding and acknowledge it. You don't have to deal with it or do anything about it, just say "hey there, thought, I see you. Thanks for coming, but I'm letting go now". You might be surprised at what your inner self has been trying to tell you.
Be well & Live loud,