I love the sounds of Tibetan singing bowls and the fragrant smell of good incense burning . . . it makes me want to sit silently for hours and meditate. So I sit and I say I’m going to do this – I’m going to meditate for one whole hour! No interruptions, no distractions, I mean it this time, here I go!
OM . . . what should I make for dinner? NOPE, not right now, I’m meditating!
OM . . . I hope the kids are all doing well! NOPE, not right now, I’m meditating!
OM . . . I hope work goes good this week! NOPE, not right now, I’m meditating!
OM . . . I wonder if I will lose weight this week? NOPE, not right now, I’m meditating!
OMG . . . why do I even bother trying to meditate???
One hour? Who am I kidding? I didn’t even make it one minute!
If you are reading this article because you are looking for a highly spiritual super focused monk to teach you how to meditate, you are going to be very disappointed. The only way the word “monk” is going ever be used to describe me would be in the sentence, she is the queen of the “monk”ey mind.
What I do hope to share with you is a little bit of peace and the opportunity to forgive yourself and let go of the judgment.
Ask yourself this question – why do you want to meditate? Do you want to relax? Do you think you are supposed to? Do you think it will help you accomplish your goals?
Those are all good reasons to meditate, however, there won’t be much relaxing if you are sitting there judging yourself for not being able to meditate. And I don’t know about you, but I could be walking into the kitchen to wash the dishes and if someone says, “hey, you should really do the dishes,” chances are good my desire to do the dishes will instantly vanish. Accomplishing anything requires confidence in yourself – if you feel like a failure because you don’t think you meditate properly, you aren’t raising your vibration or building your confidence.
So now what? How do we move away from the negative, judgmental, frustrating side of meditation into the really positive, relaxing, uplifting side of meditation?
Before we get started, keep this in mind – runners don’t start with a marathon – they practice and they train, quite often they don’t even start with running, they walk. That being said, let’s do this – here’s a simple, easy-to-follow plan!
- Give yourself permission – permission to enjoy the process, permission not to judge yourself and permission to learn from your experience.
- Set your intention – set your intention to honor yourself with the gift of meditation, set your intention to be gentle with yourself, set your intention to be aware.
- Open your heart – be open to whatever comes, be open to distractions, be open to emotions, and be open to nothing.
- Breathe – breathe on purpose, inhale deeply, exhale slowly and fully, repeat.
- Receive – receive whatever comes and receive it gratefully.
- Explore – keep a meditation journal. Write down how you are feeling before you meditate, write down how you are feeling while you meditate and write down how you are feeling after you meditate. Be honest and open with yourself and remember not to judge yourself. There are no rules and no wrongs.
This is just a plan, not a list of rules. If something doesn’t work for you, change it! Make it your own.
Here is a sample meditation session based on this plan:
Write in your journal how you are feeling before you start your meditation. If something comes to you during meditation, don’t be afraid to stop a moment and write it down.
I give myself permission to relax and enjoy this time I’ve set aside for myself to meditate – there are no rules and I can’t get it wrong. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly.
I honor myself with a gift of meditation. I am aware that this is a learning experience. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly.
My heart is open. Distractions may come. I will acknowledge them and return to meditating. Even if I feel nothing, I know this time is well spent and I am grateful for it. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly.
Inhale deeply, exhale slowly . . . inhale deeply, exhale slowly . . . inhale deeply, exhale slowly . . .
I am thankful for __________. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly.
Take time to write in your journal how you felt during your meditation, then write down how you feel after your meditation session is complete.
My hope is that you will let go of any preconceived ideas of what meditation is or should be. Please learn to love yourself, be gentle with yourself and stop judging yourself. Meditation can and should be very beneficial to your health, happiness and peace of mind. Keep practicing and moving towards your best life!