You know it and I know it: Meditation can feel very impossible to do.
Why? Because the moment we sit down to go deep, we try too hard. Little do we know that the crux is the word “try” – there is no trying in meditation. You just, well….meditate.
Here’s what I know that you may not know:
Meditation is proven to have many, many benefits and I can vouch for this as true. Most people talk about the physical and mental benefits, but I want to touch on the Soul work. Meditation is a tool that brings you closer to the Oneness, Self, God, Creator, Universe, or whatever you choose to call it.
It is a time to listen in to the Soul and open up to information that you simply can not get outside of yourself. It is a chance to commune with your Inner Being…that sacred space within you that houses all that you have come here to be and achieve.
So, how do you meditate?
Meditation requires complete relaxation. As humans in a society that keeps us running like little energizer bunnies, it is sometimes very difficult to pause. In some cases, the idea of doing nothing brings upon anxiety because we are fixated, by conditioning, that we should be on a continuous hustle and grind.
The impossible feat to attempt to achieve success and complete all things adulting that is overflowing on our plates, repels any amount of time to engage with Self. In order to achieve the state of meditation, you must be fully present, in the moment. Meditation begins as a complete refocus from thought to another place of concentration.
In meditation, refocusing attention to…
- your breath
- a leaky faucet
- nature sounds
- ocean rain sounds
- Soft music….
reduces thought and invites the space to remain centered and calm. This helps the brain go from beta (monkey mind) to alpha (relaxed) and with deeper practice, theta…the state in which meditation ensues.
I’m being very brief in this article regarding this topic, yet, there is tons more information in the upcoming ebook, Meditation Demystified, Your Guide to a Daily Practice. (Click here to get on the list to be notified when it is available.)
Wanna know why meditation seems impossible?? When I started practicing over a decade ago, I thought this way too. In this post, I’ll walk you through seven ways you may be sabotaging your way to inner peace through the attempt to meditate. Ready? Let’s go!
I Can’t Stop Thinking
This is the number one complaint I hear from my clients and workshops I facilitate.
Here’s what’s real…
you are NOT the thought, which means you are not thinking to begin with. Thought is energy – an energy that you have the ability to observe as opposed to engage in.
When you come to an agreement within yourself that you are not the thought itself and realize that you are actually watching the thought, it’s easier to allow yourself to detach from it. The very act of “trying not to think” keeps you fixated on thought which summons more thought.
What happens next is the same as what happens in life…the very thing you want to not do, you continue to do because that is where your attention is. The Universe will continue to serve to you where you put your focus!! So, “trying not to think” is an order to the Universe saying, “I’ll take more thought, please.”
At your next meditation session, acknowledge that thought is there.
- Don’t follow the thought.
- Watch the thought pass by like a cloud.
- Then watch the next….and the next…..and the next….
You may discover two things while doing this:
- Thoughts are unlimited because energy is unlimited and is everything. You will notice how much you engage in thought.
- You may notice a space in between the thought. In other words, as you watch one thought pass by, there is a space and another thought of the same vibration appears. You’d be surprised at the caliber of thoughts when you do this.
With consistent practice the space between the thought widens as you begin to place focus on the space as opposed to the thought.
You are Not Breathing
Well, you are…else, you would not be reading this article. But, I would wager my entire penny savings that you aren’t breathing correctly.
Most adult’s breathing stops at the heart area, which does not fill the diaphragm. Proper breathing softly and smoothly fills the diaphragm and allows breath to fill the belly. Have you ever seen a baby breathe? If not, check it out. Watch a baby’s entire belly rise and fall with every breath. This is how we should all breathe consistently, throughout the day and during meditation.
- Bring full focus to your breathing pattern
- Inhale slowly and fully: imagine the air you inhale go all the way down to your groin area as your belly fills gently.
- Exhale softly and completely
- If you veer off to chase a thought, it’s okay…come back to your breath and repeat the process.
Do this during your entire meditation
Your Environment is Too Loud
And by too loud, I’m not referring to only noise as a factor. Is noise a factor? Absolutely, but there are several things for me that I consider “noise” when it comes to my sacred space.
First off, if you live in a busy area where there may be noise from cars, trains, airports, people walking etc, it can be very distracting to get into the zone for most people. Consider this….
Use some of this loudness as a focal point. I live near a busy intersection and cars constantly pass my house. This is actually soothing to me. I tend to allow the cars passing by to ease my beta mind and it can work for other types of noise as well.
Here is more food for thought on how your environment can be too loud:
- Distracting odors – there is nothing worse than smelly kitchen garbage.
- Messy room – I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely can not meditate in a mess. Clutter blocks energy inward and outward. Cluttered and messy areas can prevent the ease and flow of energy.
- Unsoothing area – in some cases, a good smudge, candle lighting or crystals are a great way to bring positive energy into a space. If you are feeling like you just can’t get in the zone, you may need to clear out negative energy in the space you wish to meditate.
You Keep Telling Yourself You Can’t Meditate
Change the story. What many people don’t realize is their negative self talk. Thankfully, meditation actually fixes this by opening awareness in how you behave on a daily basis.
When you say, “I just can’t meditate”, you are making a declaration to the Universe that this is so. The story you continually tell is the one that will be real-ized.
Try this affirmation instead….
Every time I meditate, I am more relaxed and my meditation gets better.
Changing the story doesn’t make you a liar. It compels a new experience and as you continue to tell the new story, it will become what you real-ize.
You Are Not Relaxed
I must admit…sometimes I think I’m relaxed and I’m not. My first check for my relaxation is my brows and forehead. This is where I hold tension during meditation.
Relaxing all muscles means one thing and one thing only….there is less thought. Thought sends signals to the brain to order up chemical cocktails that are dispersed in the body as emotions.
The E-motion that is experienced is called FEELINGS!
Anywhere there is tension in the body, there is a thought process in place that is causing it. Total relaxation means all muscles are relaxed and this is the only way to go deeper into your practice.
You Need Guidance
Sometimes, it’s tough to bare it alone with something that is totally new to you. And, that’s ok! Guided meditations are a great tool to get you started along your path. The good news is, guided meditation can be used anywhere at anytime. Our free guided meditations are designed with a beginner in mind to get you started and comfortable with your practice.
You Keep Quitting
Meditation is no different from any skill. It takes practice to get good at it! Let yourself off the hook, it’s beyond ok to not get it the first day, week or month! Hardly anyone I know begins a practice that can go right into a relaxed state.
Here’s the thing, the same way you practiced yourself into your monkey mind is the same way you will practice yourself out of it. The difference is the monkey mind is conditional, meaning, it is not 100% your fault. The systems of control have conditioned us all to be external beings, which results in consistent thought patterns that are typically negative. The way out of it is to be intentional.
Meditation is a very personal experience and everyone’s experience is unique and based on their own perspective and beliefs. Fact is, anyone can meditate and everyone can be present. We are experiencing present state awareness everyday at different times of the day whether we realize it or not.
The key….continue the practice and seek guidance when necessary. As for me, meditation has been a huge blessing in my life. This is what drives my passion to share how to ignite a gift that we all have within us.
Now, it’s your turn. Share your meditation experience with us!