The Art of Meditation: The bills keep piling up, your boss is always on your case, it seems like your husband goes out of his way to annoy you and you can never find time to go to the gym. Why is this so hard? Why does it feel like you have to work so hard to keep your head above water? Is the universe out to get you? Or are you just an unlucky and unhappy person? Maybe. But on the other hand, maybe you are just missing one tiny, but very impactful piece of the puzzle.
You think back on those summer days spent at the beach with your husband. Remember how happy you were? Remember how every thought and every interaction felt so blissful? Remember how your heart swam with joy and gratitude and you were able to radiate light from the inside out? This serene state of mind held you in its warm embrace, but slowly as the days passed it began to fade away without you even noticing. Soon enough you found yourself overwhelmed by the monotony of daily life and all the obligations that come with it. You think to yourself, If only there was a way to hold onto that joy always.
You’ve heard your friends talk about mediation before, but it always sounded a little too new age for you. You would find yourself worrying about not being able to sit still, or not being able to clear your mind. Despite these internal objections, you find yourself googling the benefits of meditation in your spare time.
From your research, you learn that meditation is not about having all the right answers right away. It is not about being able to sit quietly for hours, nor is it about channelling Gandhi and never making an interpersonal miscalculation again. It is about practice. It is about giving yourself permission to slow down your mind. It is about learning to put things into perspective and learning to connect with the part of you that is most authentic and genuine. It is learning to accept that happiness is your only worldly obligation, and it is about choosing that happiness on a moment to moment basis.
While intriguing, this concept seemed a little too idealistic to you. How could it truly be this simple, you used to think? But now here you sit, several months deep into your practice. You feel more alert, you feel the quality of your relationships has shifted. You feel more joyful and more connected to what is at the center of your hearts true purpose and desire. All of a sudden your husband’s socks on the floor don’t annoy you near as much. You choose love over littleness and if your find yourself accidently choosing littleness over love, you gently forgive yourself and allow yourself the opportunity to reconsider and choose again.
Mediation is not about perfection. It is about a conscious awareness in all realms of our lives. It is about the knowledge and acceptance of the fact that we are the CEO’s of how we view our environments and ourselves. It is about the power in knowing that our lives are completely malleable and changeable as long as we are able to be truthful with ourselves and welcome healing into our lives.
As a person beginning a new meditation practice, it can often be intimidating to know where to start. Start by allowing yourself to sit silently, with your eyes closed for just one minute. Allow yourself to focus on your breath. Welcome in each new breath as though it is life giving, as though it is the solution to all of your problems. Allow yourself to relax. Remind yourself that you are worthy of this quiet time you are dedicating to yourself. As you begin to enjoy the silence, allow yourself to sit for longer amounts of time. Whatever is comfortable.
If you find yourself unable to enjoy the silence, or you find yourself falling asleep, try to use a guided meditation instead. This will keep you present and keep your objectives clear while you meditate. A great tool is the Headspace app. Headspace allows you to choose from a catalogue of different topics on which to mediate, as well as to select the length for which you wish to meditate.
Regardless of your method, be patient with yourself. Remind yourself of how this new practice can be beneficial not only to you, but to those around you. Remind yourself on a daily basis that everything you need already resides within you and that you are using meditation as a means to harness that greatness. Continue to be gentle with yourself and most importantly develop a love for yourself that removes fear from your world. Remember you are worth it.