Meditation is a word that seems to conjure up idealistic visions of peace, bliss, and stillness – a state of being far removed from the reality of paying rent, dating/breaking up and trying to find your passion whilst keeping your parents happy.
We have ideas of meditation that either prevent us from beginning a practice i.e. “I could never meditate, my mind just doesn’t stop thinking”. Or if we do invest in the romantic vision of stillness and bliss, when our expectations aren’t immediately met, we simply dismiss meditation as another one of those things that “didn’t work for me.”
Now I want to propose that it’s these pre-conceived ideas that meditation is meant to bring you instant peace, happiness, better health and enlightenment – without any challenges – that end up collapsing a healthy meditation practice. Why? Because meditation is not a quick-fix happy pill, it’s not the silver bullet to instantly solve all your dilemmas, nor the magic wand to take you away to another world where you can ‘start afresh’.
Meditation is a practice.
A ‘practice’ is defined as an activity or exercise performed repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency. In this case, meditation is technique that’s performed daily in order to improve your life experience and reveal your truest self.
And during this daily practice of meditation – sitting with the eyes closed, de-exciting the mind and allowing the natural innate intelligence of the body to heal and repair itself – we begin what’s known as the process of awakening.
Throwing in the towel.
It’s at the point, when our meditation sessions may start to become less then gratifying, that we (consider or actually) throw in the towel.
In meditation you may experience constant thinking, agitation of the body, your mind telling you to shut up and sit still because you’re meant to be meditating not thinking about that last conversation you had or what colour to paint the room when you’re done…
Then outside of meditation during the day you may be experiencing overwhelming emotions, confusion about what you’re supposed to be doing in this life, anger for no apparent reason or loneliness that there’s no one sharing this awakening process with you…
Your doing it right.
It’s these experiences, both in meditation and in daily life that are of great benefit. Yes, all those thoughts, those seemingly menial or highly aggravating conversations you have with yourself in your head, the tears, the aches and the drama are all a part of a very important process.
You’re healing yourself, detoxing and transitioning through to a huge upgrade. And when we allow these experiences to play out in our meditations, what we’re doing is allowing the body to naturally come back into alignment and process our life experiences.
Awakening to your truest self and throwing out the trash.
So next time you sit down to meditate (or just think about giving it a go), remember to let go of any expectations or pre-conceived ideas you may have, and drop all preferences for a certain experience to take place.
Meditation is a practice and a process. And when the chaotic thoughts, the rising emotions, repetitive stories we tell ourselves, the voices in our heads, the limiting beliefs, defeatist attitudes or the instant fix ideologies raise their ugly heads… remember that you are in a process of healing. You’re detoxing your mind and throwing out the trash. This is want we want happening.
Without rejecting, controlling or forcing the mind to do anything it doesn’t naturally want to do, through meditation we tap into our bodies intelligent healing system and naturally begin to resolve our angst and reveal our truest self.
The powerful practice of daily meditation.
Meditation is a powerful practice that shows you who you are, where you’re at and gives you the ability to move swiftly into higher states of calmness, capability and overall wellbeing. So pat yourself on the back. Tell yourself you’re amazing for taking the challenge of cleaning up your own mental trash. You’re in the process of giving rise to an authentic life full of bliss, love and generosity. You’re doing real self-work. And you’re doing an amazing job.