BLOG POST:Meditation Tips for People Who Suck at Meditating.
Updated: Mar 17
I suck at meditating.
I tell you this, not to brag.
I tell you this, to let you know that it's ok.
In fact, it's better than ok, it's encouraged.
If you were naturally good at meditating, there would be almost no point to it.
They call it a meditation practice. The gift of it is in the practicING.
There are a lot of misconceptions about meditation.
First, let's talk about what meditation ISN'T before we talk about what mediation actually is.
A lot of people have a perception that meditating is only done by gurus and hippies and people sitting alone on mountain tops in flowing clothing looking for "enlightenment". And while, yes, that's a percentage of the population of meditators, I maintain that it's not the majority.
To whittle it down to its most simplistic form, to "meditation for dummies, it", mediation is about stopping all the inner and outer distractions and noise and attempting to be fully present in the moment, by finding an object of focus.
Notice I said "attempting"? That's where the practice comes in.
If you were easily able to be fully and completely present and immersed in the current moment you wouldn't need to meditate. You would BE the living embodiment OF meditation.
Yes, you will get distracted, you will chase a thought, the key is to be aware of it, and circle back your "object" of meditation.
That object can be just about anything.
There are so many ways to "meditate", so many ways to quiet the mind, to hit the pause button on anxiety, to stop the chatter and be fully engaged and present. Yup, some of those ways DO in fact involve sitting in the lotus position, with your eyes closed chanting "OM". Yet, so many more of them don't.
There is walking meditation, where you focus on the action of walking, the feel of the ground under your feet and all the other sensations.
There is simple breath meditation, where for a brief period you stop whatever you are doing or thinking, and really pay attention to your breath. In through the nose, out through the mouth. You can count as you breathe. You can focus on how the air feels in your nostrils, and the expansion of your chest. There are no rules!
There is music meditation, and touch meditation and even dish-washing meditation. The thing they all have in common is that they all are about being fully present in the now, and truly experiencing the essence of the moment.
Meditation can be anything you want it to be.
Our typical stress management routine is akin to turning on the TV to block the sound of the radio.
Meditation is about turning off and tuning in. (That's my modern-day twist on Timothy Leary's "Turn on, tune in, and drop out.")
The key is that you aren't pushing down the noise and worry of your thoughts, by blocking them out, as we do so often, with Netflix, and drinking, and social media and general life busy-ness.
The most important step to meditating is to start.
I encourage you, after you finish reading this, to challenge yourself to meditate for 10 seconds. Yup, just focus on your breath for 10 seconds without engaging a thought. When you start wondering if the dog needs to be walked (which you will), that's ok, be aware of the thought, stop the thought and return to your breath.
When you catch yourself thinking, "I suck at meditating", pat yourself on the back, you're supposed to!