There are so many reasons to meditate and more and more of them, today are backed by some pretty cool science but meditation, like anything new, can seem daunting at first. Because meditation deals with the mind and the nature of mind, I think that, for many of us, in itself makes it intimidating or unsettling. Feeling this way about it is totally normal and the good news is, it can be overcome. Here are some tips:
1. You cannot do it wrong With images of the perfect meditator in our minds we might allow ourselves to believe that we'll never be able to do it or we won't do it right, especially if we have tried it and felt that it "didn't work" for us. Meditation in its simplest of forms is simply the practice of moment by moment awareness, usually with the breath as a focal point. Although today there is so much science and research around the mind on meditation, the process itself is not rocket science. It's not complicated or doesn't have to be, it just takes practice. As you practice that feeling that you are doing it wrong, will quietly diminish.
2. Being alone with your mind won't kill you. For new meditators it might be uncomfortable and even freaky to be with yourself and your mind, at first. It might be the last thing you even want to do, be alone with your thoughts and your mind. But doing so won't harm you in any way because it's actually the thoughts that go unnoticed, the mind that keeps going on and on that slowly but surely wear you down in life. Let's face it, it seems like our thoughts and our mind are usually running the show and our lives and through this simple practice of meditation you begin to slowly turn this cycle around - you get in the drivers seat of your mind, you begin to become aware of what's going on "up there" and that awareness is powerful. That awareness allows you to begin changing the running the show.
3. Your busy mind is completely normal. We live busy and often complicated lives full of tasks, solving life's daily issues and looking after others so it is so normal that when you first sit down to meditate your mind will wander almost immediately. It is completely normal that your busy mind will try and talk you out of continuing. But here is the great thing, part of meditating is noticing that your mind has wander. You actually have not stopped meditating when the mind has wandered and you notice that it has - it's all part of it. What a relief that is!
4. It takes patient practice. Like anything worthwhile in life, anything that will truly add to our lives, it takes practice; patient practice. Taking time to practice, at anytime during your day is such a worthwhile pursuit given what western science is now proving about it (just google top meditation benefits and be prepared to be blown away). In today's fast paced world, with things changing at speeds that even the human mind is incapable of keeping up with, it's even more important to actively take this time for your mind. Slowing down and quieting the mind is such a powerful proactive thing to do for you mind. We usually remember to take care of our bodies, other people, our homes but we often forget to take care of our mind - Meditation takes care of your Mind...
5. It's for anyone and everyone. Meditation is not for the so called "evolved higher beings". You do not need to believe in something or someone to do it. You don't have to subscribe to a religion or ideology. You don't need a special room full of statues and lighted candles. Whether you are a chief executive trying to manage the pressures of running an organization or a busy mom juggling a few toddlers or teens this practice is for you. Whether you are looking for a way to balance your emotions or you are exploring spirituality and a connection with something bigger than you - all are welcome and all will benefit from this practice whatever the reason that brings them to it.
I have been practicing meditation now for quite some time, first for myself and I've always been intrigued with the practice. It became a natural and meaningful extension of my work in health & wellness and then as a coach. Today, I am fascinated with the science of the mind on meditation and this serves to keep me inspired and on track with this daily practice. If I don't meditate each morning, I feel like I have not prepared my mind for the day. I also truly believe that the mind is our most powerful creative force so I feel good knowing that meditation is taking care of my mind.
Sending out loads of well wishes for all new meditators everywhere and I hope that some of these words inspire you...
Meditation Coach & Creator