You already know about the benefits of meditation. You may already be a practitioner yourself. But there are a few things about meditation that may surprise you.
- You Don’t Have to Sit in the Lotus Position.
You don’t have to sit for an hour on a meditation pillow. You don’t have to have incense burning. You don’t even have to meditate every day.
So often we can get hung up on what a meditation practice “should” look like (which looks a lot like those pictures of someone sitting cross legged, erect and in calm bliss). And when we attempt to meditate this way and we don’t like it, we quit.
Meditation can look like a lot of things. Lying on your bed and listening to a guided meditation. Working in the garden, going on a walk in nature, working out, or even sitting in your car for a few extra moments after you dropped off the kids so you can take five deep breaths.
Meditation is a pause. A chance for you to extract yourself from the normal movement of the day and come deep into presence with yourself and everything around you. A chance to let go of the past and the future and just be in the present moment.
And that can look like a lot of different things. So, find what feels good for you and go with it.
- Thoughts Are Inevitable During Your Meditation.
Our brain’s job is to create thoughts. Meditation doesn’t eliminate these thoughts. It simply gives us a tool to manage those thoughts. To notice them. To create a space between our noticing of them and our reacting to them. And in that space, we begin to see that we are separate from our thoughts. That we are not our thoughts. We are the deep self, observing those thoughts. And when we experience this, a few things happen. First, we can dive deeper in and get to know our true selves better. And second, we can choose to let go of the thoughts that tell us that we’re unworthy, or that might be taking us down a path of worry and fear. We can choose to hold onto the thoughts that feel empowering and fulfilling. We become the architects of our mind.
- Meditation Has All the Answers You’re Seeking.
Seems a little far-fetched? Hear me out on this. After decades of practicing meditation, I’ve come to believe that we have all the answers we’re seeking inside of us. All those what am I going to do, how will I, will I ever questions.
The myriad of questions that come up as we navigate ourselves through this life can be overwhelming, and even cause an immense amount of stress and anxiety. We often look for answers outside of us. But practicing meditation gives us an opportunity to just be – with those questions and with ourselves. In giving ourselves this space, we can hear those whispers that guide us in the right direction. Call it intuition, divine guidance, God speaking, your inner self…it’s all inside of you. All you have to do is give yourself the space to listen.
- Meditation Helps You Design a Life You Truly Love.
What happens when you regularly practice getting quiet and creating space to listen? You get really in tune with yourself. What you like, what you don’t like … your dreams, your values, and your purpose. It’s self-awareness on a whole new level. And it doesn’t take too long to realize that taking action on what you hear is vital. That action taken from the guidance of your deep self naturally shapes the life you see around you. And before you know it, you’re living your life 100% scripted by YOU. You stop doing things because you think you should. You start doing things that fill you up and are aligned with your values.
- Meditating is Easy.
If you’ve ever sat down to meditate, expecting an hour to pass in peaceful bliss while your insides sing with divine light, only to get frustrated thirty seconds into your practice because your mind won’t stop spinning, leading you to stomp off and swear meditation is not for you … then stick around for this one (oh…and, you’re not alone).
I’m not saying that the practice of meditation is easy … it’s not. It’s like any other practice you’ve ever done. As I tell my daughter, “To be good at anything, you have to be willing to start ugly. It takes practice to become better.”
But accessing meditation has never been easier. Podcasts, apps, global and local groups … connecting with the meditations that you crave is as easy as pressing a button. You have all the tools you need at your fingertips. And you can literally start right now!
My own meditation practice has shifted and changed with every season of life I’ve been in since I first started 25 years ago. Currently, it looks like mini moments of mindfulness – listening to my intuition that tells me to stop at any given moment and stand with my bare feet in the grass, or close my eyes, and take a few deep breaths. It’s imperfect and unstructured. And it continues to be one of the most powerful tools I have to live a life I truly love.
Photo: Rick Tauceda
(The “Girls kissing mommy” shot shows her daughter Savannah on the left and her daughter Sedona on the right.)
(The “Katie in closet” picture is because that’s really where she records her podcasts from!)