Have you ever decided that you couldn’t meditate? Maybe you tried once and found that you couldn’t stop thinking. You close your eyes and you decide to be still…. and….all you can do is think. Think about the the other things that you could be doing. Right? Many people complain that they “can’t stop thinking”. I get it, How to stop thinking and turn off your brain is the most talked about topic in new meditation circles.
The truth is, it takes practice. You wouldn’t expect to be able to play tennis like a pro, without practice, right? Sure, you could get out on the court, you could even hit a ball, but the first time out, would you be good at it?
What about riding a bike or swimming or typing or talking… all of the things that we had to learn at one time and now take for granted. They were all hard. They all took practice.
Meditating is no different. Well, that’s not true, the difference is that as a society; mindfulness, awareness and meditation have been taught “out of us”. As children we were wonderfully mindful, always looking and seeing and pondering and learning and experiencing. I even see it in my children today, as they deeply experience each day as if it were the only day.
Our society has been telling us since we were children, that we need to pay attention to “external things”. We are a very externally based society and do not cherish or really even support internal reflection. In our fast paced world decisions must happen now, immediately, and you may think, “I don’t have time to reflect on everything I do” and as a result, we don’t set any time aside for reflection at all.
I am suggesting that you start with a simple guided meditation.
Here is one of my favorites, I like this one because I enjoy listening to Dr. Deepak Chopra and I appreciate when he describes the science behind meditation…
It wasn’t until I listened to a guided meditation that I realized that, “I’m not the only one that can’t stop thinking” most guided meditations address your thoughts and your constant barrage of things that interject into the silent times… and they don’t say, “Stop thinking”, they simply say, release the thought. Recognize it and let it go and go back to concentrating on your breath.
In addition to the societal pressures of our fast paced externally valued world, there is the HUGE push to medicate instead of meditate. We have been assured that a doctor can submit a prescription to help us for whatever ails us. We can take a pill to relax, rather then spend a few minutes a day … relaxing!
If you want to “test” whether meditation will help you relax and stop the constant chatter of self talk, perform the following experiment.
Take out a 7 sheets of paper. Label the top of each page, Day one, Day two, Day three… and so on, until there are 7 pages labeled with the 7 days.
Each morning as soon as you wake up, write 5 or more words or phrases that describe how you feel and your general outlook. After you’ve written your comments for a specific day, put it on the bottom of the pile so that the following day’s blank sheet is on top. Then do a 5-15 minute guided meditation and go about your day.
At the end of the week, is the big reveal!
Review the first day’s description of yourself with the last days… then read the rest, see the progression. Notice the small or large nuances. Meditation is something very personal and something you do ONLY for yourself. Meditation is your personal “stop thinking” machine and helps you release stress, worries and opens up your mind to more possibilities and opportunities.
“WHAT? WAIT? More possibilities and more opportunities? How?”, you say.
Think about it. If your mind isn’t constantly worried or thinking or judging your current situation, circumstances and past experiences, there is new room. There is a new area of awareness that’s been opened. You may notice something new and fresh and understand that, although it’s been there all along, it offers a new opportunity that you never saw so therefore never took.
There are literally hundreds of stories of people so wrapped up in their struggle that they don’t notice the solution…. right in front of them.
You may even have someone in your life that you have offered solutions to, maybe say, “You know, if you do this, you will get that” and they don’t want to hear it. They may even always have a reason why your suggestion won’t work. They just can’t see past their struggle. They have embraced it, they talk about their struggle, they have found common ground with other people struggling, and now they may even be using it as an excuse for not succeeding… and I am here to encourage you to free up some space your mind, and STOP THINKING. Spend a little time “being”, and make your day AMAZING!
- Motivation Monday: WILD MIND (leslieschipper.com)
- Guided Meditation Audio (neomeditations.com)
- On Meditation (drawinggod.wordpress.com)
- Three-Minute Breathing Space (Playing Catch Up III: Guided Meditation) (jlarsen98.wordpress.com)
- Join the meditation nation: how sitting still and breathing can help on the path to health and hapiness (triciainflow.wordpress.com)
- The Guided Ridden Meditation Series (bendequinesolutions.com)
- Following the Path of Breath (charmii25.wordpress.com)