Updated: May 26
I kinda suck at meditating, but I’m okay with that.
I’ve been really intrigued by meditation for years now, but only ever dabbled in it. I understand the reasons we should meditate (to lower stress, find more calm, creativity, and balance, and to grow spiritually – to name a few).
But it still seems a bit of a mystery to me. Like should I feel that I’m having an out of body experience? Or should I be repeating mantras in my mind? Am I supposed to feel like a new woman when I’m done?
I also wrestle with my inner voice that says, “get something done; don’t just sit there and do nothing for 20 minutes”. But I am slowly making meditation a daily habit and I do see the benefits of this stillness.
My meditation practice is far from consistent and it’s actually kinda half-assed. But even then, I am noticing a difference in my abilities to remain calm(er) in situations (especially when my kids push my buttons), and I rarely get stressed out about things. It’s even easier to notice the good all around me – I don’t have to go looking, it just always seems to be there.
To be honest, I have more questions than answers about meditation (although I think I’m with the majority of the world here), and I’m finding it hard to feel like I’m “doing it right”. The more I dig and try to find answers though, the more I find out it is a completely personal experience and that there’s no wrong way to meditate (at least for us common folk). This sort of goes with one of my favourite sayings:
‘Done is better than perfect’.
I have been doing a lot of guided meditations as these seem to keep me directed and tell me what to do, so I’m not just sitting in silence wondering what I should be doing, feeling, or thinking (or not thinking) about.
I’m currently listening to a 30-day “How to Meditate” playlist on the Calm app with my kids so we can all learn together. This has been super helpful. Also, check out this informative interview between Deepak Chopra and Oprah to learn a lot more about meditation.
Here are some things I’ve learned so far:
You need to be comfortable (sitting is best, so you don’t fall asleep)
Best time of day is in the morning and late afternoon before dinner, because meditating energizes us.
Saying a mantra (like “I am” or the sounds “so” and “hum/ome” on the inhale and exhale) are like a vehicle that help you get to the source of thought. Say these in your head – not out loud.
15-20 minutes twice a day (anywhere) is a good amount of time to spend meditating.
When we notice our thoughts, that is a sign we are being completely present, because awareness of thought is not a thought. (huh? I’ll just trust them on this one). So notice your thoughts and let them float away.
Introduce an intention at the beginning of the meditation (i.e. abundance) then let it go. Let the universe handle the details through insights, intuition, creativity, gratitude, choice making, etc.
When we meditate on a certain mantra, we will begin to notice changes in our lives related to it. Having a mantra for abundance, for example, opens us up to abundance consciousness. Feeling gratitude opens our heart/spirit to the source of abundance (which is the universe).
We are literally creating neuronetwork connections that make us notice abundance and feel grateful. This opens our consciousness to opportunity, where others may see problems. When we are constantly noticing opportunities for abundance, we will be able to seize these opportunities and bring more good and abundance into our lives. Makes sense!
Although I am still learning, I figure that even my half-assed meditations are better than none. After all, done is better than perfect. I like a zen-Nicole a lot better than an anxious Nicole, so I’ll keep up the practice. And I encourage you to give it a solid try.