I’ve gone in circles so many times about this topic. And I’ve written multiple posts about my “journey” with meditation. I have had a very stop and start kind of relationship with this practice, and I’m essentially super half-assed about it. So, in this post, I’m not going to try to come across as some meditation goddess. Because I am so not. And instead, I’m going to do what I do best. Which is tell the truth about how I actually feel. Because if I’m being honest, I hate meditating. I really and truly hate it. But, I do it anyway. And I’m not even sure why. However, I’ll try to explain below.
I’M A HALF-ASSED MEDITATOR
I know there’s not exactly a wrong or a right way to meditate. And most teachers of meditation often describe it as a very personal practice. Meaning, you make it your own, whatever works for you. And that just the fact that you’re doing it is important. So, I cling incredibly tightly to that “participation award” mentality. But even still when I’m doing it all half-assed, I hate meditating.
Every night (or almost every night, because I’m half-assed), I set my timer for 10 minutes. Just before bed I do this. And I sit on my meditation cushion and just try to make it to when the timer goes off. However, I almost never let myself reach 10 minutes. I usually stop anywhere between 6 and 8 minutes.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MEDITATING THAT’S SO HARD?
I always think about this quote when I’m meditating.
“Lean just beyond your edge.”–David Deida
Not because that’s what I’m doing when I meditate. But, this quote helps me to recognize that there is an edge. There is an edge that we all have, where we start to feel super uncomfortable. This edge exists in all facets of life. But for the purposes of this post, I’m talking specifically about the edge that exists in our minds. That we only really feel when we take the time to be truly silent with ourselves. I never considered myself the kind of person who is afraid of her own thoughts. And I still don’t think I am. However, through meditation, I certainly become aware of my edge that exists between comfortable and uncomfortable. And apparently, it can be found within my 6-8 minute range of silence.
SO, WHY DO I KEEP MEDITATING?
Damn, I don’t really know. I find that I really struggle to meditate when I’m wound up and anxious. Sitting with myself in those states actually seems to make me more anxious. In anxious states, sometimes I just need to move, or talk, or make art.
However, when I’m fairly calm, or perhaps if I just have some heavy things on my mind, I can manage to meditate. And I don’t know for sure, but I do think it seems to be helping me. Or, maybe if I’m not seeing immediate results in my waking life, I guess I believe that I will.
I struggle with patience, and I know meditation helps with this.
And I struggle with fear and anxiety, which a regular meditation practice can help with.
“MRI scans show that after an eight-week course of mindfulness practice, the brain’s “fight or flight” center, the amygdala, appears to shrink. This primal region of the brain, associated with fear and emotion, is involved in the initiation of the body’s response to stress.”–Scientific American
I think I just want to experience more peace within my own mind. And I suppose I believe that meditation does and will help with that. Even though I hate meditating!
HOW DO I MEDITATE?
I’m not really going to get into the details about the right and wrong way to do it. Because I think I’ve made a strong case that I’m no expert. However, for me, I find that when I first sit down, I try to breathe deeply (but comfortably) in and out. I prefer Ocean Breathing, also known in Sanskrit as Ujjayi breathing (pronounced oo-jai). And I actually allow my mind to go berserk. I allow it to go where it needs and wants to go for a few minutes. Even if it’s to obsessive or racing places.
Then, after a few minutes, something kicks in. And I realize that I’m meditating. It’s so crazy how my mind at first takes me out of my body, spinning in thoughts about anything and everything. And in the moment where something clicks, I kind of come back into my body. And then I remember my breathing.
Once I remember my breathing, I only focus on that. In and out. Until I start wondering how long I’ve been sitting here and when the timer might go off. This is my edge. And this is where I believe the magic is, once I can allow myself to sit along this uncomfortable edge just a little while longer.
I’m not there yet, but I do plan to keep trying. What if something amazing happens when I do?
THANK YOU FOR READING!
So, do you meditate? And do you hate meditating like I do? How do you practice your meditation and have you noticed any benefits? I would love to hear your experiences!! xo
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