I have an unusual relation with meditation. I have been for a long time now very mindful in all my activities, whether I go for a walk or go to the gym or cook or read, I do my best to be focused 100% on what I’m doing. And it definitely gives me more pleasure in the activity I’m doing. But it has always been quite hard to meditate, to sit still for at least 10 minutes and to quiet my mind. Even though I knew the benefits of it and how good meditating could make me feel, I never had the courage to sit with myself for just 10 minutes and to face my thoughts.
Yet, last summer I met new people who encouraged me to give it a try and to stick to it. They told me about how amazing it made them feel and how it could help me release anxiety. So I gave it a try, chose a sunny Sunday morning and sat in the park facing the sun. I had tried it before before going to bed and always ended up falling asleep in the middle of the session. That’s why I thought that maybe being in the nature would be helpful. And gosh it was! The session lasted about 20 minutes, which is quite incredible for me who was not meditating before. It was all so smooth, so relaxing, so powerful that I decided I’d stick to it. Truth is, I didn’t. In the following 5 months, I didn’t meditate. I sometimes sat still at the end of the day just to relax but it didn’t last long and I just fell asleep.
A few weeks ago, I was having a hard time, struggling with a mind over thinking, with fear and feelings of loneliness. So I decided that I had to do something for myself and finally take care of my mind. I downloaded a few apps to track my progress and I stuck to it, every day for one week. I needed it and I was looking forward to this me time in the evening and at some point, I even needed more. Some days, I feel like meditating in the morning, because I want to have a clear mind for the day. Sometimes, I need it in the evening, to make sure I have a good night. And sometimes I even need it in the middle of the day when I’m struggling with my thoughts at work. No matter when or how long it meditate, it is now part of my routine and helps me feel better on a day to day basis. I tend to overthink everything and taking these few minutes to keep my mind quiet or even to tidy it is exactly what I needed.
Meditation doesn’t have to be about shushing all your thoughts. It can be if you are able to do it and sit with a completely quiet mind but I believe this is the toughest part of meditation. It is ok to just sit, close your eyes and listen to your thoughts. Meditation is about mindfulness, it is about being present. So if you are not able to shush your thoughts to clear your mind, then face your thoughts. We are so distracted in our everyday life that most of the things that go through our minds, we put them in a corner and don’t listen to them. Meditation can be just finally listening to everything you have repressed. Just giving time for each thought to be expressed, and cleared.
Don’t feel like after meditating, you have to be uplifted to heaven as we hear it everywhere. There is a lot of indirect pressure going on about the wellness habits and especially meditation. But as any other practice, make it your own. Do not think that because it worked for someone else, it will for you or because it worked for a friend in a certain way, the same way will work for you. And do not give up if you don’t feel better right after your first meditation. It takes time and dedication to be able to face oneself for at least 10 minutes. You will get there!
Breathe and bloom. ◊