The Meditation Paradox
Meditation is so easy that it’s… hard.
How can that be? All you’re doing is sitting quietly with your legs crossed. How hard is that?
There’s so much expectation surrounding the benefits and importance of meditation that I think many people actually feel intimidated to start practicing it.
And that’s why it’s so hard to start a meditation practice.
I was one of those people who knew that I should be meditating, yet couldn’t seem to get myself motivated enough to try it out.
But then I did some inner work and discovered six steps that worked almost miraculously to inspire me into meditating every day – and loving it.
By adding just five minutes of meditation each morning, I feel happier throughout the day (and I’m already a pretty darn happy person).
I feel like I have an extra skip in my step. I feel lighter. Less frustrated. I sing more often (badly, but that’s never stopped me). I spontaneously dance more often.
I’m more patience and understanding.
I have more energy.
I feel LOVE flowing through me.
And I feel so much more connected to my own soul. I hear what she needs. I listen. I feel. I explore. I expand. I open myself up to wonderful miracles.
If you’re ready to jump in, here are my tips for starting a meditation practice.
1. You have to actually want to meditate
Don’t start meditating because all the spiritual gurus you follow on Facebook and Instagram praise meditation.
If you’re not ready (like I wasn’t for years), I can promise the whole venture will flop very quickly. So really know why you want to meditate and feel that it’s important to you.
2. Find a mantra that matches where you are
Don’t start off by repeating some statement that’s about hearing other spirits’ messages or chanting some Sanskrit words if you’ve never done this before. Start with something totally relevant to you now.
So if you want to find your ideal partner, create a meditation mantra like, “I am attracting my ideal partner,” or if you want to repair a broken relationship, you could repeat, “My relationship with xx is healing.”
By making it super specific to you, you’re more likely to follow through and meditate.
3. Meditate in the morning
Although there’s nothing wrong with meditating in the afternoon or evening, you’re much more likely to actually follow through and do it if you start in the morning.
Otherwise, your never-ending list of to-do’s fills up your plate and the five-minute meditation you planned gets squeezed out of your day. Plus, by meditating in the morning, you reap all the benefits of meditation all day long (like I described above).
So set your alarm a little earlier so you can sit down and get quiet before you officially start your day.
4. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t start right away or if you miss a day
The best lessons are learned when you’re gentle with yourself. It doesn’t make you feel good to berate yourself. So don’t do it.
Instead, acknowledge that you haven’t started or skipped a meditation and instead lovingly tell yourself, “I will try again tomorrow.”
The same goes if you don’t meditate for as long as you hoped for. Each day is a baby step.
Simply meditating for one minute is a major win that you should feel proud of.
5. Keep going especially when you feel anxiety or shallow breaths creeping in
When I first started meditating on a regular basis, I would start to feel shallower breaths and butterflies in my stomach (usually the first indicator that I’m anxious) after just a few minutes.
My body wanted to run — cut the meditation short for the day and do anything else, then let my mind be open. But I resisted the urge, and I recommend you do too.
The body is just fighting against something new, unfamiliar, and uncomfortable. Recognize that you’re feeling anxious. Then take a few deeper breaths and commit to sitting quietly for a few more minutes.
Tell yourself that you’re safe and everything is okay.
6. Usher unwanted and random thoughts out of your mind
Meditation isn’t about thinking nothing. It’s about being mindful of your thoughts and choosing which ones to focus on.
So when those random thoughts stream in (as they inevitably do), acknowledge them, thank them for their desire to protect you, and usher them out of your mind.
I actually visualize them as a person who I pat on the back, say “thank you” to, and put in a car that drives off into the sunset. Then I return my attention to my breathing or whatever mantra I’m working with that day.
– Written by Dina Overland
Are you curious how you can start a meditation practice?
Or do you find difficulty in maintaining your practice?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you want to become more compassionate and productive, Emily Fletcher's Masterclass on Meditation for Super Performance is absolutely FREE and plays on Mindvalley Academy.