Take a deep breath, everyone: we’re about to discuss meditation.
Meditation- yeah, we get it: “it’s important.” Everyone says they are doing it or how important it is to do it- but few people actually do. It’s like the flossing of mindfulness (okay, but we should be flossing too). There's no question that meditation has been having a moment for some time now: there are tons of new studios and apps devoted to the practice. However, that doesn’t always make it easy. And it definitely doesn’t make it fun.
I know for me personally, I can really struggle with the idea of sitting still for an extended amount of time. Just thinking about it makes me antsy, tbh. It can awaken strong feelings of anxiety and intimidation because we imagine the standard of meditation to be far higher than we could ever meet (‘so why even bother trying?’). However, I also know the amazing effects it has on me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. So… what’s a baddie to do?
This summer we hosted a meditation series in Montauk and it made me realize a few ways that have turned my meditation practice from “ugh” to “uh-ma-zing.” First, and maybe most importantly, (and what I always say at our live meditations is) there are no rules and you cannot do it wrong. Yup, read that last sentence again.
People can get so tripped up on the different styles, traditions and spiritual buzzwords surrounding meditation. They can feel like they are doing it wrong- adding more stress - which I’m pretty sure is the opposite intended effect.
Meditation and self-reflection practices come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, meditating can conjure up images of sitting in uncomfortable positions for uncomfortably long periods of time, with an uncomfortable amount of silence. This view of meditation doesn’t exactly spark passion or the excitement to do it.
There is infinite freedom to be found in the practice of meditation, and it begins in how you choose to do it. Meditation is allowed to feel good, I promise.
Let’s take it a step further. Before you read on, I’d like you to stop, close your eyes and take three slow and intentional, deep, continuous breaths.
Congratulations, you just meditated.
I tell my clients and students — particularly those who are determined to make meditation more difficult for themselves than it needs to be — that the act of meditating is simply to intentionally take pause and to consciously connect. When you connect in, you start to begin to live your life from a place of grounded, conscious awareness which allows you to lead from a place of love over fear.