Meditation is a highly personal experience – it’s impossible to do it wrong. I get so many emails from people asking me about meditation and does it really offer as many benefits as they’ve heard. And I always answer with a resounding YES!
I believe that my meditation practice was the key to turning my health around and helping me beat cancer. Meditation offers so very many physical, mental and emotional benefits. It can lower stress (stress is a KILLER!), increase our emotional intelligence, and help to connect us to our higher self and intuition.
RELAX – YOU CAN’T DO MEDITATION WRONG
The fact that you’re even asking “Am I doing meditation wrong” means you’re on the right track to finding the uniquely personal experience that is perfect for you. So many people don’t start a meditation practice out of a fear they will somehow do it wrong. That’s impossible. The only “wrong” thing you could possibly do is to not start a meditation practice.
With this in mind, I want to dispel some myths and share some important meditation truths with you before you begin your practice:
There is No Single Way to Meditate
Just as there is no one exercise routine that will help your body or one religion that will help your spirit, there is not one single meditation practice that is the be-all-end-all.
There are actually hundreds of ways to reach a meditative state. This state is simply one where your brain waves shift and you stop actively thinkin g and rather experience the moment.
Some people get here with chanting a mantra over and over. Some get here through a listening meditation. And still others through breathing exercises, through music or tribal drumming. And those are only a handful of ways!
The best thing for you to do is try a few different styles of meditation to see which one(s) work best for you. Don’t listen to any teacher or guru who tells you there is only ONE right way to meditate. It’s simply not true.
Changes Don’t Happen Overnight
While meditation offers tremendous benefits, you won’t necessarily experience those benefits overnight. Often what happens is people feel amazing right after their meditation. But then they get discouraged because 10 minutes later, when they are back in the “real world,” their feelings of calm and tranquility go right out the door.
Be patient. Like exercise, your results will come but they won’t come overnight. You’ve simply got to stick with it to gain those amazing benefits. You’ll soon be so grateful you stuck it out!
You Don’t Have to Spend Hours Meditating Each Day
If you believe that you’ll have to meditate every day for an hour or more, you’re wrong. You can begin by simply meditating for 5 minutes once a day, and then build from there. Surely you can find 5 whole minutes to dedicate to improving the quality of your health and life?!!
Meditation Isn’t a Miracle Cure
Well, it is and it isn’t. While meditation can certainly de-stress you and put your body into a relaxed state where it can begin to heal, meditation won’t cure everything that’s wrong in your life. Meditation won’t make your boss a nicer person, though it will positively impact how you perceive your boss and react to them. Meditation won’t clean your house for you and it won’t walk your dog. It is a tool that you have at your disposal that can make you a more effective person at living your best life, but YOU are still the one that has to do the work!
Be Patient with Yourself
They don’t call it a practice for nothing. You won’t “get” meditation right away. You’ll become frustrated with yourself and your own mind as it seems to constantly fight against you trying to quiet it. That’s to be expected. And it’s perfectly OK. Just keep at it. Don’t give up.
When your monkey brain starts to race, sending thoughts flying off in all directions, don’t judge yourself or those thoughts. Let them go peacefully and bring your mind back to the present moment. Training your mind is really like training a puppy. You’ll have to gently tug on the leash to keep bringing it back and bringing it back and back to the present moment. Don’t yell at the puppy or get mad. Simply recognize that your thoughts are spinning, and bring your mind back to the present.
I encourage you to begin your meditation practice. Not tomorrow, not the next day but today. Just start. Commit to doing it every day for just 5 minutes. My recommendation is to do it first thing in the morning. It’s such a great way to begin your day.
If you keep at it, you’ll soon begin to notice small things… you feel calmer throughout the day… you have an easier time concentrating… you don’t fly off the handle at things as much…
When you notice these things, it will inspire you to increase your practice time to 10 minutes or even 20 minutes a day. You can eventually do 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at the end of the day.
You will be amazed at how your life changes! But you’ve got to commit so stick with it!
There are many great meditation apps to download to your phone. One of my favorites is the Calm App. It costs $6 a month but is well worth it. Other great apps are Headspace and Insight Timer.
Here’s to having a beautiful calm meditative day.