I want to start this blog post by saying THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO MEDITATE. I scream this with capital letters because I'de be rich if i had a nickel for every time someone said it to me. "I don't know how to meditate" is literally the phrase that haunts my life. "How do you meditate?" or "Good for you for meditating daily. I could never shut my mind off." are literally words that play over and over again in my brain plaguing my entire existence. You can imagine, as a spiritual coach, how utterly discouraging this can become. Luckily, my ADHD, worrisome, anxiety ridden mind has come up with 3 solutions for people who see meditation as their Mt. Everest.
ANYTHING can be considered meditation
This idea that meditation is sitting down with your legs crossed repeating a mantra over and over again is just tired. It does nothing for the movement. For me and many other spiritualists, meditation is basically anything that puts your brain into the zone.
This can take the form of coloring a coloring book, journaling, free-writing, dancing, singing, or anything in between really. Don't get me wrong, we could all use a moment or two throughout our days where we sit and do some breath work, but meditation and getting into a meditative state can occur from any activity. I, personally, love dancing my ass off in my basement when my stress levels get so high that sitting quietly in my room for 20 minutes won't cut it.
You will never fully clear your mind
Despite popular belief, your mind will never be fully clear of the bullshit that plagues it. I've been meditating for years, and just recently, have incorporated it into my daily routine, and I STILL think about the credit card bill I have to pay that's due in two days. We're human beings. Our minds will never be turned fully off. There will be good meditation days where you'll go completely into the zone and forget where the hell you even are and there will be days where your eyes won't stop fluttering.
So many factors come into play in life. If you drank a lot of coffee that day, have a huge test coming up, a project you didn't start yet, or some tragic event, regardless of what the reasoning is, you're human. Stop expecting to meditate like a Buddhist Monk. They meditate the way they do because they've been doing it since they were 10 years old. Cut yourself some slack. You live in the real world.
There is no such thing as a bad meditation
Sometimes I'll meditate and
I won't be able to focus and I'll think "Damn that meditation really sucked". Then, I'll remember the simple fact that sucky mediations don't exist. The whole point of meditation is to take a moment to breathe and be silent. It's a few moments out the day where you can just sit in your shit and not try to come up with solutions for it. It's a place where you can observe all the incredibly scary thoughts you have and not do anything but just allow them to pass. It's a place where you can find peace in the chaos if that's how your mind works.
Simply taking a moment to breathe is good enough. The fact that you even realized that that's needed in your daily life is enough for you to begin feeling better. Even when I can't focus, I still come out of my meditation feeling more relaxed than when I entered. This is literally because my body and mind had a second. I deliberately put them in time out and they are thanking me for it.
Think about your body and mind as children who sometimes don't know what they want or what's good for them. You, your higher self, or whatever you want to call it, are the mother of those children. You know what's best, and what's best is putting that child in a time out so they can simmer the hell down a bit. The child will be restless, sure. He or she might even cry a bit, but after 10-20 minutes of sitting in that space and ignoring the child, even if hyperactive, he or she will have calmed down even a tiny bit. Sometimes that's all we need to feel better. EVERY TIME, IT'S ENOUGH. Remember that.
There is no right or wrong way to approach meditation, but I can promise you, simply dedicating some time to being still and not entertaining thoughts so much will make all the difference in your life.
Take it from someone whose anxiety was so debilitating I couldn't even leave the house at one point. This shit works. I honestly don't know where I'd be without at least 10 minutes/ 3 times a week.
If you can incorporate it into your daily routine, that's amazing, but also understand that you're human and events happen. Give yourself the grace to start and be easy on yourself. I hope these three tips will be a simple reminder that meditation isn't so scary after all.