I recently was out to dinner with some friends, when one of the men in the group turned to me and starting asking me about my work with Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, which I was super excited about. He then asked, “If you were in a coaching session with someone, and could only give them one tip to better their lives, what would it be?”
One of the more interesting questions I have been asked recently, the answer seemingly came out of my mouth with very little thought. My answer? “I would encourage any person to adopt a meditation practice into their lives, immediately.” He was very intrigued by my answer, which led to a great conversation and inspired the theme of this week’s blog!
We are now a week into the New Year, though in last week’s blog we discussed some alternatives to resolutions and goals for 2017, some of you might still have opted for the traditional route of desiring to include healthier habits into your daily life routine. If there is one “habit” I would encourage you to adopt or resolve to do, without a doubt, across the board, it would be meditation. I’ve written in the past of how much meditation has influenced and changed my life, and it has and continues to do so.
Are you currently a meditator? If so, amazing! This week’s blog is just a casual reminder of how powerful the practice is for your daily life.
Not meditating quite yet? That’s ok too! We all have to begin somewhere! This week I want to talk about the common hindrances I hear about adopting a meditation practice, help you overcome those hindrances, and challenge you to commit to this practice for the rest of this month!
Hindrance #1: I don’t have time for a meditation practice
Solution: Yes, you do! If you have time to browse Facebook or social media (or even read this blog), you have time to meditate. The truth is, we all have time, even the busiest of us. We create time for the things we value. While meditation might not feel truly valuable to those just beginning, I promise you the time set aside will never be wasted. My tip for you here is to start small. You don’t need to dive deep into an hour long, daily meditation practice. Set aside five minutes in the morning, before you get out of bed. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and allow yourself to connect with you, before you go out to connect with the world.
Hindrance #2: I can’t sit still for that long
Solution: Yes, you can! Just like anything else, meditation is a practice. It requires practice. At first, meditation can feel very challenging. We are used to being on the go 24-7. It’s natural to feel restless and even anxious when you first start to take time out of your day to seemingly sit and “do nothing.” Remind yourself that you’re starting something new, and you might be challenged, but that it will be worth it in the end.
Hindrance #3: I can’t quiet my mind
Solution: You don’t need to! In the same notion as the solutions above, meditation is a practice, and will feel more natural over time. Again, we have been taught to be on the go, thinking, pondering, reading, all the time. It’s natural to feel like you have millions of uncontrollable thoughts running through your head. The whole purpose of your mind is to think! We need our minds to think in order to be the creative, compassionate, inventive people we are meant to be in this world. The purpose of meditation is not actually to quiet the mind, you will feel insane in trying to do so. The purpose is to slow the thoughts of the mind, to be more purposeful with our thoughts, and to find the simple space between our thoughts.
Hindrance #4: Meditation is too weird and new-agey
Solution: Meditation is what you make it. Meditation isn’t a religion or cult or devious practice. Meditation is a practice of connecting with yourself, of turning off the external world for a few moments, of giving our bodies and minds a break, of remembering to breathe, of listening to your intuition, of being at peace. Make your meditation practice your own. Follow a practice that feels most comfortable to you, it doesn’t have to be weird; it truly is what you make it.
Hindrance #5: I don’t get any benefits from meditation
Solution: Have patience. This was one of my biggest hindrances for a very long time, as I truly thought I was one of those people who just wasn’t meant to meditate and who was missing out from the big “aha” of it. Some people may experience seismic shifts, new thought processes, brilliant ideas, and wild synchronicities. For others, it may be more subtle in the beginning. All I ask of you is to pay attention. Some of the most valuable aspects of meditation come in the very mundane moments. Perhaps you are more patient in the check out line at the grocery store, or you are more compassionate to someone in need. These small positive actions matter. They will add up. Your life will change. And for the better.
I hope these simple solutions help you on the way to cultivating a meditation practice! If there are some that I haven’t touched upon that you would like help with, please let me know in the comments below!
Like I said above, I would love to challenge each and every one of you to a meditation packed January!
Imagine the world we would live in if every person on the planet meditated for five minutes every day. It starts with us! You can do it!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org