…takes a while to get used to.It has taken me about three years to be able to sit for 15 minutes and if I’m lucky I can reach 20 minutes quite comfortably.
The mind is loud at the best, or should I say the worst of times, but especially in the morning, which is when I recommend meditation, precisely because if you kick-start into action at the beginning of the day, you won’t have had the opportunity to tame your mind into making sure it realises it is only your mind, not your ruler. You are the one in charge, not your mind.
When I meditate and breathe deeply at the start of each morning, I am able to calm the incessant flow of thoughts that plague me on awakening, leading to the first dose of stress and at times, panic, about what I have to do, what I haven’t done and what I’m afraid of. All that unhelpful thinking needs to be brought to order! By you. Remember, you do not have to be ruled by your unhelpful thinking. However your mind will have you think differently; it will tell you all manner of lies to kid you into thinking you’re not good enough, have little value, are worse off than others in oh so many ways, and that you might as well just give up anyway, because it’s never going to happen. Stick to the day job, give up on your childhood dream, you don’t have what it takes…sound familiar?
Do you really want this negative self-talk to dominate your day? I doubt it. The good news is that the antidote exists and it’s free. But it takes work, practice, perseverance and willingness. Meditation is like a bath that you can dip into and wash away the activity of these thoughts, if just for 20 minutes of your waking hours. You will come out of your practice feeling calmer because your mind will be quieter. Yes it will kick in throughout your day for sure, but it will be a little nagging voice rather than a boom-box stereo surround-sound voice, and in my experience, the more you practice, the less of a hold this little monkey mind will have on you.
During your practice, not only will you eventually calm your mind, but you’ll also likely be inspired with helpful thoughts that couldn’t get a word in amidst the chaotic chatter of all the other thinking that went on before. I often get an idea, a creative thought, a way forwards, a solution to a problem when I meditate. You access a higher form of thinking, which is so much more helpful to listen to.
From tomorrow morning, set your alarm clock 20 minutes earlier than usual – remember getting results takes putting the work in – and after you’ve gone to the toilet and done what you need to do (no not coffee!), sit on your bed, or somewhere quiet in your home where no-one else is, and just sit. Just sit. And breathe. Focus on your breath, going in and out. Observe your thoughts but don’t hang onto them or create a story from them. Stop the story. And just sit.
Of the utmost importance is to practice daily. If you can only do five minutes, do that, but do it every day and pretty soon you’ll notice you’ll sit for longer. Enjoy the calmness, within and without.