"I have tried to meditate but I can’t"
"I would like to but I don't have time"
"I have children"
"I can't be still"
does it sound familiar to you?
Many of us have experienced great resistance at the beginning of the meditation practice, either because we are not very clear about what meditation really is or because it is a practice that requires time and perseverance before we can see results in our lives.
In this article, I share 5 simple steps so you can start your meditation practice without any more excuses:
1. INTENTION- WHY MEDITATE?
Before deciding to start a meditation practice, ask yourself why? What is your intention? Maybe you want to find space for yourself, or bring more clarity to your mind, increase your concentration, decrease stress and anxiety, cultivate compassion, expand your creativity, or improve your sleep. Whatever your intention is, this will allow you to stay motivated even when you don't have time.
2. LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS
Although the practice of meditation has been extensively studied and its great value for our physical, mental and emotional well-being has been shown in many scientific articles, the objective of meditation is not to feel "good" or “relax”. The purpose of meditation is to train the mind to be present. For this, it invites us to become impartial observers of what happens inside of us and accept everything we see and feel without any judgment. This means that although you can relax or feel calmer these are not the goal of meditation, rather, they can be side effects but not necessarily.
Many times, sitting in meditation can be very uncomfortable since we can see parts of ourselves that we do not like or that we would like to hide, others because the mind will be extremely active giving us the feeling that "we could not meditate". The reality is that there are no "good or bad" meditations simply because meditating is observing ourselves, accepting reality as it is without wanting to change it.
By letting go of your expectations about how a meditation should be, or how you should feel before or after meditating, you allow yourself to open up to the very experience of meditation.
It is much better to meditate for 5 minutes every day instead of spending hours meditating every now and then.
There will be days when you really don't want to meditate and your mind will start to find excuses not to do it: "I'm too tired, it's too late, today I don't feel like it, I have many things to do and so on ..." but it is precisely in those moments when you most need to find your willpower to commit to the practice.
So don't expect "perfect conditions" and commit to at least 5 minutes a day.
4. SET THE TIME
Schedule meditation time on your calendar ahead in the same way you would do with an appointment ... in fact, this is an important appointment with yourself.
A great way is to set your alarm clock 5 minutes (or whatever time you decide to meditate) before your usual waking time or set aside time before your lunch or before going to sleep.
If you have family or people who depend on you, it is important that you communicate your intention to meditate and let them know that for those 5 minutes you are not available, which is a time you need to be able to give them the best of you.
5. SIT COMFORTABLE
For most of us, the simple idea of sitting still for a certain period of time can be challenging. This is why it is very important to find a comfortable position, where you can focus on your meditation practice rather than constantly being distracted by physical discomfort.
To meditate, it is not necessary to sit on the floor with legs crossed or in the lotus position, you can sit on your heels, use cushions and blankets or simply sit in a chair with your spine as straight as possible or in some cases even lie down.
At the same time, don’t be "too" comfortable: when you begin to relax your body, there is a tendency to fall asleep, which is not the purpose of meditation.
Try different positions until you find the one that works best for you.
This is all you need to start your practice and as you can see, they all depend solely on you. Starting a habit is not always easy but if you think that 5 minutes a day can make a big difference in your life, I think it is a good investment.
What do you need to start your practice?