Updated: Jun 23
If you think that meditation is for woo woo people, or maybe that it's too hard to do, well join the club. I've got one of those brains that doesn't seem to have an off-switch so when a psychologist first recommended it to me, I remember ignoring her until she got very insistent and persuasive!
At first, I felt ridiculous. I remember wanting to look at my watch after the first 30 seconds, and then instead of calmly focusing on nothing, the words, "This is Impossible" ran across my brain like a news tickertape!
And then I got increasingly annoyed when people kept saying to me, "Keep going, you'll get better." Are you kidding me? The more I did it, the more time I felt like I was wasting! And yet everywhere I looked, I kept seeing and reading articles from people who raved about the wonders of meditation on their life.
The lightbulb finally turned on and I got my "Ah-ha!" moment when I finally came across the missing piece of the puzzle: The magic of meditation is not getting good at it. It is the practice of doing it that brings the benefit.
Now this went against everything I know about anything. Ever since I aced that spelling test in 1st grade, life was all about getting really good at stuff and trying to be your best. So why was meditation different.
For all you athletes and gym-junkies out there, you will totally get this: Your brain is a muscle just like any other muscle. It is the action of exercising regularly that makes them work well and perform. It's not about mastering one rep and doing it perfectly. It's about doing it regularly. Every rep might not be perfect, and it probably won't be, but the cumulative effect over a period of time is that your overall body feels amazing!
Same goes for your mind. It is absolutely normal for your mind to want to wander all over the place when you start meditating. That was another revelation. Just as with your exercise, your form may not be perfect, you might not quite get that tree pose right in your yoga session, but that doesn't matter. Just as you would try and realign your body, gently bring your mind back into focus. It's this that brings the results.
There are so many ways you can explore meditation. You don't have to sit cross-legged in front of a candle (though that is a lovely thought!) For you, it might be a quiet walk into nature, or quieting your mind as you watch the sun set over the water. My fiance finds his best meditative spot is out behind the waves in the ocean, sitting on his surfboard and waiting for the next wave.
So if you haven't yet tried to meditate, or if you've given up in the past, give it another go. Try some of the many apps on offer as a great starting point.
If you've found a great way to meditate, we'd love you to share it with us in the comments below.