Meditation is widely misunderstood. It’s easy, powerful, freeing. And anyone can do it. Here are 5 wrong ways you’ve been thinking about your meditation practice. And what to do instead.
Plus, I have a helpful gift for you if you make it to the end.
Myth #1: Think no thoughts.
Meditation isn’t about emptying your mind. You can think about anything and everything! Noticing your thoughts is the key. By becoming aware, you put yourself in control. In fact, it’s important to tune in to your thoughts and emotions instead of tuning them out.
And it’s not about changing your thoughts or emotions – at least not right away – but understanding what they’re telling you (more on this in #3). Once you can work with your mind instead of against it, making good changes becomes easier and far more natural.
Some people like to use mantra to focus their thoughts, but it’s not necessary.
Myth #2: Be in a special setting.
You don’t have to be seated on a yoga mat or pillow with candles and soft music (although that’s always nice!). You can meditate anywhere — in your car, on the subway, at the grocery store, during your workout. You can tune into your inner self with your eyes open and people all around, if you need to.
Although, you certainly will benefit from setting aside quiet time also. (I meditate in my car every morning on my commute. And my eyes definitely stay open!!) Yoga is another great place to introduce a meditation practice.
Myth #3: Be positive!
Our culture has become addicted to positivity. Kick that sh*t to the curb. Your negative emotions are powerful tools.
Anger, jealousy, and fear all tell you something about yourself, and you can use that knowledge in a productive way. For example, anger may tell you that a boundary has been crossed. Jealousy awakens desire within you and tells you about your true ambitions. Fear says that you’re headed in the right direction and getting outside your comfort zone. Just on the other side of these emotions, when channeled properly, is untapped potential.
If negative emotions rear their ugly heads during your meditation, stop and listen. Choose to act on them in a productive and healthy way.
Myth #4: You need lots of time.
If Oprah has time for it, you have time for it. Even 5 minutes of meditation can have benefits. You don’t have to sit still for hours on end thinking about nothing. Sometimes even a minute or 2 to clear the noise and get centered is enough to keep you on track throughout the day. Some suggest that a practice of 20 minutes a day is enough for regular maintenance.
Meditation is an intimate and personal practice – and definitely not one size fits all! Find what works for you and your schedule.
Myth #5: You’re doing it wrong.
There are so many types of meditation, and there’s really no wrong way to do it. The biggest mistake you can make it not doing it at all. Sometimes a successful meditation practice isn’t peaceful and grounding. Sometimes it stirs up buried emotions and questions for you to sort through. Other times you will walk away feeling refreshed and in control.
It’s all about attitude. Go into your practice open and without expectations. And as you advance in your practice, then you can start exploring other types of meditation if it seems overwhelming to you in the beginning.
Let me know in the comments below, what does your meditation practice look like?
Free Guided Meditation Series
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