Anyone who knows me will know that I love meditation! I credit it with many of the steps forward I have experienced in my anxiety recovery and my life in general! But it wasn’t always that way…
I started out being quite resistant to the whole thing.
I mean, I quite liked the ‘idea’ of it – cue images of cool yoga pants, henna tattoos, and the lotus position!
But believe me, my reality was very different. And yours probably is too.
There are so many benefits to meditation, and lots has been written about them (just Google it!),
so I won’t go into them massively here, but I will list some of my favourites!
If you asked 100 people what would make the biggest difference to the way they live their lives right
now in our over-stimulated, stressful, anxious world, I guarantee all of the above would make an
appearance on the list.
And if you could bottle the above or make it in pill form – you would be the richest person alive!
So, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Well, no – it’s not actually that hard.
What is hard is prioritising your meditation practice.
Making the time to do it.
Not sacking it off in favour of watching Netflix, scrolling Facebook, or grabbing an extra half hour in bed (we’ve all done it!).
Sometimes meditation can feel physically, mentally, or emotionally uncomfortable, but that is all part of the process – you have to feel it to heal it!
And in our modern, ‘mile-a-minute’ world, just sitting in stillness for 10, 15, 30, or 60 minutes, just feels, well – like a ‘massive waste of time’.
The hardest thing I found once I decided I was going to commit to a regular practice was the internal judgement, the perfectionism, the questioning and the constant “am I doing this right?”!
Generally, when we learn a new skill, we have a clear set of guidelines (or at least an idea of what we need to learn), and a measurable outcome in mind – I will be proficient when I can… knit a scarf without dropping any stitches, hold a conversation with a native French speaker without over-thinking, pass an exam with flying colours – you get the idea.
But with meditation, it’s different.
There are absolutely things you can do to set yourself up for success (and I’ll go through those in a moment), but even the notion of ‘success’ itself is problematic.
Everyone’s experience of mediation is different and each time you meditate your experience may be different from last time!
Shattering all your expectations is the perfect way to begin your meditation practice! Expect nothing – good, bad, indifferent, powerful, transformative, or life-altering.
Once you take everything off the table, you can become the judgement-free observer, the neutral bystander, accepting what is without wishing it were different.
It’s not my intention to place limitations on your experience though – it is perfectly possible for you to achieve enlightenment or one-ness with the universe after just giving it a bash – and if you do?
That is freakin’ awesome!
Just don’t shoot for that. Or anything for that matter.
I know, I know. I just said success is not a thing. So, let’s just call it ‘Making Meditation Easy!’.
Here are my top tips for creating, embedding, and committing to a long-term meditation practice, so you can reap all those amazing rewards we talked about:
I call my ‘Zero to Zen’ meditation coaching programme your spiritual ‘couch to 5k’! You wouldn’t expect to go from doing no exercise to running 5km in a day, so why put that kind of pressure on a meditation practice?
If you’re completely new to meditation, small moments of mindfulness throughout the day, five minutes
of 4-8 breathing during your lunch hour, or losing yourself in a craft project can have a bigger impact
than you’d think.
And when you’re ready to commit to something more regular, you will already have the basics to build on.
Once you decide to make meditation a regular thing, set aside a specific time, in the same place, and surround yourself with the same things. I have a meditation spot (sometimes I call it my Zen-Den, a la Gabby Bernstein!) in my sunroom. It has my Chakra Cushions, my crystals, my wind chimes, and my incense burner.
At 7.00am, as soon as I sit in that spot, assume my posture, choose my crystals and light my incense – my mind and body already know what’s coming. I’ve started the process already. The subconscious mind loves creating associations, so make this a really lovely, positive one.
But hey, there is never a bad time to meditate (unless you’re driving, flying a plane, tightrope walking etc.) – if you can’t stick to your routine for whatever reason – any time, any place, anywhere is fine!
Remember, meditation is an opportunity to step outside our normal preoccupation with linear time as past or future and fully inhabit and experience the present.
Whatever this looks like for you on any given day is exactly as it should be.
If things feel more difficult today than they did yesterday –
If you’re struggling for motivation –
If you can’t stop thinking about your little toe itching –
If the thoughts are coming into your mind thick and fast –
You can even use these events as ways to remind yourself of how far you’ve come – you are so mindful that you are observing distractions as they are. Hey – you’re being mindful of your inability to be fully mindful!
Noticing resistance and being able to let it go are all part of the journey.
And remember, tomorrow is another day and another opportunity for practice.
If you’re interested in developing a regular meditation practice, but would like some support deciding how it could work for you, I am opening applications for my Zero to Zen programme – your spiritual ‘couch to 5k’!
Click here to book a call and discuss whether this programme would be a good fit for you!
Remember to click here to join the Facebook Group and join the conversation there, or if you’d like to discuss any anxiety-related issue you are struggling with at the moment click on the image below and book a free call.
Hi there, my name’s Kathryn and I’m your Anxiety Recovery Coach.
My mission is to connect with, help and support as many open-minded, women as possible who want to transform their relationship with anxiety, fall back in love with their work and life, and willing to believe recovery is at least possible.
Over the last few years, I have honed and tweaked the tools and techniques which worked for me, into my ‘Beyond Anxiety Blueprint’ which focuses on identifying your personal path to recovery, and delivering three key outcomes:
Why not join us in our Facebook Group – our community for open-minded women from all walks of life learning to live anxiety-free, reconnect with their inner-selves, and shine in their lives, careers and businesses with conscious, calm, confidence?
Or you can download my guide: ‘Journal your way to CONSCIOUS, CALM, CONFIDENT‘ to give you a little ‘Consciousness Jumpstart’!