But I WANT to meditate. Why is it so hard?
Breathe in…Breath out…focus on your breath…(SHOPPING LIST…carrots, bread)…ahem!
Breathe in…Breathe out…Connect to the light…(THAT WORK EMAIL I DIDN’T ANSWER! Shoot, should I do it now? Maybe I’ll do it now and then get back to meditating)…Ok. What was I doing again?! Oh yeah…Breathe in…Breathe out…
Does this inner dialogue sound familiar? If so, you are not alone! Meditation is a powerful tool that has many proven benefits, so why can it be so hard to build the practice into your life?
Meditation invites the mind to develop a focus and for most of us, it’s a different kind of focus than what we are used to. If this focus doesn’t come easily it can be discouraging, especially if you are used to self motivating by being hard on yourself. After all, why would you want to meditate with a mind that is being harsh and unkind?
But that doesn’t mean you should give up! Here are a few suggestions on why forming this habit can be challenging and how to approach your practice in an empowering way.
Building a new habit takes time
You may have heard it takes 21 days to commit a new habit into your everyday life, but current studies actually point to that number being closer to three months, depending on the habit that is being created. The good news? There is more latitude for lapsing and ‘imperfection’ than previously thought.
This should encourage us to be patient and kind in the process of learning to meditate. Ask yourself, why am I developing this habit? Is it for inner connection? Stress reduction? Spiritual knowledge?
These types of goals can represent a deep and layered process that is often very personal and imperfect! What you are seeking may not be a clear goal post, but that doesn’t mean you won’t “get there” if you just keep showing up every day with a discipline of self love.
Fear of Change.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” Although we may acknowledge this is true, it doesn’t make it any easier to accept!
Meditation is a tool to open up the mind and heart, which can change the way you see yourself and your life. While this is what many of us consciously want, it’s natural to have an unconscious resistance to change. The familiar ways of approaching things make us feel safe and in control, even if they aren’t good for us!
For example, Meditation is a proven stress-buster, but for it to be effective, you might have to face where you are addicted to stress! These truths can be uncomfortable, so getting comfortable with the discomfort of change might be the key to letting go of the old and letting in the new!
Choosing a system that works for you.
There are many techniques of meditation that have been shaped over the ages. From ancient systems of using mantras to modern computer apps that provide guidance and music, there are many tools available for the discerning meditator.
If you are searching for a system to support your meditation practice, pay attention to what resonates with you and your lifestyle. For example, many people in western culture find the “emptying the mind” approach to meditation very challenging, as we live in a culture that encourages a busy mind! Set yourself up for success by following your spirit (go with your gut and heart!) to a community or system that feels right to you!
There is no better investment of time and energy than your relationship with yourself. Keep going and know that each step of your spiritual journey is one of discovery and growth.
Curious about our system? Check out our comprehensive meditation system for free with our online community on Meetup! Or read more about what we offer in our incredible foundation course, taught internationally for over thirty years – Level 1.