7 REASONS WHY YOU AREN’T MEDITATING (EVEN WHEN YOU KNOW YOU SHOULD)
As a Mindful Mama Coach, I’ve heard every excuse when I’m motivating a new mom to start meditating.
I don’t need to convince you of the benefits. There is no shortage of information on the health benefits of meditation from both the medical and spiritual communities.
So you know its good for you and you should do it. But why the resistance?
Maybe you have tried to meditate but haven’t maintained a daily practice because you can’t stay motivated. Or maybe you want to try meditating but are apprehensive because you don’t know where to start.
Having a meditation practice for the past 5 years, I’ve learned that all the excuses we make not to meditate are our ego’s way to resist exactly what we need.
The more chaotic the mind, the greater our need for meditation. When our mind is still and we have control over it, the ego has no room to survive. So it’s a sheer matter of survival that the ego fights you to sit down on the meditation mat.
So what’s your biggest excuse? Find out why you aren’t meditating and read to the end for the best way to get started today!
EXCUSE 1: I DON’T HAVE TIME TO MEDITATE
We have made it a social norm that we must shower every day to keep our physical body clean. When I feel like a lazy Sunday and claim it as my “free day” of no showering, I get looks like I’m a dirty creeper. So if we recognize the importance of keeping our physical body clean, how come we don’t give that same priority to keep our mental body clean?
Meditation is the cleansing and showering off the mind. We have to release the negative thoughts, subconscious patterns and emotions of the past in order to confront the present moment from a clear mental state of mind. Meditation isn’t a once a week thing or something to do occasionally when we feel stressed. We have to clear our mind daily for it to be the most efficient. The next time you say I don’t have time to meditate, ask yourself, you make time for other personal hygiene routines like brushing your teeth and taking a shower right? I’m sure you can set aside at least 5 minutes to clean out your mind. Meditation needs to become a natural part of your mental health hygiene rather than a luxury, novelty or choice.
EXCUSE 2: I’M NOT FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO SIT STILL
In my meditation classes, I have students who range from teens all the way up to their 60’s. Everyone’s body is different and I completely understand that sitting on the floor, in easy pose, may not be available to some people. Well lucky you! There are other postures besides sitting on the floor that you can do to maintain the integrity of meditation.
- VARIATION 1: I have many students who prefer sitting on a chair. The key to sitting on a chair is that your feet need to be placed flat on the ground, preferably no shoes on and your spine should be straight. You do that by slightly engaging your navel back to your spine, rolling your shoulders back and down, keeping the back of your neck straight, resting your arms on your knees facing up with your eyes and jaw relaxed. If keeping a straight back means you need a pillow to support your back, that’s absolutely fine. This is a perfect variation for those who can’t sit on the floor.
- VARIATION 2: I must give the disclaimer, it takes much discipline to remain consciously alert in this position. The second position is laying down on the ground or bed. Since we associate laying horizontally with sleeping, it’s easy to fall asleep rather than stay consciously aware. I suggest if you use this posture, set up a yoga mat and blanket and lay on the floor. You don’t associate the floor for bedtime so you have a better chance to stay awake.
Whatever posture you use, make sure you use as many blankets, pillows, chairs etc. to find the most comfortable position for you. Twitching of the body, during meditation, is a way your tricky ego tries to break your attention. Tell your mind before you start meditating that for the next 5 to 30 minutes, that you’re going to focus on your breath. Anytime you feel an uncomfortable body sensation, bring your awareness to your breath and focus on sending that breath to the area of discomfort. The name of the game is finding a way to refocus your mind.
EXCUSE 3: MEDITATION IS FOR THE WOO WOO SPIRITUAL FOLKS AND YOGI’S.
Sometimes we typecast yogi’s, monks and “hippie” types that meditate and that’s why it isn’t for us.
I remember the first time I meditated. I was actually nervous to tell my husband for fear he would think I was weird. I associated meditation with someone enlightened or spiritual and I was far from that.
I’m like you, a modern day seeker, hustling in this busy and chaotic world. I’m not some recluse, living with bare essentials, in some ashram in a remote location. I love fashion I am a hardworking entrepreneur, I struggle with fears and have first-world problems. Trust me when I say this-Meditation is for EVERYONE, and I mean everyone. After cultivating a meditation practice, I recognized how much drama, misunderstandings and pity parties I could have avoided if I started meditating earlier. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a yogi or a corporate-type, meditation can benefit you.
EXCUSE 4: MEDITATION DOESN’T WORK FOR ME BECAUSE MY THOUGHTS DON’T STOP
This is a HUGE misconception people have about meditating. They think the end goal is your mind shutting down. Thoughts aren’t our enemies, thoughts are just that, thoughts. Just because they arise in your mind doesn’t mean they are true. It’s our attachment to thoughts that don’t serve us. When we believe everything our mind says, we start obsessing, overanalyzing, get stuck in the past by reliving situations that we no longer have control over. It’s basically like a tape recorder playing on repeat up there.
The objective of meditation is becoming the observer of the thoughts, without allowing them to create an emotional reaction. Thus, a physical manifestation of stress, adrenal release or shallow breathing. Meditation won’t stop your thoughts, so don’t stand in your way and fight them. For what you resist, will persist.
Envision your thoughts as clouds and your mind as the sky. Sometimes you will have gray clouds, other times there will be no clouds, you just want to let them flow out without labeling them as positive or negative. As quickly as storm clouds flow out of the sky, so do negative thoughts. Rather than dwell on why it’s raining, just surrender. Make this your mantra: I allow, acknowledge and release all thoughts.
EXCUSE 5: I HAVE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DO
This fallacy is the greatest obstacle to meditation. Fueled by the ego, the mind thinks it is essential to the world —prioritizing outer activity and production over inner stillness and balance. We are a society of doers. We believe we are accomplished and of purpose when we are “doing” something. Not doing anything and sitting on a meditation mat seems like we are lazy, unproductive and wasting time. We have to re-train ourselves to start getting comfortable in the space of just “being” with ourselves and thoughts in stillness. When we find peace, comfort, and joy in just being in the moment, and not accomplishing anything, we are on the path to experience our higher, true self.
Establishing even the smallest habit of taking time out to be still on your meditation mat will transform your life for the better.
EXCUSE 6: I CAN’T MEDITATE
Whenever I get this excuse, I ask the person have you tried meditating daily for at least 21 days? I usually always get “NO”. Well, then how do you know you can’t meditate?!
We can’t expect to accomplish anything without consistent effort. Let me fill you in on a little letdown…. When mediating, each time you sit you will have a different experience. Sometimes it will be completely awesome, other times you might feel like you didn’t get much out of it. The thing is to remain open to any experience you have, release all expectations of accomplishment and realize there is no instant gratification when it comes to a meditation practice.
It’s like going to the gym. You can’t expect to run 20 minutes at 7.5 mph if you haven’t trained at all. It takes commitment, consistency, and patience. Meditation is an exercise for your mind. It’s a muscle you have to build up strengthen with continued practice.
EXCUSE 7: I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START
I actually think this is a legitimate excuse. With so much information available on meditation, it’s tough to know where to start and how to create a sustainable practice.
For me, I had to take weekly meditation classes, search tons of blogs and watch videos and then I went through a year long Kundalini Teacher Training certification to really understand the in’s and outs. I have to admit it was daunting, took a lot of time and effort.
Good thing for me I embarked on this journey when I didn’t have kids and had more time but for mamas like you, I don’t expect you to do this. And the great this is you don’t need to!
I want to make it simple + easily accessible and that’s the main purpose behind this site.
But I also know that having a teacher is equally important to ask questions and feel confident that you are doing it correctly.
If you’re ready to try it out, I have a special gift for you. For the entire month of April, you can learn how to meditate with me through live-stream on Facebook and Periscope. Click here to get all the details and join.
Now on to you…
In the comments below let me know which one of the excuses you subscribe to and how you break the pattern. If you’re going to join me for the 4-week live meditation training let me know and say “You’re In!” I can’t wait to hear from you.
Thank you for being such a radiant light in this beautiful community. It’s an honor to serve you and be a part of your journey.
P.S. – Be stronger than your excuses!! Join me for the last week of the Live Kundalini Meditation Classes on Facebook and Periscope. Get all the deets here. Set a reminder on your phone and be there or be square.
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