I have a love / hate relationship with meditation or ‘mindfulness’ as it is packaged these days.
Here’s what I love…
It’s one of the few non-substance ways I know to find my bliss…
I mostly feel better afterwards
It helps me to focus and be present… however long that lasts
It got me through some interesting chemo side-effects
Here’s what I hate…
All the rules… you can’t think; you must clear your mind; you can’t fall asleep; you can’t lie down; sit up straight … to be ‘truly’ meditating.
While you’re getting started all of these things really get in the way of the good stuff.
What’s more, in our results-driven culture, if one attempts to meditate, sits for half an hour (or many a half an hour!) and doesn’t achieve Nirvana, it feels like failure. It isn’t.
I’m going to recommend something like meditation and lots of it, but it’s not the same. I’m going to recommend F.Y.I or Focus Your Introspection (don’tya just love an acronym!)
There is no ‘clear your mind’ – I have done some of my best thinking while I’ve been ‘meditating’; solved some of my biggest problems.
You see as far as I see it, gaining that clear mind is a by-product of meditating, not something that always happens and not something that you have particular control over in the early days, or some other days!
So Focussing Your Introspection can look a lot like meditation, sound like meditation, feel like meditation. Also, it’s not thinking about just anything. It’s a dynamic meeting with yourself. You wouldn’t go to a meeting with your boss and start rambling about your shopping list!
Instead focus on what you’re thinking. And what does that tell you about you? What emotions are there? Try to be nice and not judge them, notice them. And how does your body feel? And where. Does it feel uncomfortable anywhere? Do certain thoughts affect that?
Now for some people, not used to such inward navel-gazing, this can be just as much as they can handle. They close that freakin’ door and run for the hills. But it’s what some people need… for now. They can still acknowledge something about themselves in the process.
If you can open the door and peer inside, sit down in a pow wow with your gremlins – that’s progress my friend. It’s the beginning of finding your calm. It won’t happen straight away. Don’t worry because Calm Craft has loads of gremlin busters. Some gremlins you’ll want to get rid of, some you’ll grow quite fond of…