As I’ve been getting out into the community over the past couple of weeks talking about my affinity for health and wellness, one thing keeps coming up again and again. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone tell me some version of this:
“Meditation? Oh, I can’t do that!”
I’ll be honest – this response really frustrates me. It’s untrue.
I’m not saying I know you. Meditaiton might not be your thing. I get it. I’m not here to try and MAKE you do it. I’m just here to say that it has made a big difference in my life and I’ve seen it make a big difference in countless other peoples’ lives that are a lot more legitimately “normal” than me.
Why you’re wrong about not being able to meditate
The frustrating thing about this whole “I can’t” statement is that it’s not about whether or not you can do it, it’s about whether or not you want to. In a way, it’s just a grammatical error – a poor choice of words. (There’s the English degree…)
I’m no Queen or Saint or anything. I say “I can’t” a million times a day, and I have a great boyfriend who points this out to me on a regular basis. It’s not that I can’t, it’s more that I don’t want to. The problem is, the more we say we can’t the more we start to convince ourselves that we actually do not have the ability to do something so it’s not worth trying in the first place.
Kind of like when you were little (or maybe you still do it to this day) and you would say “I don’t like hominy” even though:
- you didn’t even know what hominy was and
- you had never tasted it
You may not like it, true. But you can’t truly say that unless you’ve tried.
What you can do about this whole meditation thing
Also, for the perfectionists out there, you may not like meditation because you’re not good at it, but that doesn’t mean you CAN’T do it.
There’s a special tool in the coaching/therapy/yoga worlds called reframing that is quite helpful and I talk about a bunch. It involves taking a situation and looking at it a different way so that you release negative thoughts that may be holding you back from making forward progress.
A reframe is in order here for all of you out there who say you can’t meditate. It’s not that you can’t, it’s really one of the following reasons:
- You’ve never tried it
- You’ve tried it a couple times and it didn’t “work”
- You don’t want to do it because it doesn’t give you a magical feel-good feeling you think you’re supposed to get
- You’re not being patient
- You’re not willing to keep trying and learning, mostly because you’re looking for a quick fix and you don’t have time for cure-alls that take a lifetime
Brutal, I know, but honest nonetheless (it is me who’s writing here afterall).
Give Meditation One More Chance
Now with all that said, I’d like to introduce you to our final chakra exploration today. We’re onto chakra seven, which is all about thoughts. The seventh chakra is located at the crown of your head and governs how you think.
It’s a funny thing really, and quite abstract, because many of us don’t think much about how we think. But then again, many of us don’t spend a whole lot of time in meditation either.
I wrote a piece about the meditation myth that was published over on the Whole Life Yoga blog you might find useful if you’ve always thought meditation was supposed to help you relax. Whole Life Yoga is a studio in Seattle that teaches restorative and yin practices. Its owner is also a writer and she is finishing up her yoga murder mystery novel! Talk about the perfect paradox.
Meditation governs the seventh chakra and today’s practice is a really fun guided journey that will help you go deep into your thoughts. Never fear, your breath is near. If any yoga or meditation practice ever gets to be too much, just come back to focusing on your breath. The breath is what will really calm your body down and give you something else to focus on other than your thoughts.
The thing about relaxation is, our body can be totally at ease while our mind runs amok. The aim of meditation is to reign in the thoughts, and you guessed it, that’s really, really hard to do.
It’s a bit easier when someone is guiding you through it. So go ahead, give meditation one more chance!
Do you know someone who says he or she “can’t” meditate? Send them this post and see if they’ll give it one more shot. I’m here to help guide them through the process if they want to join the Wellness Wednesday club.
As always, if you ever have any questions, get in touch!
Want to review the chakras? You can find all the chakra posts and videos on this page!
Image credit: Temari 09
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