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Don’t “Should” Yourself with Meditation

If you’ve listened to, watched, or read any of my work, you know I am a big proponent of meditation for quieting that monkey mind that we all have. Over the years we have developed subconscious programming in response to our life experiences that can take over and get in our way some times (or, for some of us, a lot of the time.) I’m talking about that worry spiral that leads us to overthink all of the things that could happen, or rehashing over and over again a conversation we had with someone and how we should have acted differently or said something differently.

Through my professional work and personal growth, I have found that the only thing that genuinely quiets the mind is some form of meditation or mindfulness. I see that when I mention this to a group of people, there is generally a few that nod enthusiastically in agreement testifying that it has made a big difference in their life; a majority that agree, but don’t actually engage in it; and then one or two folks that roll their eyes or shake their heads. If this is representative of the general population, there are a few of us out there that have changed our lives through meditation and a vast majority that aren’t convinced yet.

I’m guessing that part of the group that isn’t convinced yet is because there is so much weight around the word meditation. Experts from all over come forward with the way it “should be done,” like you have to go to some sacred temple and get training from a mentor, then spend years honing your practice. Others implore you to listen to some guided meditation on an app. I am of the mindset that meditation can be done anywhere at any time. When we put too much pressure on meditating, it isn’t pleasurable, and we don’t learn from it. This is essentially “shoulding” on ourselves (I recommend you listen to the podcast, watch the video, or read the blog I created on this topic.) Meditation is something you can do waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting in line at the grocery store, going on a walk, commuting to work or any other time you can close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Consider these meditative moments, and they will accumulate over time to help you be more focused, calm, and anxiety free.

Here is your call to action – the next time you find yourself waiting – whether it is for a movie to start, sitting in some waiting room (doctor, dentist, escape room – had to throw that one in there), rather than jumping on your phone and checking email or playing a game or surfing through social media, close your eyes and focus on your breathing. The more you do this, the more naturally it will come to you (in other words, you’ll make it a habit), and you’ll soon find yourself reaping the benefits of meditation without all the rules people like to put around it.

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