Meditation was boring AF.
I liked it at one point. When I was a kid, I was into all sorts of things spiritual & metaphysical. We did this meditation DVD my mom had & I thought it was the coolest thing ever. You did some general meditation stuff for the first part. But the best part (& the reason I was so excited about it) was this part where you spit on your finger & touched it to the center of your forehead (your third eye).
Then from that spot, you mentally went back into your skull, into the depths of your mind, & inside your mind you saw all this white or purple light. I was obsessed with this because it went along with all the energy-healing & angels stuff I was obsessed with when I was 11 or 12. I thought it was amazing.
But as I grew up, I stopped meditating. It stopped being a priority, & I forgot about it.
Then, when I tried it again, it was SO BORING.
From about the age of 16 all the way up until 22 or 23, I didn’t really meditate. We didn’t own the DVD we used when I was a kid, so I had to find other ways to meditate. I went on the Internet & did what the articles said.
Numerous times I tried. I really did. I tried to make it a habit.
“Close your eyes & don’t think about anything.” That was supposed to be peaceful.
BUT IT WAS SO BORING.
I couldn’t stand it. I’d set a timer for ten minutes or something. Close my eyes, empty my mind. But my mind would be thinking about everything else, I’d get antsy sitting still & not thinking about anything, & I might try for a few days in a row before I gave up. My mind LIKES thinking. And meditation didn’t make me feel any special way.
Logically, I knew I should be meditating. Everyone went on & on about how healthy & awesome it was. EVERYONE. Every book, every magazine, every celebrity, every article. It was included in every successful person’s morning routine. Tony Robbins was obsessed with it. Even Pete Carroll, coach for the Seattle Seahawks (aka my favorite football team) was obsessed with it.
Maybe it was me. Maybe meditation was actually awesome, but my brain was wired weird & therefore hated it. Maybe everyone else was boring & they liked being bored & not thinking about anything & sitting still for a long time. But I kept thinking it must be my problem.
I guess I just wasn’t the kind of person who meditated.
But I was missing out on something other people got a lot of value from! MISSING OUT! It was like everyone was part of some secret meditation club & I was left out.
& everyone STILL WAS going on about how good for you it was.
One day, I came across an email newsletter from author & spiritual teacher Tess Whitehurst last July. In her newsletter (titled “6 Magical Secrets to Focus, Productivity, and Success”), she talked about meditation & Insight Timer, this awesome free app she recommended for meditation.
& I could do it for as little as five minutes a day?
I downloaded the app. I had nothing to lose. If I didn’t like it, I could just delete the app & write off meditation again.
But I decided to try it, because I like experiments. Also, I had nothing to lose except maybe five minutes.
The app was easy to use. You could pick a nature sound to listen to while you meditated (like a waterfall, rain shower, or the ocean). Then you set the timer & it had a gentle bell that went off when the timer was done, but you could meditate longer if you wanted. Five minutes wasn’t that long. I figured I could handle that.
This is when I learned something MAGICAL about meditation.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO MEAN SITTING STILL.
IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN’T THINK ABOUT ANYTHING.
Too many cliched articles I read made me think it had to be that way. And there are definitely styles of meditation where that is what you’re supposed to sit still & not think about anything. A lot of people like meditating like that, & there’s nothing wrong with it.
But there’s more than one way to meditate. That’s what a lot of these articles had left out. So I started learning what had been left out. I learned about other things people did to meditate. Some people did dancing or walking meditations, where they moved in some way while meditating. Some people listened to music. Some people did a positive visualization or envisioned their day being awesome. Some people actually got more benefits from meditating in a loud environment than a quiet one.
& that’s when it hit me.
MEDITATION DIDN’T MEAN SITTING STILL & NOT THINKING.
ALL IT REALLY MEANT WAS LETTING MY MIND CHILL THE EFF OUT.
All this time, I actually HAD been meditating. I just hadn’t put the label of “meditation” on it because it wasn’t boring.
So every time I lied in bed with my eyes closed listening to music & really feeling the song, it counted. Every time I took a quiet walk through a forest not thinking about anything in particular, it counted. Hell! Even when I was trying to go to sleep & I envisioned myself being in the peaceful world I created in my mind, it counted.
I took this new revelation of what meditation meant, & I ran with it. I started using the Insight Timer app EVERY MORNING for five minutes. I started in the beginning of August 2017, I still am using it every day now. It’s become one nice, peaceful, non-negotiable part of my morning routine.
What I do during the five minutes varies. Sometimes I listen to the nature sounds. Sometimes I picture a scene & maybe even have a little story that goes along with it. Sometimes I build up positive feelings about how my day’s going to go & picture it working out perfectly (like I read somewhere that Tony Robbins does). Sometimes I just let my mind wander & think about whatever it wants to without me purposely thinking about anything. Sometimes I try to go back to sleep.
But I do it every day. & I’ve kept this habit up for eight months now. AND COUNTING.
Do I see any benefits from it? I feel like I do. I think it makes me a little calmer & lets my brain recharge a little bit more. If nothing else, it’s a nice peaceful way to start my day. It adds value to my life, which is why I still do it.
So even if you’re like me & your brain hates being put in the corner & you think mediation isn’t for you, it doesn’t mean your mind is effed up or that you can’t meditate.
You just haven’t found the best way for you to meditate yet.
Experiment. Play with it. Have fun with it.
& while you’re at it, break out of the meditation cliche box & come up with your own definition for your previously dreaded “meditation“.