You hardly have time to sit down, so how likely is finding time to meditate?
Click the “play” button above to listen to the audio.
Let’s face it, we’re all busy people nowadays. From the moment we wake, we’re inundated with information overload: answering phones, responding to emails, sending off text messages, making appointments – and that’s all before we get out of ed! Even though you know (deep down) you must stop that influx in order to truly get a chance to exhale, finding the time to meditate just seems like another task your list of To-Do’s. And who has the time to do that when there are more important, or more seemingly interesting, things to do, right?
Sleeping is not meditation.
I’ve had quite a few cheeky friends of mine say, “Oh Melissa, I meditate when I sleep!” thinking that this is a sufficient – and easy – reason to avoid the ‘airy-fairy’ practice of meditation. But I’m sorry to disappoint those who think the two are synonymous, because they aren’t. Sleep, well, however glorious it is when you get a good one, is mostly always an unfocused, unconscious, and automatic action. You don’t have much to do with it because you’re off flittering about in dream world while your subconscious keeps the mechanics working. Yes, sleep is greatly beneficial, but it only rests your body.
Meditation, on the other hand, is a focused effort to clear your mind – so you’re mentally awake and aware – while purposefully not physically doing anything. During meditation, you do your best to slow down and ideally stop that incessant flow of incoming information (and the chatter that races around in your head) to become one with the moment you’re in. In this slow down period, your mind, body and soul all begin to rest and rejuvenate – they harmonize.
You are not too busy.
Despite the long laundry list you’d like to unravel in front of me right now, I can – with all confidence – tell you that you truly are not too busy to meditate. Meditation is one of the fastest and best ways to revitalize your ever-busy-mind. Unfurl that quizzical brow of yours and let me explain in very simple terms: meditation can take mere seconds, or many hours. The great thing is that it’s up to you and there is no set time limit or recommendation. Meditation is so flexible that even the busiest body on this planet can incorporate it into their daily life, it’s just a matter of choosing to do so.
Meditation myth busting!
So for those only partly convinced of what I’m saying, it’s now time to blow the myths about meditation out of the water! Here are some common main stream misconceptions about meditation:
✘ You must be into ‘spiritual’ or ‘hippie’ stuff to do it.
Get that ridiculous image out of your head – whether you’re a bra-burner or are a 3-piece suit – allowing your entire being to exhale and relax has nothing to do with what lifestyle you live. The only thing you must be into is your overall well-being.
✘ You must have some sort of training or guidance.
Nope, that’s not correct at all! Even though learning how to meditate and participating in guided meditations (be they in a group or via CDs or audio files) helps greatly to dive deeper into meditation – it’s not a requirement by any means.
✘ It’s religious or spiritual based.
Sure it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. If it suits you better, you can make meditation totally scientific – as a sensible way to relax that overworked brain and body of yours through conscious effort.
✘ You need to hum mantras and sit on the floor like a Yogi,
Meditation can be done in total silence, or by exhaling mantras or sounds, it’s up to you. How you choose to rest – be it sitting, standing, or lying down – is also up to you.
✘ You need to have your eyes shut.
For many, closed-eyed meditation is the best way to avoid visual distractions to go deeper into that restful meditative state, but once again – it’s not compulsory. Sometimes staring at passing clouds can be an extremely effective way to meditate.
✘ You need to do it for a long time, like 30 minutes.
This is probably the myth that’s kept you from really finding the time to meditate. Meditation is simply the attempt to focus your mind – stop that crazy inbound chatter traffic – and rest. You can do that in a few seconds, and although not as lasting as a longer meditation, even that short period of ‘rest’ can give your entire being a much needed break.
How to start?
Easy. Make a commitment to your mind, body and soul – that you will allow it a few seconds of conscious, focused rest today. Once you do that, pick any activity that you do and as you do it – put all your attention into the action of doing it for a few moments. For example, you’re washing out your coffee cup after a work break. As you wash the cup, notice how the water flows around the mug; feel the heat (or cool) of the water; feel how solid the cup is in your hands.
How long did that take? 15 seconds maybe? And what happened while you noticed each element of washing your coffee mug? Your mind went quiet and paid attention. It stopped thinking about all the million other things and frolicked in the moment with you.
Can you help me?
I’ve had quite a few followers tell me they’d like to hear my voice doing meditations for busy people like them. I’m looking to record a series of meditations and wanted to know – what sort of ‘topics’ (business? success? health?) or ‘types’ (short, on-the-go length, or long) do you think I should start with? What sort of meditation would you want to hear from me? I’d appreciate knowing what you think is best, so please help by commenting below! Namaste my friends, until next time! xo ❤