The most common question I ask clients who enter my room lately is “What is your Practice”? And, “Do you meditate?” Often I am met with a blank stare, so I clarify…. “What do you do to connect to that part of you where total peace resides? You know, the part of you who fundamentally believes everything is going to be ok no matter how challenging life can feel? What do you do to tap in to that on a regular basis?”
I want to know. I want to know what you do when it counts most? All too often it’s when we really need to turn within and have a disciplined practice that we let ourselves down. Instead we choose that extra glass of wine or waste hours in front of mind numbing television when really what our soul needs is to be listened to.
Now, I’m not here to make you feel bad about the choices you’re making (chances are you are already on your own case about that). What I am here to do is to ignite that spark of light within you that wants to feel happier, more content. I want to make it easier for you to turn the tv off, to close the computer screen, to take a deep breath and decide to show up for yourself a little more in your life. When shit’s not working, you gotta try something different.
My 2nd Habit to Happiness is MEDITATION. Sweet, juicy, awkward, uncomfortable meditation. I’m not going to try and convince you to do it nor am I going to even list the benefits of meditation because it’s all over the web. Just google ‘benefits of meditation’ and you’ll get the picture …. What I do want to invite however, is for you to let go.
In order to meditate … first we need to practice a little letting go. Ahhhh letting go …. Remember how good it feels to just let go? That right there yields happiness and it certainly helps to create a beautiful meditation practice. So here’s what I want you to let go of when it comes to meditating:
- Let go of the time. Whether you do 1 minute or 1 hour what matters most is INTENTION + ACTION. This little equation works for more than just meditation by the way. One without the other won’t yield the same results. Set the intention to show up then take action to follow through. Don’t get caught up in the details, just get started.
- Let go of the need to have everything lined up before you can meditate. If you wait to been in the right mood or for when you’re on holidays or when you’ve found the perfect meditation music – you’ll never begin. Some days I meditate to the sound of playschool blaring in the lounge after a night of no sleep from sick kids and it takes everything in me not to choose a 2nd cup of coffee instead of 20 mins of meditation…. But I know which will make me feel happier after and it’s NOT the 2nd cup of coffee.
- Let go of the not knowing all the answers and what to expect by meditating – be willing to be vulnerable and allow some time to get to know yourself and the process – outside of our comfort zone is where the magic of life happens and knowing everything before you begin can sometimes rob you of being open to the element of delightful surprise.
- Let go of who you think you are. “Meditation is for spiritual people and hippies, it’s not for me” – Sir Richard Branson does it and he is not considered either of those things but is definitely living life to the fullest and knows that in order to accomplish great things, he needs to employ great practice. Dare to try something a little different, you might find you like it.
- Let go of discomfort. Yes it will be challenging. Any time you sit with your own thoughts for a period of time it becomes challenging. This is an opportunity to get to know yourself better. Don’t be so afraid of what you might find, instead allow yourself to be silently drawn to the joyful possibility that more peace than you’ve ever known awaits you … Be open. Be curious. Be the witness to your thoughts instead of the thoughts alone, amazing things happen when you enter that beautiful place.
- Let go of having to do it on your own. Use a tool to help you focus. If being in stillness with just Yourself is too much to begin with, then use a guided meditation or music or a mantra (I love Oprah and Deepak free meditation challenges to help get you started and staying on track).
- Let go of the need to get it right. Take the pressure off yourself. It doesn’t have to be every day. It doesn’t have to be for at least 20 minutes either, it doesn’t have to look like your friends meditation practice (the one who seems to have more hours in the day than the rest of us or who has a perfectly adorned shrine, or who’s kids willingly and peacefully participate) … it’s your own practice and the purpose here is not about comparison, it is about connection. Connection to that part of yourself that often goes untouched. Connection to that Universal force/God/Spirit/Divine you that offers a wellspring of support and love and guidance.
- Let go of your excuses. Let go of all of the reasons why you can’t do it. Sit somewhere that feels good in a comfortable position (preferably sitting upright with your spine straight) take a few slow deep breaths and JUST BE for a little while. Then let that practice grow. SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF in your life. You are in charge of your own happiness, no one else. Stop looking outside of yourself for the answers and start turning inward…. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got, it’s your choice.
So pick a date. Pick a time and follow through. Grab a cushion, light a candle and just breathe. Be willing to experience nothing but an annoying sense that there are a million other things you could be doing AND do the practice anyway. It won’t always feel like that…. It’s called a practice for a reason, the more you do it, the ‘better’ at just being and letting go of the busy monkey mind you become. Remember to smile too, after all, happiness starts with choosing to be happy :-)
Be on the look out for part 3 next month!
If you are finding yourself in need of support at the moment and know you would benefit from implementing some of the healthier habits I have outlined in my article, my gift to you is a complimentary 40 minute coaching session. This session is designed to offer immediate support and to bring a sense of relief, focus and direction into your life today, aligning you with what is most needed right now. For more information visit www.abalancedlifecoaching.com or call Kim on 0419326 808