Last week, I asked you for questions that I could help answer in these videos. I received a few questions about meditation and how it works.
Meditation can look different for everyone, but I’ll answer based on my own experiences.
First, it’s part of a practice of mindfulness, which is the practice of being present, letting go of the past and not moving to the future.
Meditation can be practiced independently. It’s an awareness and way of looking at the world, but it’s not a religion.
I used to think it meant actively clearing your mind and getting relaxed. If that didn’t happen, I thought I was doing it wrong.
I’ve learned that these are myths. That can happen, but it’s more about taking the time to sit down and pay attention to yourself and what shows up. If you get distracted, you return to your breathing. It’s like watching scores on the bottom of the screen. You notice them, then return to the game you’re watching.
If you can let go of always having to be productive, it’s enjoyable. When that happens, you drop the elimination agenda and get rid of tension and distraction.
My meditating journey started back in the early 2000s. I saw it as something similar to prayer, but without asking for things.
I met my wife working at a clinic that sponsored a mindfulness class. We did an all-day silent retreat. (Yes, I pulled it off — being silent for a whole day and finding a wife.) We believe it helped lead to our relationship. I remember during one meditation, I got distracted by my grandpa telling me to ask her out.
It was when I read 10% Happier by Dan Harris that I really got into it. He is a reporter/anchor for ABC who used it to help him get through PTSD. I started using his app. Here’s a link that will tell you more. I figured if it worked for him, it would work for me. Seriously, his book is awesome.
I just started and didn’t give up. I stopped searching for the perfect way, and found my way. It helped.
I didn’t always know how, I trusted the process and myself. I miss mediation when it’s not part of my routine. That was back in 2016 or 2017.
Since then, the time I’ve spent mediating has helped me to find insights into key areas of life. I don’t know if this is exactly why. But I do know that since I started, I have lost weight, become less reactive, slower to judge myself and others, calmer and realized that I need to do these videos.
Try it for a month or so with no agenda. See what you find. You might be pleasantly surprised.