I’m just so blown away by how quickly my misperceptions of meditation have been, well—blown away!
Let’s bust the myths, right here, right now.
Meditation myth #1 I don’t have the time
All we have is time. The crucial question is this—
What are we doing with our time? Are we spending it in ways that benefit our wellness, enhance our life?
Meditation is 100% a wellness benefactor, a life enhancer.
And, we can 100% take 20 minutes out of our Netflix-watching time to meditate for our health. Or set our alarm 20 minutes earlier, ease into our day with a soothing meditation. Drift into sleep with a meditation. Morning or afternoon tea meditation. Lunch break meditation. Train or bus travel meditation—or car, if you’re not the driver!
Time is simply not an excuse.
Meditation myth #2 It’s boring
Peace and quiet may seem boring in comparison to our high def, high res lives, but it’s quite the opposite.
Peace and quiet is bliss.
I just watched an incredible documentary (on Netflix, but I also made time to meditate that day, too!) called My Beautiful Broken Brain. It’s about a young woman, Lotje Sodderland, who survives a cerebral hemorrhage and is left to pick up the pieces of her broken brain. She’s phenomenal.
She’s also in awe of David Lynch and has introduced me to his incredible brain—more to come on that one!
It struck me when she said that the brain is limitless and it needs quiet to do its job.
The brain is this incredible, messed up mushball of neurons and wires and connections and pathways and tissues and cortexes, and it has this unbelievable ability to learn and remember and invent, and bring us into the present or take us off to faraway, imagined dreamlands.
That’s a darned complex job—the most complex job there is.
It’s our job to give it the space and the quiet to do its job. To make sure it has the best working conditions.
When our brain is at optimal productivity, we are at optimal productivity.
Meditation myth #3 I see other people doing it, but it’s not for me
Why was I thinking that it wasn’t for me? Because I wasn’t doing it. I just wasn’t even trying.
This is a donut. It is very sweet and very good. But, if you’ve never tasted a donut, you wouldn’t really know how sweet and how good a donut is … meditation is like that.
~ David Lynch, on donuts and meditation
And, now I know—when you just start doing it? It’s for you. It’s absolutely for you.
The other thing is this—
Try not to compare your insides to other peoples’ outsides.
~ Anne Lamott, 12 truths I learned from life and writing
What other peoples’ lives look like from the outside are not what they feel like on the inside.
What meditation looks like from the outside is not what it feels like inside.
It will feel differently for each person and it will feel differently each time each person does it! Every minute, every moment, we are changing.
From a philosophical perspective, we are not the person who meditated yesterday—we are yet to be the person who will meditate today.
Unless we meditated this morning!
And, physically—we will sit or stand or lay in a different position, in a different location, in a different mindset, in a different time. We will do a guided meditation or unguided, to music or not, with a focus object or mala or nothing.
Meditation is for you, you just have to find what works for you—and remember that it will constantly change, as will you.
Meditation myth #4 I can’t turn my mind off
So what?! So not the point.
Of course, we can’t turn our minds off. Even in sleep, they’re dreaming away—they have no off-switch.
Meditation is simply about slowing down, quieting down, letting our body relax and our mind to go wherever it wants to go—without judgement, without thinking about it. Just observing, watching, being.
We are constantly surrounded by so much noise, distraction, stimulation, stress, clutter, and that all colours the way we view ourselves, the way we experience our daily lives—if we operate from the outside in.
But, I saw the most beautiful mantra yesterday—
The peace I create in me, creates peace around me.
With meditation, we can create new meaning. We can create a peace within us that allows us to approach the world from the inside out. We can create a peace within us that means all the noise, distraction, stimulation, stress and clutter, doesn’t define us—we come from a place of peace, we respond with peace.
Meditation isn’t about turning the mind off—it’s about creating a peaceful mind.
And, a peaceful mind = a peaceful life.