My patients frequently ask, “do you meditate?” The answer: I meditate all day. The next thing my patients will say is, “I try and I can’t. How do you do it? Will massage, acupuncture, or yoga help me do it”
Define Meditation for Yourself
Depak Chopra says that if you are trying then you are doing it. Meditation isn’t about reaching some higher level of being. It is about sitting with yourself quietly and being ok with it. You need to decide how much of this you want or need. Is 5 or 10 minutes enough or do you need to train yourself for more.
Of course you are going to start thinking – like crazy! That’s the point at first. Let all those thoughts come up. Thank them for reminding you and say you will get back to them. Then let them pass. Recognize the space in between the thoughts. The more you notice the space the more it will grow. At first that space may only be a couple seconds, so it’s hard to notice, but it’s there – trust me.
Connect to It
Connect to the space. As with most things, some days will be better than others. The more space between the thoughts, the more control you learn. When life starts to shift into high gear, you have more control to manage through it. This is where things like massage, acupuncture, and yoga come into play. When life is in high gear we tend to clutch on to those few things we have in place like our yoga class or our once a month massage/acupuncture treatment. That’s okay. These things help to bring us back to the place where we can feel the space in between.
Managing through life can feel like a daunting task. I, personally, day dream of retiring and having nothing to do, which is not a reality, I realize. I am a doer, so I’ll always have something going on and something to think about. The point is, it’s hard to be present sometimes. That space I am talking about gets filled up with nonsense, like retiring. Sometimes it’s even nonsense from 20 years ago! Just smile at those thoughts and let them pass. Feel the space in between.
Create the Habit
We talk a lot about habit in our office. Make it a habit to check in with yourself throughout the day. Ask yourself where your head is. Where your emotions are. Where your body is (your posture, what muscles are engaged at that moment). Make it a habit to recognize when there are no thoughts, but stillness in a day. Make it a habit to smile. So many of us are willing to train for marathons, iron mans, tough mudders, etc., but not to meditate. It takes training and lots of it. Don’t give up so easy. Always go back to the space in between.
Meditation can be more than this. That is true. It is known that meditation can bring an individual to a higher level of being, but everyone has to start somewhere. I think this is a good place to start. Realize that life is simple and has space in it. Your job is to find it.