"I can't do it." Spoiler alert..."Yes, you can!"
Updated: Aug 13, 2019
When I’m asked, “What do you do?” I typically say that I do a lot of things: Massage therapy, Reiki, meal prep, and meditation instruction. The first three “jobs” usually get a quick nod, but when I mention the meditation instruction part it's not uncommon to get an immediate response of “I’ve tried to meditate a bunch of times and I can’t sit still and stop my mind. I just can’t meditate.”
I think there are many reasons why this response is so common. Meditation has become a very hyped-up, mainstream term that we all know is supposed to help us become healthier and happier humans, creating a stillness and calmness in your life that pervades all that you do and all you encounter on a daily basis. While meditation in fact does and can enhance our well-being and bring a grounding sense of balance to our lives, the urgency, impatience, perfectionism, and fear of failure our society promotes can cause us to give up a meditation practice, or not even begin one at all.
When I hear of people’s struggles with meditation, I understand. I have been meditating for 20 years and still encounter an ebb and flow of regularity and frustration versus the delicious moments of pure mind stillness. It’s okay.
Although there are many types of meditation, the common theme across all practices are focus and allowance. The specific meditation practice that I teach and enjoy has evolved over years, with body scanning being a technique I used in high school to overcome insomnia (I had no idea I was meditating back then!)
I like to begin with just sitting comfortably and listening to the sounds around me, be it a pleasant or unpleasant sound. I take it a step further by not following the sound to attempt to mentally describe what it is and where it is coming from, just allowing it to be. From there, I normally do some deep, circular breathing, moving into a body scan (relaxing each body part from head to toes one at a time), then taking a few moments to witness the relaxation and my body as a whole. Although this is only my intro into my main chakra meditation, I could just stop there. I could have stopped after the first bit of just listening and detaching from noises. I could just do circular breathing, focusing on my breath traveling from abdomen, to stomach, to lungs, to throat, to mouth and back again to the exclusion of anything else. Any of those few steps are considered meditation and I like to teach my clients to take just one part out of the guided meditations we do together and practice it on your own until you feel you are capable of focusing even for a short amount of time.
However, I usually don’t stop there. That is my routine to begin a chakra meditation which involves a focusing and refocusing over and over again on each chakra from the root to the crown. I allow myself enough time at every energy center to feel a sense of “completeness” and an easiness moving into the next one. Some days the sensations I can feel at each chakra center is strong and I can feel the pulsation of energy charging and balancing each chakra. Other days, my chakras feel weak, my mind won’t focus and I’m either remembering the past or planning for the future as this is our normal and habitual way of thinking. Some days I will reach the crown chakra and feel an incredible connection to the universe and a sense of faith that can’t be described in words. Some days I allow myself to “quit” and instead of letting frustration with the monkeys in my mind piss me off, I know every practice won’t be like this. It’s okay.
Of course I want my client’s to reach their crown chakras and experience a moment of trueness, a mental vacation from the endless chatter our minds are so accustomed to. I want you to glimpse that connection to your source that comes with a sure feeling of “it’s okay”. More importantly, however, I want to teach you that if you start small, go easy on yourself, and notice the small moments of “I’m doing it!” you will begin reaping all the benefits meditation provides.