Is Meditation Inclusive?
I started teaching guided meditation classes in 2016 in small country down before it was trending. During that time I encountered a lot of people who felt like meditation just wasn’t for them.
They tried it on their own, or had another experience in a class or with a video on YouTube that just fell short.
There is a stigma around meditating that paints this picture where the only way to properly meditate is in complete silence or peace. With no distractions and a calm space.
This concept is far from inclusive.
Many of us do not have access to the time or space where we are guaranteed a silence, alone time or peace.
Over the years, in my experience with meditation I have adapted a new definition that is adaptable for most everyone.
Meditation is not about you getting still or silent. Meditation is about re-connecting with your Self and your High Power, or the high power of the planet or cosmos (whatever you believe or practice).
This means that meditation can look an infinite number of ways depending on who you are speaking with.
Some people find their meditative state in writing or crafting. Others in music or dance. Some of us do prefer to find the silent still moments to go within. You might like reading or hiking.
If you are showing up to your task with intention to connect with yourself and your spirit – you are creating a window of meditation for yourself.
Yes, you can still sit cross-legged on the floor with your fingers in mudra positions. You can still play meditation music while you bike, run, or lay on the floor and breathe.
The point is that meditation can look whatever way you need to it, as long as it inspires connection with self and creates a space inside of you for you to listen and hear what’s coming through.
If you find yourself wanting to meditate because you know it will make a difference in your life but 1) when you try to do it you can’t get your mind to quiet down enough 2) we feel like we’re doing it wrong or 3) we don’t stick with the process long enough to see results.
Let me reiterate this little secret….
There’s no one “right” way to meditate.
Here are some tips to help you break the vicious cycle of meditation-struggle and break on free to the other side of your meditation relationship.
Meditate with a Timer
Meditation doesn’t have to be something that takes up your whole day or even 15 minutes of it.
I recommend getting a kitchen timer that buzzes or beeps, setting it for 1-3 minutes. Dedicate that small duration of time to your sitting, walking, or crafting meditation. If you want to go longer, go longer.
If you’re just starting to create your habit, start with 1 minute. Even tackling several 1 minute intervals throughout the day will make a huge difference for you.
I know what you’re thinking, “what can I possible craft in a minute?” Your chosen meditative active may take you longer, but for that one minute of your timer, you’re intentional focused on being present with yourself and the activity at hand. Not letting your mind wander to worries or other tasks.
Choose Your Intention
If you’re sitting in a quiet room trying to clear your mind to nothingness, it can be an incredibly difficult task. Especially at the beginning of your practice.
Choose an intention for your meditation. Ask yourself what you need more of in that day. Your answer might be joy, romance, connection, love, creative expression, movement.
Whatever you may be needing in that moment, hold the intention of what you want to create or call into your life as you meditate.
Take intentional breaths and recall experiences or dreams in your mind that are aligned with your intention.
You can also place objects around you, smells, colors, sounds that feel aligned with the intention you’re holding for your meditation.
Have Fun with It
We all want to infuse as much joy and happiness into our lives as we can. Why should your meditation practice be any different?
Have fun with your meditation! Make it work for you. Toss the rule book out the window and listen to your body, mind and spirit.
One of the most important things we can do for our meditation practice is to answer what our spirits are calling us to do. Some days that might be to set our timer for a minute and daydream about frolicking in fields of fairies or sitting on a quiet beach somewhere.
Other days, it might be to surround ourselves with water and absorb its healing powers.
Sometimes our meditation practice is laying on the floor crying.
It can look however you need it to. Don’t let standard definitions of meditation leave you feel excluded from being able to start or develop your practice.
Release the rules you’ve put on what it means to meditate and instead, operate from the space of bringing yourself joy, peace or whatever other intention you set out to create that day.