Meditation Domination

I’ve been meditating for about 10 years. I don’t think I even knew exactly what that meant back then, but I was lead to it by the several books and videos I’ve read and watched over the span of my life, trying to find a magic pill that would make me the super-cool self I wanted to be. I’ve tried a little bit of a lot. Guided meditations, mindfulness, holosync CDs, brain entrainment, theta healing, so my meditation experiences have been a combination of free resources with not-so-free ones, but whatever, I don’t mind spending a bit of cash if I believe the end result will please me.

For the most part, my meditation practice has been an on-and-off dealio, sometimes sticking to it for a couple of years and then taking extended breaks of a few months at a time. Regardless, meditation has been a part of me, and one that I find has built on progress after progress in my life.

Last year I decided that I wanted to take my practice one notch up and really become a master meditator. What I had in mind was, me meditating like a Bhutanese monk, super floaty and airy mindfulness, brain waves at super low range, open heart and lovey-dovey feelings at all times, creativity through the roof, group-hugging babe, and manifestor of all kinds of shit (aka money + nice things)…in other words, a hybrid between a hippie, a monk and a fashionable high-heeled chick. Although all those things sound amazing (and realistically unattainable all at once), what I ended up learning from my latest ‘meds’ teacher, Emily Fletcher, is that “we don’t meditate to get good at meditation, we meditate to get good at life”, and honestly, those words could not be more spot on.

What Emily means by that is, who the hell cares if not all of your ‘med sessions’ are deep and profound? What if distractions happen? What if the world around you doesn’t change at the blink of an eye? Screw that. Let’s go for progress, not perfection. I now meditate for long term change. For the ongoing benefits. For my physical and mental wellbeing. These days, the saying that ‘we have more control over our own health and wellbeing than we think’ has no shocking effect on anyone. Or it shouldn’t, in my opinion, as for the most part, we are well aware that our thoughts and actions do shape up the way life unfolds. And meditation is one of those *easy* things that everyone can incorporate into their daily routine. As a wise person once said: you don’t have time for it, you MAKE time for it.

Some (there are too many to list) benefits of meditation:

Slows ageing (meditating marketing gurus, you had me at this one)

Heightened feelings of peace and wellbeing

Increased creativity

Improved concentration

Increased happiness

Less anger (come to mama, please…and can I add a tall order of patience?)

Reduced stress

So even though I scratched my goal of dominating the art of meditation, I have become better at dominating the practice of meditation by sticking to my daily sessions. And it’s made me better at the art of living.

While there are many types of meditation and their aims might be different, the key to achieving the benefits above is to actually get.to.the.chair. Your meditation chair.

Schedule it

You know that fancy smartphone of yours? It has one app called calendar and it can do more than just remind you that you have a doctor’s appointment at 3:00 pm on Wednesday.

Book time with yourself. The most important time in the day, honestly. When you’re able to recharge, reenergize and reconnect with yourself you are giving YOU the pampering and TLC you need to tackle the rest of the day, including — and especially if you are — taking care of others.

Don’t bite more than you can chew

Particularly true when it comes to time. Pick 10 minutes if that’s all you have. 5 minutes if you really think you can’t make the time. So don’t sweat the time issue — a short session is better than no session.

Trains, buses and automobiles

If you’re committed to making this a habit, then finding the perfect place should not be an excuse. In 2016 I meditated in trains, planes, buses, cars, hotel rooms, Airbnb rentals and the subway. Yes, you probably won’t get the same depth that you would in your regular chair at first, but it reaffirms the commitment and helps your mind create the habit.

You may think that a quiet place is the perfect place, but when you’re learning to contemplate your thoughts without judgement, then any spot can do the job. The more you practice in places other than your regular, the better you get at blocking/ignoring external distractions.

Give it a chance

There are several types of meditations — transcendental, guided visualizations, theta meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness, Vedic meditation, loving kindness — whichever you choose, give yourself time to get adjusted to the different feelings, thoughts and physical sensations. You might find some boring, others hard to get into, but don’t discard the practice after a session or two. Give it a fair chance before you decide to try a different kind.

It’s kind of like magic, but not really

Giving up on meditation for lack of measurable results is like quitting the gym after a month because your guns have only achieved nerf status. Things build over time. It took you a couple of decades or more to accumulate the stress, anxiety and all the not-so-supportive habits you have, so don’t expect to get rid of your negative emotions in one go. In fact, don’t expect to get rid of your negative emotions at all!

Meditation will help to deal with the not-so-sweet feelings, but it won’t make you a numb bunny. They are part of life, you’ll just be better equipped to deal with life.

Celebrate the small victories

Even when I don’t feel like meditating, I give myself a pat in the back for making it to the chair. Celebrate small victories, get excited about making it a few days in a row, and take 5 minutes to acknowledge how awesome you are for doing something that is good for you. Be grateful for the changes happening and the ones to come. Life is getting better every day.

The changes {and little miracles} I’ve experienced thanks to meditation are priceless and they keep coming. I am much calmer, and it takes more to shake my vibe. I feel more determined, more focused on my goals. I find it easier to stick to things I want to do, as in, I am more committed to do me. Overall, I feel more at peace, I wake up in the morning with a heart glow, and a sheer determination to be and do better. I feel there’s still a ton to learn, but I also know that I am putting in the time, to get to my chair, and flexing my little nerf guns so that one day they’ll be badass boss girl guns — keep it up, and meditate to get better at life.