A meditation convert shares her journey to meditation and how to give meditation another shot.Hi friends, I got back from my Europe trip last week and while I’m getting settled in and getting new content together to put up on the blog later this week, I’ve got one final guest Mindful Monday post for ya. This one comes from my RD pal Carlene at Healthfully Ever After. Carlene and I go way back and I’m always so impressed by this girl – her brand, her content, and her fearless, no BS attitude. She’s a rockstar and I’m lucky to call her my friend. This year, Carlene got on the meditation bandwagon but it was not smooth sailing to get there. Now a meditation convert, Carlene is sharing her journey to meditation on the blog today and some tips to help you give it another shot if you feel skeptical.
I’m a meditation convert. The less sexy back story is it took me years to get here. Last year if you had asked me my thoughts on meditation they would have been resoundingly negative. And yet here I am: so wrong in my initial reaction and feeling so strongly about the positive benefits I volunteered to write a guest post about it. So what happened in between? How can you learn to fall in love with meditation when you just don’t get it right now?
Before you let that glimmer of hope that you can make meditation part of your life take over, let me bring you down a couple levels and tell you it wasn’t easy. Like at all. I think it took me three tries over several months to make it stick and even then, it took two weeks of daily meditation for me to feel anything. In an ultra frustrating turn of events, my husband tried it out and felt the calming sensation I struggled to describe a full two weeks later…immediately. After one session.
Sometimes when it comes to wellness activities that truly take practice (time, energy, frustration), we scoff or ignore or resist. That was meditation for me. As someone with a naturally busy mind who likes to feel productive, sitting and ‘being’ was probably the hardest thing for me to do but it was also the thing I needed the most.
If you read pieces on how to start a meditation practice there are some camps that encourage you to just sit quietly and push thoughts away. That is not for me. After so many “failures” as a wanna-be-meditator, I came to realize I need guidance and to be held accountable. Even better if I can mark it as a completed task. When I work on things without visual progress, I’m less motivated. That’s when I found the app Headspace. From 10 minute sessions to progress markers in guided meditation tracks, it took something structured to get me to let go.
I put meditation on my daily task list. I enjoyed seeing how many consecutive days I could go. And eventually I started to feel the difference on an intangible level. Since I really made meditation part of my life, I am more calm. I’m less reactive. I’m more aware of physical cues to show me I’m stressed (and that I need to deal with it). I use meditation techniques in Ubers or while standing in line or when I can’t fall asleep. I’m annoyed with myself that I resisted a practice that was probably the most beneficial thing for my health.
And if this resonates with you: an internal frustration that you know meditation is a good fit for you but you feel unsuccessful in your attempts, let me tell you one convert to another that meditation is different for everyone. Find whatever works for you to get you into the practice whether it’s going to a class at a studio, or finding a guided channel on youtube or downloading Headspace or another app. Or sitting and being quiet, or running and feeling footsteps. If meditation hasn’t clicked for you yet, you may not have found the structure, delivery method or whatever that you need. It’s there. It could take months but keep looking.
Push away thoughts that you’re ‘not doing it right’ or that you’re ‘wasting time’. I’ve said both. Embracing process and progress and patience (or a lack of all three) is my phrase of the year and meditation fits perfectly in more ways than one.
Thanks so much to Carlene for sharing her story with us today! I’ll be back on Thursday with a new recipe for ya’ll! Would love to hear your experiences with meditation in the comments below. What’s worked? What hasn’t?
For more meditation inspo, check out my posts below!