I bet you can relate to this picture eh?
-You've heard lots about meditation...
-You've tried to do it a few times...
-Every single time you tried, the session felt like an eternity... (like poor "Steve" here)
-You felt like you "must" be doing something wrong...
"Maybe meditation just isn't for me!?" you think.
I've been there. Many of us have. Despite reading or learning more about the benefits of a mindfulness meditation practice, we just can't seem to make it work. Sometimes we even feel like a "failure". Am I right? Yet, this practice (in many many forms) has been around for centuries. And only recently in our modern world has science given it some much deserved attention and sharing the health benefits of practicing meditation regularly. This is exactly why I've wanted to be able to provide an easy to follow program, for those who are interested and perhaps have even tried meditation for a bit, but just can't seem to make it stick.
Here's the main premise behind this 8-week program...
Like I said, I tried meditation, several times. I'd do it for a while, at one point even did it for some weeks (not just days), but nothing ever stuck. Why? I'm interested in it, I'm studying it, learning more about it... Why won't this work?!
My own struggles the past handful of years, led me to revisiting the basics. In the process of doing so, I became absolutely obsessed with them! I study the concept of practice, both in theory and action. I become more aware of how far the basics take us when we harness them and when we allow them to work "their magic" so to speak.
In regards to my meditation attempts in the past, I was now able to see why it wasn't working for me. There were a couple very important factors at play.
I dove in head first. Your chances of creating a consistent and sustainable practice drops drastically if you try to go from 0-100. In other words, going from not meditating (at all, let alone regularly) to trying to meditate for 10-20min per session (or more) is not going to last. There needs to be smaller steps along the way, as with most things we want to practice and improve in life.
The timing was off. Sometimes it takes time to figure out what will work for you. There will be setbacks, but that's not a bad thing. That's part of learning about what works for you. My efforts in the past were varied when it came to meditation; I tried before bed, early in the morning, after a workout etc.. Nothing truly felt like it had any flow to it (not to mention the above point was also in play)
My "WHY" wasn't quite there yet. I didn't realize it at the time but my "WHY" wasn't quite ready and in place in the past. WHY you choose a new health practice, I feel, is very important. In the past, practicing meditation wasn't much more than "because its good for me, so I 'should'". That approach won't get you to consistency.
It wasn't "real" .. for ME. Meditation like most health practices is very individualized. You don't "have" to do it in a certain way. My past experiments and dabbles just weren't for ME. And that's ok. But I didn't realize that then.
With my re-born passion of the basics, brought a very different approach to a meditation practice. When I first began, it wasn't because I felt I "should" do it, but rather "I want to do this". Very slowly I got into a regular and consistent practice starting at just 1-min per session. As I share this blog post, I currently meditate for 6-min per session. Doesn't seem like much at all right? But here's the cool part;
I've done it for nearly 10 months consistently. 5-days per week.
Ready for cool part #2?
It's felt easy. Not necessarily "easy to meditate" but easy to get the pratice into my days. It's not a struggle or thinking "aw man, I really don't feel like doing that".
Ready for cool part #3????
I've enjoyed it 100%. I'm doing it in a way I enjoy, a way that I can be consistent and with no pressure or expectations attached. This is something MOST of us forget in our health practices. If we truly enjoy doing something, we are much more likely to do it consistently for the long haul.
The Exloring Zen program is delivered right to you through our app and will guide you through how you can get a mindfulness meditation practice going that's your own. It's meditation for "real people" (kids at home, bills to pay, everyday stresses, your neighbours cat is pooping in the garden again and you just can't seem to make it through the day).
Meditation can help improve so many aspects of your health including managing stress, listening to your body, improving your focus, reduced blood pressure, improved moods/emotions, improved energy...
Its been a wonderful addition to my days and I am so excited to share it with others through this program.