I dedicate this Blog post to all the wonderful people who have come to me with a problem in their life that needed solving, and when I would mention the word meditation their head would turn, and their would ears perk up like a dog hearing the bag of treats being opened. It's like a curiosity from not knowing the exact definition of the word: MEDITATION, but it's also that sense of 'oh my! I'm about to get a treat! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!' Yea... like that. It's almost as if these people know about it deep within their spirit, but the mind kicks in trying to calculate their past experiences to pull up an association with this interesting word: MEDITATION.
SO WHAT IS MEDITATION ANYWAY?
Well that is not the simplest question to answer. A lot of people have been misled to believe that it is "quieting the mind" as if you could actually quiet that thing I mean really people this is actually IMPOSSIBLE! The mind is not all bad, so therefore why would we need to try to stop it... and fail? Over the last 10 years I have had some very interesting and deep experiences with many different types of meditation. There is Movement Meditation (one of my favorites), Walking Meditation, Sitting Meditation, Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana Meditation, and on and on and on. So many different kinds can easily overwhelm a beginner and steer them away from taking any kind of plunge into developing their own favorite kind of meditation.
So in a nutshell instead of thinking about "clearing your mind of any thoughts" what you do instead is watch the thoughts that flood into the mind and simply watch! Sounds SO easy right? HA! Try sitting four hours each day for 10 straight days while also being silent and solo the whole time. This is unimaginable for some, and like home for others. Sounds easy right? And it is... until you actually start to practice.
SO many beliefs, habits, and feelings stem from the lack of awareness of our thoughts. Think about it (No pun intended Heh)! When I used to look in the mirror, say in High School, I would unconsciously (meaning - I was totally unaware of the fact that I did it) beat myself up for not having the perfect body, pointing out my imperfections and just making them grow (well, in my mind anyway). I look back at pictures of myself in High School with a much more balanced sense of self and think 'Huh, this girl is kinda cute! How come I thought I looked 100 lbs. heavier?!' It was partially because I wasn't really aware of the fact that ME, MYSELF, and I was the one creating those beliefs about how ugly I was. It was my lack of awareness and separation from the mind that kept those thoughts turning into beliefs. STRONG beliefs too, the kind that took years to truly unravel, and I still notice the thoughts to this day!
SEE! It's NOT about stopping the thoughts completely. 15 years later I still have those little thoughts creep in. The difference between then and now is that I can giggle and send extra LOVE to myself when I notice those thoughts. I hear a (now very quiet) voice grumble "you have too much fat right there, you should look better than that", in my head and I then notice it, breathe into it, and let it go... lovingly! Because it is only when we love ourselves and open to grace that we can truly see miraculous changes in our lives.
So don't be overwhelmed by all the different styles of meditating. Really you can be so focused on a workout you can be meditating at the Gym! One of my favorites was being on long drives by myself and I would use it as a lovely opportunity to meditate and tune into where my thoughts and beliefs are at. Surfing is probably my favorite though besides dance + music. The ocean is beyond powerful in terms of its healing abilities. To become aware in the most random times can be just as useful as sitting on the meditation cushion. Most people use the daily practice of sitting to keep themselves reminded and refreshed to what their mind is doing and whether or not they let it control them, or they control it. The mind is a wonderful tool, and when it isn't taking over and becoming the enemy it is our greatest ally in manifesting the life we have always wanted. Believe you are beautiful, and you ARE!
Aloha + Big Blessings!
Alli Kennedy XOXO