I suck at meditating… like really suck at it… to such an extent that meditation seemed to have the opposite effect than its intention.
My mind has always been a monkey party, I can’t recall it ever being anything else. The issue was, I didn’t realise that it was this monkey party that was (almost) entirely to blame for my low mood, low motivation, and general outlook on life. It was why I struggled with almost every aspect of my life.
Much of the last 12 months has been about getting those monkeys in my mind in check… Not caging them but training them. You see, caging would have the opposite effect. Preventing the monkeys from running around would only cause more agitation. Allowing them to breeze past, without judgement, without making too much of them, and gently guiding them back to the stool has a much better effect… Like children, monkeys don’t respond well to being caged…
Meditation, though, has always been my stumbling block.
The first time I felt it was rather successful… but then I expected far too much from myself. (Funnily enough it’s a year tomorrow since my first attempt). I realise now that I didn’t fully understand the idea that caging the monkeys was going to have the opposite to the desired effect.
Recently, I’ve been reading a few self-help books… It’s not a genre I have ever really gravitated towards, but I am glad I have. I’ve already talked about one of them here and mentioned the other two here. They haven’t changed my life for me, but they have inspired me to make certain changes I hadn’t made before.
The biggest one of these changes has been meditation
(This is the point where C rolls his eyes and says “I told you so” like he does when I start raving about some technique or idea that he’s been trying to tell me for months.)
I tried out the Headspace app.
I didn’t pay for a headspace subscription – I earned enough Weight Watchers Wellness point things for a 90-day subscription so I thought I may as well give it a go. It has been remarkable. Not because it’s revolutionary, not because it’s a brand new idea… but because it makes sense to me.
Yes, it is exactly what C has been trying to get me to do for months, but the Basics pack explains that you’re not meant to have it mastered straight away… You’re not meant to work too hard… it keeps me wanting to do more…
And, after each meditation you’re given a single concept to take away from the session and bring to the next.