Being afraid of sitting down and being alone with your thoughts for about 10-15 minutes a day has to be the very definition of an irrational fear. Yet, I feel it. There have been so many occasions this year where I have thought “Gee, I should meditate” and instead have decided to play Candy Crush, watch YouTube or scroll through Facebook, Insta and Pinterest, all the while thinking “people are on social media way too much these days.” (Yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy).
It’s prompted me to ask the question to myself; What’s the problem? Why have I chosen not to meditate? despite the fact that I know there are large bodies of scientific evidence about the health benefits of meditating, why does the thought of being alone with my thoughts seem off putting?
Here are the reasons it’s not:
- I don’t know how to meditate
In 2016, I did a health retreat at Golden Door in Hunter Valley where I met a meditation teacher who gave me an hour masterclass on meditation. During that time, I learned lots of breathing techniques. During the class I meditated for about 17minutes and I felt great afterwards. After learning to meditate, I was able to keep up the practice daily for about a month before I fell off the wagon. I have meditated sporadically since and haven’t really been able to maintain a routine.
- I don’t have time
I have time. If I have time to screw up my mental health with social media and candy crush, I definitely have time to meditate.
As I write these; It’s getting me thinking about what it is – which is good and why I started writing this in the first place.
- Meditation requires mindfulness.
Meditation requires you to stay awake. It is taking time out and being aware of your surroundings and living in the present moment. It’s about being aware of your thoughts and not judging them. It’s really hard! Candy crush is easier because its a form of escape, it allows me to get away from the present moment, it’s also a lot less work.
- My environment isn’t set up for daily meditation
I don’t have a designated meditation spot. I also don’t have a designated meditation time. I’m constantly on the go. One thing I have realised is that I tend to over plan. I have a full-time job; I’m exhausted when I get home from work and weekends are just me recharging my batteries. As I get older I’m starting to understand the limits of my energy far more. I have to reduce my responsibilities.
By reading “Sapiens” I’m growing in my understanding that humans were not meant to spend their lives working and working without rest. Being busy always sounds like it’s an achievement when the reality is having a break also has a lot of additional benefits.