Meditation helps, right? It’s said to calm nerves, reduce stress feelings and focus our brains. I do believe this, I really do. I even preach it.
But, OMG, there are mornings that I say to myself why am I doing this? I don’t have time, energy or ______” (any resource that comes to mind at that moment as a good reason not to meditate). Tell me, please, that I’m not the only one.
So there I am in the morning, getting into my mind that I’m going to meditate and thenI visualize it, I see it and feel it. But you know how it is… I’m picturing this perfectly Zen time and space…full of peace… blissful even. I turn my meditation app on, get into lotus position and start taking deep breaths. In…Out…In…Out…
And then it happens.
A ding comes from the computer <Crap, I forgot to shut down mail last night. NO! You can’t check it real quick, Sarah>.
A Vibration from the phone <UGH, forgot to shut messenger. NO! You can’t check that either!>.
And, of course, then the dog barks as if seeing through the walls that I’m trying to meditate, she’s wanting to be fed. Sigh, another bark…
Then there are the days that I fight non-stop with “monkey brain.” This is the term made up to describe the non-stop to do list, yesterday’s drama or the unbelievably crazy, unexplainable thoughts that decide to launch a full-blown attack on the brain I’m trying to shut up! So, I start arguing with myself, “Shut your brain off and Breathe”…more thoughts crash in… “OMG Stop thinking already!” Surely you know what I’m talking about?
Am I telling you all this to dissuade you from meditating? No! No! NO!
I’m just making it real. In our glossed over, Photoshop world that demands perfection in EVERYTHING, I want to make meditation real. And tell you it’s ok to go through this… you ARE capable of meditating. These fights I face, and you will too (if you haven’t already), are WHY I meditate.
I’ve done a lot of looking at medical research (yes, I’m a research fanatic) just to see what is being said. And there are a lot of reasons that make me want to keep meditating. Horowitz in a 2010 listed a lot of health reasons that have shown improvement with meditation: heart disease, chronic pain, menopausal symptoms (calms my crazy down nicely), better memory (I can use that!), stress management (WHO can’t use that?), trauma, substance abuse, ADHD (ugh, yes on that one too) and several others. Why would I stop meditating with a list like that?
What I am telling you is that even when the monkey brain attacks and the noises try to deafen, there are still unbelievable benefits for you to meditate…even if it’s only that you Get Away from Everyone else for just 5 minutes!
I finally figured out that even the most noisy of “quiet” times give me something for my Spirit to take hold of. You see, one of the main things I’m trying to do is to connect to who and what I really am. I want to be “bona fide” (I always hear Penny in the movie 0 Brother where Art thou? When I use this term lol).
It’s Okay to Not Be Perfect When Meditating
Basically, I want to be THE genuine article…True to myself because I have learned what that means. Wouldn’t that be unbelievable???
What has happened to me is that when I stick to my meditation (usually about 10 minutes) and I keep coming back to my breath when the noises or the monkeys interrupt, I feel, see and hear things that I need. Some days it’s just comfort and warmth. Some days it’s direction. And days, like today with the monkey all over my back I heard in between the distractions, “You’re worth it! You are enough! You’ve got this?” For a recovering overachiever, workaholic perfectionist these were
The perfect “zen” experience isn’t easy to get to, no matter how much I want it to be that way. I am slowly working to accept this and continue to do my meditation every day. I HAVE to keep doing it because I am worth the effort it takes to be bona fide!
Does anyone else feel this way?