Over the years, both through meditating myself and supporting my clients in their practices, I have discovered some blocks that may be halting your progress with meditation. Here is some guidance to help you through these blocks …
1. "I can't quiet my mind." I believe this is the first big hurdle in meditating to overcome. First, try guided meditation instead of attempting to pick meditation up on your own in the silence. This gives you something to guide you out of your incessantly thinking mind. Don't worry, as your practice develops you will be able to meditate in silence and find peace, but first, you have to open the door to this quiet place inside gently. Berating yourself for "not getting it" fast enough just hurts you and really plays to your ego. Think of it like any hobby or sport you pick up – it takes time and guidance to become comfortable.
2. "I don't have time." Almost all my clients in my private practice want to add meditation to their life, but time is a big stumbling block. Even for myself I sometimes run into this problem. , That's partly why I created my Everyday Meditation series – daily ten-minute meditations. I'm not of the school you have to meditate for 20 minutes or more a day. I'm a Mom wife and business owner … I do not live in an Ashram where I have hours to devote to a meditation practice – I live in the very real, busy world. So if you only have 5 minutes right now, take it – spend five minutes concentrating on your breath. I promise you will feel better and surprisingly, the 5 minutes will stretch longer as you feel more comfortable and relaxed with your practice.
3. "I fall asleep." During workshops this often comes up because my clients believe they fall asleep during the meditations. Upon 'waking' from the meditation they don't remember anything, except they feel much better. This "falling sleep" response is when your conscious mind goes to sleep because it is not interested in what is going on. For example, maybe you've gotten in the car to go to the store and upon arrival you don't remember driving there? Well, you've probably driven there dozens of times and now it has become automatic, your mind is free to think of other things instead of directions. Another reason for this "falling asleep" response is the topic of the meditation may be too upsetting to look at directly and again, your mind is protecting you by falling asleep and allowing the healing to first begin in your sub-conscious. I often intentionally fall asleep to meditations knowing its healing affects on my sub-conscious. If you are feeling better after the meditation, except it, don't fight it. Again, as you heal your sub-conscious, this 'falling asleep' response will just slip away and you will become more present and 'awake' during your meditation.
4. "I don't like the imagery in the guided meditation." While I was teaching a meditation workshop a student complained that she hated meadows and couldn't fall into the meditation due to this. The meditation we had just finished was set in a meadow and connecting to safety. She kept saying how barren and dead meadows are … This was surprising to me because meadows are magical places for me full of life. I asked her to look at her language and her life. The meadow she created was in her own mind – she made it barren, without life. The meditation was in fact informing her of this barren view point. I suggested she herself put life into the image in the meditation – adding trees, flowers, birds, etc. This is actually a direct opportunity to heal. This is a gift of meditation to gently heal yourself in your own time.
5. "I know I'm not doing it right. I must be missing something." Maybe you've read you can be closer to God or manifest things through meditation, but you are not feeling this. Relax. We live in a society that loves to compare – restrain yourself. Ask yourself this, do you feel better – maybe calmer after meditating? Yes, you are doing it right. Let this practice unfold in your life gently. I promise magic will happen.
I hope this helps you overcome some blocks in your own meditation practice. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact me. I am here to help. So be it.