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Meditation changed my life. I don’t say that lightly. It has also changed my husband’s life. He took up meditation not long after I did, and it has been amazing to observe our journeys unfold before us, and how differently we interact with the world now.
In the beginning
Meditation at the start can be tough. Just like starting a new exercise regimen, or a new diet, meditation can lose its shine quickly in the beginning. At first the novelty will keep you going, but then the hard work really begins.
A common misconception about meditation is that you have to “empty your mind” and “quiet your thoughts.” The ultimate goal would be to achieve this if possible, but that takes YEARS of practice.
I love the way Dan Harris of 10% Happier describes the practice of meditation. He says that every time you get caught up in thought that draws you away from your focus, but then you catch it and bring yourself back to focus, is like a bicep curl for your brain.
If you wanted to create and maintain strong arms, would one bicep curl be enough? No. And if you wanted to grow stronger and stronger, would you keep lifting the exact same weight? No.
You’d create an organized workout routine, and you’d slowly increase your weight as your strength increased. In the same way with a meditation practice, it is vital to remain consistent, and to challenge yourself to go deeper and longer into your sessions as your strength, or skill progresses.
As your skill increases, you’ll notice something start to happen. Your thinking will start to change. Why? Because you’ll be rising out of your conditioned mind.
The conditioned mind is a wondrous gift of nature. It allows us to progress through our days so easily. But it also creates the same things over and over.
When you meditate, you surface. You rise into your prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher thinking and creativity. It’s this part of your brain that makes you human.
Practicing surfacing over and over and over again leads to profound mindfulness. And when you’re mindful, you wake up. You rise out of the conditioned mind and become aware of the world around you.
The more you meditate, the more you’ll find yourself in this state of awareness, this state of being awake. And here is what you can expect as that happens:
- increased joy due to less concern about what others think
- increased curiosity about what is possible for you
- deeper compassion for others
- a calmer mind
- a deeper connection with the universe around you
There are many more benefits to meditating on a daily basis, both shared and individual. Hopefully I’ve convince you to at least give a regular practice a chance. Set a goal to try it for 45 days. You’ll likely start to notice benefits prior to the end of those days, but 45 days will help you cement it in as habit.
Also, if you have a hard time sticking with it, you can focus on this sentence over and over while meditating (which is a form of meditation):
I am a person who meditates.
Here are a few meditation resources I’d recommend:
Work with me
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