Welcome to another week. Every week I check how I did on my meditation practice the week before. Usually, not as well as I would like. However, sometimes it seems like I am so concerned about meditating that I feel like I am missing minutes.
And I know that seems counter-intuitive since meditation practices are usually all about being mindful and present in the current moment. And mine are too. Yet I sometimes feel like constantly focusing on being mindful of the present actually pulls me away from what is around me. Like, my mind is so focused on reminding itself to be present that it misses out on actually being present.
Other times, it seems like my attempts to be present and mindful in the current moment cause me to miss moments that would have been spent looking ahead and preparing for something in the future, or else reflecting on something from the past. This of course is the purpose of meditation, to stop worrying about the past or future and instead be in the present, but as with everything balance is the key.
And that is the point of this post. I feel like I don’t have balance in my meditation practice. And that causes me anxiety, which is kind of fucked up since that is the opposite effect that mediation is supposed to have. Yet it is also understandable since I have an anxiety disorder. And admitting that here helps. It helps because it reminds me not only of where I am now, but of what I am striving for in my meditation, which is a sense of greater calm and greater focus. And most importantly it lets others know that if they are struggling with their meditation practice as well, that is totally understandable. You aren’t alone.
I know that when I first started my meditation practice, I really sucked at it. I mistakenly thought that I had to completely empty my mind in order to be ‘successful’ at meditation. And seeing as how I am not a next-level shaman in the Alps or Himalayas, it is unlikely I would ever actually achieve that level of focus. Nor is that even what I need. And even though my meditation practice is not where I want it to be, talking about it helps me realize that not only is that okay, but also that it is better than it once was.
And that helps me achieve more self-compassion, which is another frequent goal of my meditation practice. As for mindfully missing minutes, the self-compassion helps with that too, reminding me that the better I get the fewer minutes I’ll miss, the less stress I will (hopefully) have and the more present I will be able to be.
And that, I think, sounds like a pretty positive note to stop on.
Thanks for reading.