I am a thinker. I am comfortable in my mind. I love to analyze. I love to know. I love to question. I love my inquisitive nature and all that I have learned about the world that I live in because of it.
But what if all of this knowing and thinking becomes a distraction? What if “knowing” how to fix a problem never gets you to the solution?
This is what has happened to me.
I love reading books on spirituality. One common theme in these books is the power of stillness, slowing down, and getting in touch with your higher self. So, throughout my life, I have taken note of this (in my mind), written books about being more still (see our Soulful Journals series), written a blog about being more still (this one, in fact!), talked about being more still with my loved ones…but haven’t spent much time actually getting into my body, slowing down, meditating, and simply clearing space to breathe.
I remember many years ago I was talking with someone who said that I needed to just be. I had no idea what she meant by this – what did this mean: just be? Just be what?
Now I see.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a thinker. We all have such amazing minds that help us live extraordinary lives. But our minds are just the beginning of our lives.
Once we know what we know, we must take action and start doing. Only then can we transcend into simply being.
So what if I begin this transcendence right now? What if I set my timer and sit still for five minutes? I would actually be doing AND being at the same time! Okay – here I go…
My Meditation Experience
It kicks off the time with a chime, and away I go. I’m completely on my own now. My eyes are closed, and I am still. It’s really happening!
I begin to hear things that I don’t normally notice: my cat taking a bath behind me, cars driving by, the hum of the computer, my chair creaking as I shift to get comfortable, the email alert (oops – forgot to turn that off)…
I struggle to keep my eyes closed. I want to know how much time I have left. I want to prove to myself that I can do this, though, so I squeeze them even tighter.
I notice how my mind is racing – thinking about writing this post. I know what I want to say, and I am a bit concerned that I will forget it before the time is up.
I start to nod off – the lack of sleep last night is to blame for this one.
And then I hear the chime again and open my eyes.
I would love to say that during this experience of being still the thoughts stopped and I saw the light and everything was magical… but that’s not what happened.
But I did it. I sat still. I closed my eyes and stayed with my thoughts and body for five full minutes. There was no judgment – no call to action – only observance and stillness.
This is a practice that I have dabbled with for many years and never stuck to. It always seemed like a waste of time. I felt that I could be “doing” something instead of just sitting there.
I’m going to take a leap of faith that there is something to this meditation thing – I’m going to believe that my life will change if I take part in it – make time for it.
My mind thinks that this is a good idea, and my body and spirit are in agreement.
I would love to hear your experiences with meditation – Do you practice it regularly? If so, how has it changed your life? Or are you more like me where you have resisted it? Would you like to give it another try?