This resonated so deeply with me because while I write about connecting with my soul and I help others slow down and embrace their lives, I often tell myself that I’m just too busy to do the same. It’s a bit embarrassing to say that I don’t always practice what I preach. I have the awareness down, but I’ve recently realized that the practice itself could use some support.
I’ve tried to meditate. For years, I have done what it is that I think I should do – sat in lotus position, closed my eyes, and focused on my breath. I have listened to guided meditations that helped me slow down and relax into the moment. And while I was in that moment, I did feel calmer and more alert and more relaxed and more centered.
But getting me there oftentimes felt like torture. I would think of every reason and every excuse why I just didn’t have time to sit still – why I didn’t have time to focus on my breath – why I didn’t have time to meditate.
And then I started to look at my life a bit more closely. I realized that it wasn’t that I was too busy – I create tons of space throughout my day, actually. I realized that it was the structure of meditation that I was rebelling against. It was the “shouldness” of it that I struggled with. “You should meditate. This is how you should do it. It’s not really meditating if it’s not done a certain way. It doesn’t really count.”
All of these judgments clearly came from me. None of these thoughts have anything at all to do with meditation itself.
But I realized that if I was going to embrace meditation in my life, I was going to need to redefine it.
So I began to get clear about what about meditation feels right in my soul and what doesn’t feel authentic to me (at least not right now). I let go of what I thought I was supposed to do and what others recommended or how it looked for someone else. I gave myself permission to create my own definition.
Here’s what I came up with:
- Meditation for me means taking at least 15 minutes each day to sit in my backyard. I watch the birds. I close my eyes and lift my face up to the sun. It’s peaceful and energizing at the same time.
- Meditation for me means lying down and simply being. Whether I’m in my living room and the glow of candles is all around or I’m lying in my bed, I’m making space to bring my energy back to the present moment. I take all of the circuits that I’ve been putting into the world, and I bring them back into my own body and my own space. I plug my soul into the universe and soak up the loving energy.
- Meditation for me means that I write. I come home to my soul almost every day through the words that pour onto the page. I check in and see what my soul needs me to know, and I allow my brain to step aside and soak up this wisdom.
- Meditation for me means that I take dark showers when I’m feeling scattered – when I’m feeling that it’s time to re-center myself.
- Meditation for me means that I hug my cats and rock them back and forth.
- Meditation for me means singing and dancing and playing and laughing – enjoying the exact moment that I’m in.
Meditation for me means that I create space in my life for presence. It means that I have buffers of time where nothing is scheduled and nothing is done. It means that I give myself permission to Be.
That’s how I choose to re-define it.
How about you? What does meditation mean to you?
Jodi Chapman is a bestselling author, an award-winning blogger, and a soulful community builder. She lives her life with love and faith in the driver’s seat, and she hopes to leave a trail of inspiration wherever she goes. She believes that we each have the ability to hear our soul’s whisper and create our best lives. She would love to connect with you!