Let’s talk about meditation and how it’s changed my life. I know, I know – That sounds insanely cliche. But hell, it’s true!
Why did I start meditating? Good question.
Let’s see… I have ADD, a slight anger issue, and a wee bit of depression.
I have 2 modes really. Mode 1 is I am energized, creative, going full-steam and pumped. Or there’s mode 2, where I’m depressed and feel like a failure. Note: since starting my meditation practice, I’ve learned about the Ego voice and how to control it.
Sometimes, the above mentioned items make life difficult. It’s also not great to be stuck in that negative ego mindset.
Enough is enough, so I’m trying to fix that.
I kept hearing from people I look up to about how meditation changed their lives (I’m looking at you Tim Ferriss, Kevin Rose, and Justin Kan). I’ve tried meditation in the past, but it wasn’t for me.
But in December of 2020, I said “fuck it, let’s give this another shot.”
Long story short, that’s why I started meditating.
It’s been over a year of having a daily meditation practice now. Since then, my concepts and preconceived notions of what meditation is has greatly shifted.
I started off thinking that if I began meditating, I’d become some hippie zen master. I’d fucking float and birds would land on my shoulder as I achieved perfect world harmony.
That didn’t happen.
But as I dove deeper into the practice, I began to learn what the meaning true of meditation. More importantly, how meditation plays into my life.
Mediation is different for everyone. With that said, here’s what it means to me. Hopefully, my views will connect with you and help you start a practice of your own.
Below are my Top 5 Lessons Learned From Meditation.
After my little blurb, I’ll share links to meditation apps that you might enjoy.
1) Consistency Is Key
As I said earlier, I tried meditation before and didn’t stick with it. I couldn’t sit still long enough. I couldn’t focus long enough. Pretty much, I didn’t see any value in it.
That all changed when I made 2 key decisions.
1) Meditate for 3-5 minutes. Just start. Don’t go for a longer period that will deter you from continuing due to failure / lack of enjoyment. Don’t jump straight into 1 hour a day minimums. Start small and work your way up.
2) Meditate every day no matter what. Go for a long streak and focus on building the habit.
Why did I make these changes?
At first, yes, it was hard as hell to commit to these two decisions. Sitting still and going through the beginner courses on Headspace was not easy. But after a little bit, my practice began to get easier.
Once I hit 60 days, there was a notable difference in my mental state based on the time of day I meditated. It’s almost as if my mind needed in the morning to conquer the day.
Then, once I passed 100 days, the idea of not meditating on a daily basis was brutal. I had to keep going. My mind and body required it. It became essential to me optimizing myself every single day. I even began to notice that in stressful situations, lessons from the my practice would take over. I began to naturally calm my mind and body down.
2. You’ll Never Master Meditation
You’ll never master meditation, so stop trying. It’s a practice – a continual journey. We’re all human and fallible.
The point is to keep doing the work.
The point is to keep doing the work.
If you set some big hairy audacious goal, like becoming the best meditation guru on the planet, you’re destined for failure.
There’s always more to learn. There’s always more to try. Just keep up with the practice.
3. Celebrate Your Wins, No Matter How Small
When I first started, I would beat myself up about not being good enough to meditate. Hell, I couldn’t sit still for 3 minutes with my insane ADD. But I kept at it. I kept doing the work.
Soon, I was actually able to sit still for 3 minutes. Then, to my amazement, I was actually able to clear my mind for 3 minutes WHILE sitting still for 3 minutes. I know. Fucking insane, right?
But guess what? That’s a win. A win worth celebrating.
Increasingly, my sustainability for focus and stillness grew with each session.
For me, I had to learn to celebrate those wins.
Celebrate the tiny steps and the mini-milestones you achieve. It will lead to less stress and a more enjoyable practice.
4. It’s not about changing your mind, but how you handle your thoughts.
Like most, I thought meditation would make me zen as fuck. The reality could not be further from the truth.
I still had depression and let my internal dialogue overtake my ability to think clearly and calmly . I was getting frustrated.
Somehow, I stumbled across an article that changed everything for my though. In short, the article said that I shouldn’t use meditation in the hopes of changing my mind. Instead, I should use it to help change my reactions to my mind. I should notice what my mind and body are telling me, accept the thoughts, then push them away to be able to make calm and controlled decisions.
We are who we are. Can’t change that (for the most part).
What we can do, is change how we react to the voices in our head and the triggers that surround us. If that’s how you approach meditation, life get’s a lot better.
5. Enjoy Yourself
This isn’t a life or death situation. No one is going to yell at you for not completing a daily meditation. No one is going to get in trouble for not being fully present in session.
It’s all going to be good.
You’re trying. That’s what matters. Keep trying. Don’t beat yourself up. Relax.
Enjoy yourself, dammit.
Well, I guess that’s all I have to say about that. Meditation is amazing. I actually do 2 a days now. A 10+ minute meditation in the morning, then a short 5 minute refresh in the afternoon.
I really hope you give it a try.
Here are some apps to help you out. I personally use Headspace and Oak. But people love Calm, so I’m throwing it in the suggested list too.
MEDITATION APPS TO TRY
PS – Thinking about starting a YouTube channel where I actually talk about these blogs instead of just writing them down. What do you think? Should I give it a try? Email me and let me know what you think.