You hate your job. Or your boss. Or your spouse. Or your best friend.
You live in fear of financial insecurity, or perhaps rejection. Maybe you think that everyone is judging you.
You want to go back to school or learn accounting, computers, how to knit, or do yoga, but you come up with excuses not to try and then you beat yourself up for not trying.
You want to lose ten pounds but you can’t stop eating. You blame it on stress.
Every action or non-action we take is fueled by a thought. That thought leads to a behavior. Many of us never sit still long enough to get to know our thoughts and to understand how our thoughts affect our relationships, our work, our ability or inability to set and reach our goals, and everything else in our lives.
- You have complete control over your thoughts.
- Your thoughts create your reality.
- You can change your thoughts at any time.
- Your thoughts lead to your feelings, so if you change your thoughts, your feelings shift accordingly.
If you’re worried, sad, anxious, angry, pissed off, jealous, insecure, or regretful, change your thoughts and those negative feelings will go away.
How do we change our thoughts?
It’s not an overnight process. It takes time, but mediation can lead you to see life and your circumstances more objectively, and when we have more objectivity, we learn how to develop appropriate responses versus irrational reactions to life circumstances.
Mediation will not remove your problems or bring you instantaneous happiness, but it will teach you how to put problems in perspective. It will allow you to get out of that continuous thought spiral in your head and will lead to new and more open possibilities.
People shy away from meditation because:
- They think it’s too complicated.
- They don’t trust it because it’s not a process they can “see.”
- The results cannot be easily measured.
Instead of playing skeptic, try it for a month. A month, at five minutes a day is a little over two and a half hours to give to something that may very well change your life. Because once you can control your thoughts, you can control your destiny.
There have been volumes written on meditation, but let’s not overcomplicate the process.
Below is a simple tutorial:
- Find a five minute block of time when your surroundings are quiet. First thing in the morning or last thing at night works best for most people.
- Sit upright in a chair, or on a pillow on the floor with your legs in a criss-cross position. Check your posture but it’s more important to sit comfortably that to sit with a perfectly straight spine.
- Rest the palms of the hands or the backs of the hands comfortably on your knees or thighs.
- Close your eyes. There are two different schools of thoughts on the eyes. I close mine. Feel free to keep yours open if this works better for you. If you keep them open, focus on a fixed point.
- Begin to let go of your thoughts. If you are new to meditation, this may seem difficult at first, but keep trying. Try to let the thoughts slip out of your mind. You can even promise yourself that your thoughts will be there for you once you get through the mediation.
- For any thoughts that persist, try to “watch” them versus become involved with them. Become an observer of your thoughts as if you are a neutral third party.
- As your thoughts drop away, pay attention to your breath. Do not change your breathing pattern in any way, simply tune into it. Listen to the sound of your inhalation and exhalation. Stay with your breath. As thoughts reappear, try to let them go or detach from them.
- Continue this exercise for five minutes. Over time, you can work up to a longer meditation period, such as ten or twenty minutes, but five is a good place to start, since quite often, beginners feel uncomfortable sitting still for longer periods of time.
- At first, you may spend the greater part of your five minutes trying to quiet the thoughts. Over time, you will be able to let go of your thoughts more quickly.
In time, you will find you have the ability to step back from day to day situations and react less quickly or in some cases, irrationally. You may find yourself asking questions such as, “Why do I react so severely to that person or in these types of situations,” which may lead to the discovery of a fear or core belief that you did not realize you had.
Perhaps you will begin to see how this core belief has dictated many of the decisions you have made over a lifetime. In past posts, I have discussed how for years, I made major life decisions based on my severe fear of financial insecurity, which I only began to realize through my meditation practice. Before meditation, I would justify and make excuses for my decisions, but meditation let me cut right to the fear. Dealing with the fear itself has enabled me to gain more control over my decisions.
As we clean up the clutter in our minds, we create room for new possibilities, new ways of looking at old situations, new perspectives on a job or relationships.
Throughout the month, I will be giving additional information on how to build a meditation practice.
Our minds are the most important part of our house that needs cleaning. For, once we see clearly, anything is possible.
© 2012 Ilene Evans