How To Meditate When You Say You Can't...
(STOP shaking your head - yes you can - just read!)
I can’t even begin to tell you how many time I have heard from clients… “Mediate? Oh yeah, I know what that is. I can’t do that. I have too much going on in my brain.”
HELLO! Then you are a perfect candidate who will benefit from mediation. Now, don’t worry. I am not the kind of coach who’s all, “I am going to teach you MY way of meditating. It is the ONLY way to meditate. I KNOW MY SH*T and THUS YOU MUST DO IT MY WAY.”
Nope. Nope. Nope - if you know anything about me, non-traditional is my way of doing things.
First, if you resonate with the above statement about how your brain won’t stop - know you are not alone. Between the tweeting, the tv, the interwebs, the email, instant message both in your office and on social media, and if you are old school like me - the radio…now wonder your brain is on constant overload!
For the first time in history, we have instant access to more information about anything we want at any time of the day or night for anything ever! That means our attention spans are shorter and to grab our attention most media has resorted to tap into what some call the alligator brain.
This is the part of the brain that handles our fight or flight. Which when we were all living in caves WAY back in the Flintstone days was fabulous! This was the mechanism that kept us from being eaten by lions, tigers, and bears (OH MY! - I couldn’t resist). However, these days most of us don’t have to worry about this but our alligator brains are still fully functional and is where our friend the ego or shadow live.
Media and marketing folks know ALL ABOUT alligator brain. They also know, for those who tune out or are unaware, if they poke that part of the brain with a stick, you will be moved from couch potato mode into OH SH*T mode.
Insurance commercials - the mayhem guy is a prime example of poking the alligator brain. He personifies your fear, pokes the F out of it and then shows you the result - CRASH a car wreck and thus you need our kind of insurance.
Car commercial - Your life stinks - come buy this car. It will make you happy. In fact, we are enforcing the fact that you are not good enough unless you have THIS car. Come on down right now and buy this car so you can reinstate your self-esteem and value as a human with your fellow humans.
Drug commercials - no one ever heard of half the diseases they have come up with drugs for but now you do and - OMG! - you might have it. And OMG! Thank GOD there’s a drug for that but so you don’t sue us we need to let you know if you take this drug your eyeball may fall out, your dog may run away and you just might die.
Are you getting my drift? I you picking up what I am putting down? I am not saying don’t get insurance, don’t have a car or don’t go to the doctor. What I am saying is BE AWARE of the messages you are feeding your already overwhelmed brain.
The next time you sit down to watch television, listen to Pandora, or check Google News - ask IS THIS FEEDING MY SOUL or MY ALLIGATOR BRAIN? (i.e. - does this feel good or am I ready to jump when someone asks for a pencil at my office?)
Now for the news - since you are already hypersensitive to this kind of marketing, the new channels want you to watch. So what they do is constantly bombard with drama and things that trigger your alligator brain because if you are afraid, you shift into fight or flight mode. Once you are there, you need to watch them to sponge up as much info as possible to make a fight or flight decision. However, they do not let up on the drama. So your alligator brain goes into overload…
Between the news, the ads and your friend who seems to have drama following them around 24/7 and they seem compelled to text you all the gory details all the time - no wonder your alligator brain has made besties with monkey brain, as the Dahli Lama puts it.
Monkey brain is when you can’t shut down your brain because it is in overload mode.
ALL that said…how do we fix it. The answer is meditation…
I know- you’re like ACK! Michele, I just told you I can’t meditate!
Yes, you can my friend. Here are some examples of traditional and non-traditional ways and I bet you can find one that might just work for you.
First, though, meditation is the idea of focusing the brain on either one thing or nothing. The reason we do this from a physical perspective is to release all this overwhelming overload. You have to control / alt / delete at least once a day or your stress level will be off the charts if it isn’t already.
From a spiritual perspective - if you need answers and clarity, meditation is where it is at, my friend. I’ve heard it said, “Prayer is where we ask our questions and meditation is where we receive our answers.” So, if you’re looking for answers - here we are.
- Straight up sitting quietly, eyes closed, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
- Guided meditations are great for beginners because they give you something to focus on.
- mediation does not need to be that long. As Davidji, master meditation teacher says, a 16-second pattern interrupt can be a meditation. And who doesn’t have 16 seconds when your peace of mind is on the line? You can check out his here on YouTube.
- Using an app like insight timer. This is what I use and it gives you options for guided, timed, mantras, and more. It’s my go to. You can download it for iPhone here.
I have discovered that when we are being physical or creative we can only focus on one thing and that is also a form of meditation because you are forcing the brain to let go of all the static and focus on something you like to do. Here are some non-traditional forms of mediation:
- Singing or playing an instrument
- Doing a craft or some artwork
- Listening to an audio book
I know others may say that you need to sit under a tree and om for 3 hours to get to the higher consciousness but I will tell you this, the biggest challenge sometimes is that first step.
My goal is to make that first step as easy as possible because I remember when it took everything in me to just meditate for 5 mins - I am up to 20mins. So don’t worry, even I am not at an hour yet.
So I am going to ask you, are you willing to try?
I love myself, therefore I stop and be still once a day to care for the well being of my brain and my spirit.
I promise your brain and your soul with thank you for it!
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