Attitudes to Meditation
Let go of expectations
Let go of the need to achieve a desired outcome, but rather set an intention for your practice and allow for the resolutions to unfold in their own time in their own way.
You cannot force yourself or convince yourself to relax, just like you cannot force yourself to go to sleep at night. Trying harder to meditate or approaching this as a problem to be solved is going to work against the purpose and flow of relaxation and meditation. Instead, let go of trying and all effort, and just be open and fully aware of the present moment without judgment or analysis.
Be kind to yourself
Have a gentle and nurturing approach towards yourself, and remember that you are so much more than what other people can see and this is the time in meditation when you can really explore the deeper aspects of your being and appreciate your inner most self more. Meditation is a practice in cultivating self-love.
Maintain an open curiosity
Keep a light approach to meditation. Observe your mind and witness your feelings as they all come and go without becoming attached to them. If it helps you can keep a gentle smile on your face as you begin your meditation to keep the focus light and not so serious.
Trust that just by committing to sitting as often as you can will be so beneficial to your wellbeing. You don’t need to justify, analyse or go over and over in your mind why you should or need to meditate. The benefits of meditation are so numerous and there is so much new evidence to show the amazing changes that can happen to your life and in your body and brain when you meditate regularly.
This is not an intellectual exercise, it is about letting go of the need to achieve anything and just trusting the process. This is a challenging concept to grasp these days, giving yourself permission to do nothing and to go nowhere, to produce nothing and interact with no one. This is precisely what makes mediation such a wonderful practice. There is absolutely no pressure, there is only being, pure and simple.
Accept what you find in the present moment. Thoughts, sensations, sounds and feelings. In meditation we are not aiming to change anything or shy aware from discomfort, we are practicing becoming aware of the distractions or awkward feelings without judgment and without allowing them to take a hold over us. Observing with a kind and accepting perspective enables you to alter the way you relate to the discomfort, and an understanding that nothing is permeant and it will pass in its own time. Sitting with the discomfort allows you to open up to creative solutions and insight into what you can do to help you transition through these challenges.
It is so important to approach your meditation practice with loving kindness and self-compassion. Notice any negative inner dialogue, bring your awareness to your breath and your heart space, use positive affirmations or mantras and words of support during meditation. This will begin to change the way you relate to yourself and your inner voice. This will increase feelings of self-esteem by honouring your true self that exists beneath all the judgments and criticisms of the active mind.