Introduction from Seo
I get asked so many questions from people on how to become more spiritual, grounded, better at manifesting, trust intuition… and my answer is always “start meditating.” And usually the response I get is, “Oh I know, I try, but…”
Usually my response to that is, start at 2-3 minutes a day, because ANYONE can meditate for 2-3 minutes. It’s bullshit when anyone says they don’t have time or it’s too hard when it’s just for 2-3 minutes right? If you are still not doing it, it’s probably because you don’t feel ready or don’t want to, whether you realize it or not (our subconscious minds can be a stubborn bitch!)
Then I thought, hmmm maybe that’s too harsh for some people – I should share someone else's experience and tips from her experience. So I asked my friend Sabrina to share her view on meditation – she came up with so many great practical tips! Enjoy!
Guest post by Sabrina Jugo
Sabrina is a millennial feminist that lives in Richmond, Virginia. She is passionate about social justice issues and plans to pursue a Master's in Social Work in the near future. When she isn't writing, she enjoys reading, lighting candles, drinking tea, and having passionate conversations with friends about how to make the world a better place.
Why People Should Meditate.
For many years now, I have been resistant to the idea of a dedicated meditation practice. Because I live and breathe psychology, which emphasizes mindfulness, I spent a lot of time truly thinking that I was doing “enough” to better myself. Be mindful while I’m watching the dishes? Sure. Be mindful in conversations with friends and loved ones? No problem. The truth is, while the benefits on mindfulness and meditation may overlap, they aren’t quite the same.
Mindfulness may help you feel connected to the world around you, but meditation connects you to truths within yourself. It’s no secret that some of the greatest thinkers in the world have uncovered great meaning deep truths about themselves, and the universe, while meditating. That said, if they can unlock all of these magical powers by dedicating a few minutes a day to it, why can’t we?
Here are the five biggest roadblocks in my meditation journey, and how they can be easily debunked.
1. “I don’t have the time”
When there is something that I know would benefit me greatly, but that greatly overwhelms me, I like to use time as an excuse not to do it. As a college grad who was trapped in a pretty mentally unhealthy college environment for four years, I perfected the art of overbooking myself and neglecting most things that were good for me. Now, as a 24-year old, who juggles a few different jobs, a social life, a desire to stay connected and informed about the goings-on in the world, and future life preparations, it seems like there often aren’t enough hours in the day. Regardless of your age, I know you feel the same way! While this thought process still creeps in from time-to-time, the ultimate truth is, you make time for things that are important to you. If I can make time to play a few hours of volleyball one night a week or re-watch episodes of Gilmore Girls that I’ve seen 15 times, I can find a few minutes during the day to meditate.
Headspace is a great app to get people started, that is not too woo-woo or spiritual in nature.
Insight app is my favorite app - it has so much variety of guided meditations, and it also has a timer with background noise option once you get more self-sufficient in meditation on your own (when you don’t need someone else’s voice to guide your meditation)
2. “I don’t know where to start”
Everywhere we look, we see meditation advertised as something that only our most highly esteemed friends have mastered. The media, in particular, tells us we need to dedicate a room in our house to it, and make it last a few hours. The message is, if you aren’t fully committed to the idea, you shouldn’t participate at all. Furthermore, being a beginner at anything lends itself to some discomfort. This is where my perfectionism creeps in. That little voice inside my head tells me not to bother trying, since the most likely event is that I will fail.
The great news (especially for my fellow perfectionists) is that like anything, you can start small. There are thousands of resources out there for beginners or people looking to get back into meditation if they’ve taken a break or stopped completely.
3. “I have too many thoughts going through my mind”
Because I’ve worked with many individuals who suffer from anxiety, and I’ve experienced my fair share of anxiety at times, I can understand how debilitating it can seem to sit with your own thoughts. For some people, it can seem like the most daunting task of their day. The good news is that meditation can be an amazing tool for managing anxiety in the long run! Over time, the practice can help to calm your body, and allow you to work through your thoughts. Although it may be a challenge at the beginning, you can look at it like a long-term investment toward your overall health and well-being.
4. “It takes a long time to get any benefits, and if I skip a few days (weeks), it’s just like starting over”
The truth is, this one is still a challenge for me. I self-identity as a “project starter” and have difficulty keeping up with my intentions or habits in general. This is where positive self-talk comes in. A huge part of my professional life has been spent telling others to be kind to themselves, and that we should be working toward progress, not perfection. It’s easy to tell others to cut themselves some slack, but when it comes to you, it’s an entirely different story. I think back to when I played tennis in high school. I was a pretty decent player, but when I went to college, I stopped playing. Almost seven years later, I’m starting to play again, and it feels like I’m starting from scratch. It is incredibly frustrating, and I often think to myself, “why can’t I do this? I used to have great strokes and do super well”. Of course it’s not going to naturally come back to me! Instead of placing value on where I was then and where I am now, I could simply acknowledge that I did the thing in general. If I mastered the skill then, I can master it now.
5. “Meditation makes me more anxious than relaxed”
It’s possible that this is true, at first. I believe that the majority of us do not make the effort to sit quietly with ourselves, really ever. Sitting with one’s thoughts, without any distractions, is not sexy, and so no one tells us to do it. I can tell you from experience that after a while, you learn to control anxious thoughts, and even ward them away when they come up. [PSA, I am by no means stating that an anxiety disorder or severe anxiety can be cured through meditation. What I am saying, is that it can be a helpful tool and coping mechanism for those people as well].
Please comment & share what your mediation journey has been like. Both Seo & I would love to hear from you. Join Alpha Female Sisterhood.
Meet Seo Kelleher, an intuitive coach for life and business, committed to empowering women. "I am passionate about helping women find the courage to transform their lives by embracing their vulnerability and taking the responsibility."