I’ve reached the point where if I don’t get my daily meditation routine in, I’m cranky. I don’t feel as grounded or centered the rest of the day.
I know that I am in the minority (although you would be surprised at how many CEOs, actors, and famous figures swear by a meditation practice). I hear from many of you that despite all the promoted positive benefits, you just can’t get into it. Here are what I have found are the 3 biggest meditation myths getting in your way — and how to navigate them with ease.
1. You have to sit in the lotus position with your thumb and index finger touching.
This is simply not true. You don’t need a fancy meditation pillow, you don’t have to sit in a specific position — flat out, there are no requirements for meditation except to stop for a minute!
Personally, I lay down on a yoga mat, similar to the savasana yoga pose pictured in the photo above. Nice and easy. (NOTE: If you fall asleep or are worried about falling asleep when meditating, you don’t have a meditation problem — you are exhausted and need to get some sleep. Meditation wakes you up.)
The only requirement for meditating is getting into a comfortable position. I think having your spine straight and flat is also important. But comfort is key.
2. You have to meditate for an extended period of time.
My sessions average about 30 minutes, which may seem like an eternity for you (I certainly used to think so), but I am so much more productive that I get more than 30 minutes back. Frequency is more important than length when it comes to a meditation practice. In other words, five minutes every day is better than half an hour on Sunday.
We make space for what we value — you make space every day to have time to brush your teeth — so if you value slowing down and centering, you can find a few minutes for meditation. And yes, it’s better first thing in the morning, but find a time that works for you.
3. You have to ‘clear your mind.’
Last but not least is a tricky meditation myth: the concept of “clearing your mind.” Your brain never stops until your are dead, so don’t feel so hung up by the fact that your brain is running on full tilt while you meditate. Instead, think of it like you’re floating down a river in one of those inner tubes. Things will come to mind — you forgot to pack lunch for today, you’re worried about a conflict in a conference call, etc. Just let those thoughts come to mind, and then let them go. Picture yourself floating past them. Those things will still be there when you’re done; for now, you’re meditating and focused inward.
Bottom line? Your meditation practice is yours, so make it work for you. Make time, even if it is 3 minutes, every day.