My husband and kids love to get a good “family chuckle” after they see me find a spot in our backyard, sit down and meditate.
It’s actually my husband and my son who get the ball rolling when I come back in the house – feeling very present and centered, I might add. They throw a few buzzwords like “essential oils”, “crystals” and “om’” in the mix – and get the whole crowd belly-laughing about the absurdity of meditation.
And, I completely understand why there is comedic value in it. I really do. But there is this whole other perspective that you are missing if you haven’t given it a shot.
I don’t practice meditation because this is what people do who are on a certain path, or it’s a hip thing to do these days.
I practice it because it works. It changes the dynamics of my day to day life on a profound level.
There Seems To Be Some Confusion…
There is an ever-present dialogue about the benefits of meditation these days. You could say that it is almost trendy. But based on the the many groans, eye-rolling and laughter that occurs around the suggestion of meditation, I really wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about this practice.
Meditation or quieting the mind, whether you do this as you are going about your day, while you are doing something creative or just sitting somewhere quietly is not actually about silencing the mind. Nope. That’s a fallacy.
It’s About the Peanut Gallery
The peanut gallery, or the itty bitty committee is the crowd in your head that sabotages your day to day life. These are the naysayers that have crashed your party and have been around for so long that you cannot remember what it was like before they were there. In fact, they are so much a part of us that we don’t always notice when they pop into our current creation and blow it to smitherines.
And, even worse, they are the saboteurs that run a subconscious script, which prevents you from realizing that they are actually wreaking havoc on your life. The peanut gallery often blasts their music at such high volumes that you cannot hear or perceive the truth of who you are.
This is what they sound like,
You will never be enough. You always mess up everything. You are a failure. No one is going to like what you have to offer. You are not worthy of love or success, or fill in the blank. Don’t live your dreams – it’s too risky – stay right here with us, where it’s safe (even if you are miserable)! Everyone has a better life than you do – it’s not fair – but you are a powerless victim.
There are infinite versions of this script. Does that sound familiar?
Just Like a New Puppy, Our Mind isn’t Trained Until We Train It
One of the most powerful methods of training your mind to kick the peanut gallery out of your party is meditation.
So what is the real goal of meditation?
Training the mind to recognize judgement.
And, why would you want to do that?
When you train your mind to recognize judgement, you can begin to pull it away from your daily experience to find focus, make better choices, gain clarity and access innovation.
Most emotional pain and suffering is a manifestation of our minds run amok with judgement. Judgement masks your ability to receive Joy.
Less judgement = More joy
‘When the mind finds joy it will follow you like a shadow that will never leave. This the ultimate present of human life. This is what we all can obtain.’ Guatama Buddha
It’s about Clarity, Focus, Innovation and Joy – But Mostly about Joy
I deliberately didn’t use the word happiness to describe the results of kicking out the peanut gallery.
Happiness has too much heavy emotion and expectations attached to it, and tends to be transient and ephemeral.
Joy doesnt have that baggage or impermanence.
Joy is a full body, enduring feeling, which is more than an experience. It’s a state of being that you become after you clear out all of the cobwebs of the mind.
The more you clear out the more you receive. And this becomes the guiding force for transformation in your life.
Meditation helps you realize that you are responsible for and have the choice to define yourself and your experience – this is the path to freedom.
I implore you to give meditation a chance – practice, practice, practice.
Break free from the chains that bind you. Choose yourself. Choose love.