Summer of Meditation Refresher – Week 1
To avoid the most common frustration I hear in my meditation class and elsewhere– let’s skip the sit all together today, shall we? No need to force your mind to be empty. Instead, walk.
And try out this delightful, simple, easy practice from Thích Nhất Hạnh, master of mindfulness and all things good:
Oui + Merci.
Repeat after me: the goal of meditation is not to stop the mind from thinking.
Make this your goal and you are sure to fail. (And be mean to yourself along the way.)
It is the nature of the mind to think. We think upwards of 12,000 thoughts a day (that’s 1,000 or more an hour!).
Meditation helps us strengthen our attention muscle so we don’t chase the thoughts like a puppy but instead can stay with ourselves in the present. Which is where we have a choice.
Self-love talk always freaks me out. It sounds cheesy, like a Saturday Night Live skit on affirmations.
I still am not really comfortable with the idea that I need to love myself. I mean, I understand it intellectually but can’t easily find a doorway into that love as a lived practice.
Please don’t send me invitations to ecourses to cultivate self-love or Oprah + Depak’s latest meditations on the subject. Really I get it. It is a good thing. I am just searching for a way to offer myself love that feels authentic and not forced.
But one thing I can understand is the need to stand with myself, even when I’m struggling.
(Continue Reading Here . . .)
Today’s reflection balances out all the self love conversation from last week.
Yes we need to show ourselves some kindness. But we also need to hold our definition of ourselves lightly; to give our identity a chance to grow and shift.
Today I link the Enneagram, a powerful personality map, with our Challenge to create a new meditation. It is a variation on the loving kindness practice but incorporates 9 vital Enneagram messages.
Depending on your personality type you especially need to hear one.
Watch this week’s video above to learn my two favorite tips for speaking the language of your body (and to hear about my own recent crash landing back from vacation.) These are some of the most powerful techniques I’ll be sharing all summer. Try them out and leave a comment below to tell me how they go for you!
As summer goes on I’m feeling an overpowering urge to hibernate with my little people, to enjoy Topo Chico (our favorite Mexican sparkling mineral water) with paper umbrellas, and catch up on Downton Abby episodes. Nothing noble happening over here, other than rest and unstructured time. It is the season for, as my son Coleman puts it, chillaxin.’
However sometimes something messes with your relaxation time: perhaps a thought, concern or feeling of tension in the body are intruding into your long summer days and disturbing your inner equilibrium.
Today’s practice is your ally for such moments.
Do you ever feel like you spend your day pinging between anxiety, sadness, or anger without a moment to catch your breath?
Identifying your core-desired emotions is a powerful antidote. Today’s guided meditation (audio below) shows you how.
What are core-desired emotions?
They are those feelings you long to feel, each and every day.
For here is the important thing to know – something heralded as true by life coaches, neuro-scientists, and elite sports trainers alike –– often we chase external goals without knowing that what we really desire is how we anticipate feeling when we get there.
Click on the above photo to watch today’s video about the power of celebration. (Hint: if you naturally are drawn more to self-criticism than celebration, this one is for you!)
I am not a natural celebrator. I can forget if I am not careful to pause and drink in the milestones. (Correction: I notice other people’s milestones, just not my own. Click on the photo above for today’s video to hear more…)
But what we pay attention to grows.