meditation, messy mind, mindfullness, selfhelp

What’s The Point Of Focusing On Something Anyway?

When you focus on anything in meditation: your breathing, walking or the sounds in your room, it’s not because those things are in any way special. You’re doing it to become aware of all the batshit crazy nonsense that’s going on in your mind.

Trying to focus on something makes it really obvious how repetitive, insecure and exhausting most of your thoughts are. Having a focus helps you become more consciously aware of what you’re saying to yourself.

Your thoughts aren’t your boss – you can tell them to bugger off

Whatever messages you’re brain is bombarding you with, thoughts are just thoughts – you can choose to ignore them, take them deeply seriously and follow them into a dark place, or just decide to laugh at them.

Your thoughts are not The Truth. They’re just your mind trying to make sense of your world, but it usually makes a right arse of it.

Meditation helps you decide what to do with those thoughts, and soon you will realise that, weirdly, you are not your thoughts (more about this in another post!).

 

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It’s Easy To Get Back Into Meditation

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Meditate like a pig!

So it’s been a while since you last meditated.

A few weeks, maybe a month. Okay – it’s been over four years. That’s alright. Getting back into it is really easy.

You just do it.

It’s that easy.  Stop overthinking it.

Sit for three minutes and focus on your breath. Then when you get distracted just start again.

There you go, you daft sausage, now do it again tomorrow.

 

 

 

meditation

Suck It Up!

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Sometimes meditation rubs your nose in painful but ultimately helpful truths.

Inescapable realities:

  • Your mind talks rubbish: anyone who tries to focus on their breath for five minutes knows this.

  • You’re insatiable: have you had enough food, sex, praise, comfort, holidays? Has anyone?

  • Because everything changes, you can’t rely on anything.

  • Your chimp-based evolution has wired your brain to see threats everywhere.

  • You’re going to die (okay, meditation doesn’t show you this directly but it’s true anyway).

You were shielded from most of these certainties when you were young but if you ignore them when you’re an adult you’ll create problems for yourself.

Gimmie the numbing distractions!

Popular methods for avoiding awkward truths include: working too hard,  taking drugs, over exercising, procrastinating, pornography, self-loathing and checking your phone every two minutes.

Meditation removes some distractions so you are gently forced to see how things really are. This can be daunting but sometimes your coping methods cause more problems than facing the truths themselves. Late night drinking to avoid the fact that you chose the wrong career might be causing you more difficulties than actually changing your job.

Of course in many ways drinking will seem like a much more fun option than acknowledging that you’ve wasted time in a job you don’t like.

But before you throw your meditation cushion in the skip…

Remember you can only deal with something if you acknowledge it exists in the first place.

When you accept How Things Actually Are it will be much easier to find a happier way to solve your problems. In the same way you don’t become furious at gravity when you fall off a ladder, accepting that life is a bit shit sometimes, helps you come up with better solutions.

You can also take comfort in the fact that everyone you know, and will ever know, also has to deal with the same crap. It might even bring you closer together.

Meditation can feel a little brutal sometimes but life is tricky enough without deceiving yourself.

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What’s It Like To Be You?

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How’re you doing?

Too often mediation is seen as a way of escaping from stress or getting to a ‘new you’ who is all calm, never makes a complete arse of things or catches their dressing gown sleeve on the door handle. But it’s not about that at all.

Meditation means taking a close, non-judgemental look at what it feels like to be you and alive in this moment, right now.

Next time you meditate, ask yourself how you are – and wait.  Just notice how you feel in that moment. Don’t get caught up in describing it to yourself, you’re not going for a “I’m pissed off and my arse is going numb” conversation with yourself.

Rather, notice what being pissed off really feels like. Where do you feel it? Are your shoulders tight? Jaw clenched? How are you breathing? The aim isn’t to stop any of that, it’s just to be aware of it. You might find yourself relaxing a little but its actually not the point. If you’re tense, happy, calm or completely bloody furious that’s all ok. You want to have the full direct experience of being you.

If you can notice your experience precisely and pay careful attention to it, you’ll create some space around it.

The part of you that notices is golden. That’s because the bit that’s aware is in fact never pissed off, or happy, or calm. It’s just there, alive and observing, just like you are.