Meditation can be a challenging practice for a lot of us. I often hear comments like, "I just can't meditate," or "my mind doesn't quiet down," or "I can't tell if I'm doing it right."
The proof that this practice is unparalleled in terms of bringing us back to center and the myriad of benefits for both our psyches and our physical health is indisputable.
So why all the resistance? Here are a few reasons why we may be avoiding this practice:
it's new - The most obvious of all is simply because it's new to us. When we are incorporating something different into our routines, we tend to have a lot of resistance to it. It requires a change of behavior and daily patterns. Think about any time you changed your daily routine to incorporate something good for you, whether that was getting more exercise or eating differently. These new activities feel foreign to us and cause discomfort. Typically we try them, feel uncomfortable, and eventually revert to what was comfortable.
overthinking it - Our minds are so used to thinking, processing, trying to make sense of things, that we are not used to just being. This state of "being and not judging" is uncommon for most of us. However, it's what is needed in more areas of our lives than we are aware of, and it's definitely required in cultivating a meditation practice. If you can approach meditation as an observer as opposed to a doer, it will help take the need to "process it" out of the equation.
it's a skill - I think one of the most unexpected things about meditation is its deceptive ease. It involves sitting, silence, and breathing - this sounds like something we should all be able to do naturally, but in actuality, it's a skill. If you think about most skills, they initially involved some sort of formal introduction or instruction. When it comes to meditation, due to its apparent ease, we sit down and wing it, and then wonder why it isn't working for us. If you are at all serious about starting a meditation practice, I would highly recommend some form of instruction, whether that be with a teacher, a weekend workshop, or even an app.
it's a practice - Like all learned skills, meditation requires dedicated practice. It's unrealistic to expect significant change and dramatic insights while we are still getting accustomed to the process. Try it for thirty days consecutively and then reflect on any changes you may have noticed due to this new practice.
expect disruption - This is a big one and one of the main byproducts of any personal growth process which no one really talks about. Because we spend so much time running, overstimulated, and busy, we are usually disconnected from our inner selves. When we get still and give our minds some space, truths that have been suppressed under all that activity begin to surface. We start to notice that maybe we aren't happy in our jobs or our relationships. We may see that we are spinning our wheels on tasks and activities that aren't fulfilling to us. Perhaps it dawns on us that we would be happier living in a different location, one that feels more aligned with the lifestyle we want to create. The bottom line is that when we take the time to tune-in, it can mean that shifts are coming, and for some, that is terrifying - hence the resistance.
All in all, meditation will bring us closer to ourselves and our truth - it is a tool for alignment. Having the awareness that as we evolve one area of our lives, the other areas tend to follow suit allows us to approach this process a little more consciously. Thoughts and feelings that begin to point us toward change are here to serve our highest good and to place us where we will ultimately thrive. Only when we resist those insights does change tend to avalanche into our lives. However, if we tune in, honor the messages, and gradually point ourselves in new directions, the transitions can be much more balanced and fulfilling.