If you’re not being nice to yourself, you’re flipping well doing it wrong!
There are great skills to learn from meditation: the ability to concentrate, emotional calming techniques, equanimity and how to flap your ears (kidding!) But if you try any of these without being kind to yourself you have missed the point. Because we’re all really good at beating ourselves up, most of us become easily annoyed or disenchanted with our efforts. Even monks who’ve been at it for 30 years get cheesed off sometimes.
But here’s one of the nice things about meditation – there is no doing it wrong.
Just noticing that you’re distracted is meditation gold. Getting to know how your mind works is what it’s all about. When you appreciate how downright bonkers it is in there, you are in a better position to deal with what’s going on with some grace.
You’re not alone if think if your meditation would go a lot better if your mind would just shut up at your command. Sadly, it doesn’t work like that, but the chatter will settle down eventually if you keep realising you’ve got distracted and refocus your attention. It’s important that the noticing should be done with some kindness, or at least a sense of humour at how crazy your mind is!
If you want to be kind to yourself during your mediation, here are some suggestions…
Actually allow yourself five minutes to meditate.
Are your shoulders up by your ears? drop ’em cowboy.
If you feel a bit strung-out or anxious just accept it and lower your expectation that you should be calmer.
Put a sock under your ankle if it hurts a bit when you sit.
Don’t hurl insults at yourself when you get distracted.
Smile when you hear yourself grumbling.
Have a cup of tea after.