meditation, not being a twat, Wise things

Kindness Kicks Arse

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Showing affection isn’t something you talk about much in the pub

But bring to mind when someone decided to do something nice for you. Maybe a friend sent a text message to make you giggle before a interview or your brother gave an earful to someone who bullied you. Maybe a pal made you a cup of tea just the way you like it, even though to them it’s disgustingly milky.

They were thinking about you and it helped. That kind of thoughtfulness probably opened you up a little – allowed you to peep over your wall and lower your drawbridge. Do you care what they look like? How well off they are? Do you think about how well they have done in their career? Nah.

That’s because kindness kicks everything else’s arse.

All anyone really wants is to be happy. Even appallingly arrogant merchant bankers are in desperate need of kindness most of the time. But the fear of your actions being misinterpreted or rejected often stops you from reaching out. So maybe start small, include it in your meditation practice, then look for teeny opportunities to lift someone’s spirits.

Little bits of goodwill…

  • Be patient with someone who bores you.

  • Ask more questions.

  • Remember people’s preferences.

  • Stop thinking they dislike you.

  • Don’t read the Daily Mail.

  • Give the bus driver freshly-cooked sausages.

  • Remember everyone does things for a reason they think is okay.

Planting small seeds of kindness in your day builds momentum and releases you from the pressure of being a total tube the rest of the time.

meditation, Stark Reality

Are You Waiting To Feel Better Before You Meditate?

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You want to meditate, but not today because everything is rubbish.

You got turned down for a job, you’re worried about money and your go-to behaviours for handling this sort of anxiety are in full swing. You want to overeat, blame, booze, imagine nobody cares, watch porn – choose your weapon.  The thought of facing all that anxious, itchy, tension in your meditation session is not appealing.

Make a cup of tea.

It’s never a bad idea. While the kettle boils, notice the pattern on the mug and watch the steam rising in an effortless swirl. Then make yourself this promise:

You can do all the destructive crap you want but only after you sit and meditate for 15 minutes.

For a simple meditation technique try this.

Drink your tea then sit and meditate. It won’t feel easy, you will be aware of all tension and edgy thoughts  – all that stuff that you’re feeling anyway.

But it will help and here’s why…

If you can sit with your experience and watch yourself squirming away from your feelings, you become a bit larger than them. You make a tiny space between you and your rubbish day.

That space holds the key to you making better choices. And reminds you that’s how you want to live.

meditation, not being a twat

Be Kind To Yourself When You Meditate, You Numpty!

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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.