Call it what you need to, because you need to do it.
The words we choose change everything. In my coaching group we have discovered that vocabulary choices have different connotations and power for each of us. We know that using the right language is a key step to accommodating a new idea and curating new positive habits.
We noticed that when we looked at the word, “exercise” some found that it implied strength and the glow of pumping blood. To others it was an exhausting guilt filled word. We took some time to choose different words to describe “exercise”. Different phrases worked for different people: workout, breath body practice, joyful movement, training session.
Just like exercise is a pretty good daily ritual, Meditation is a key healthy habit. And, Meditation is another loaded word. For some it implies a torturous attempt to sit in an uncomfortable position while clearing your brain of all thoughts. For others it is an invitation into a sweet oasis.
First things first. Call it what you need to call it, because this practice is essential to transformation. It is a key step to helping you digest old patterns and free up space for new ones.
What words appeal to you? What words evoke an easeful practice, aligning with your deeper goals?
- Sitting in Silence
- Quiet Time
- Me Time
- Deep Thought
- Breath Practice
- Silent Nature Walks
- Reflective Journaling
- Mandala Drawing/Colouring
How we approach our practice of meditation is the first step in our success or failure. Notice that not all of the suggestions are sitting still, not all are chasing thoughts from your brain. Meditation is a practice of moving inward. In yoga we call this Pratyahara – withdrawing the senses from the external world, and turning inward. Once our awareness is internally focused, our goal is to hold concentration, offering a steady focus to what is within you. This is Dharana in yoga. Pratyahara and Dharana are two of the 8 Limbs of Yoga (watch me talk more about it here).
We want you to succeed.
Meditation (or the word/phrase you choose to align with this practice) is like putting your head into a lion’s mouth. You are deliberately encountering a difficult situation. You are about to face your own heart. In so many ways, this may be the bravest thing you can ever do.
As you move along any transformational journey you become aware of all the subtle, unintentional ways you cope in life. Your awareness creates shifts. You develop a new strength and are able to notice the background story of how and why you make daily choices. You become present. You notice the feelings surrounding your choices. Your new strength cues your body that you have the capacity to deal with more. You may become aware of things you want to let go of, or transfer out.
Meditation is a highly effective way to help you examine and reconcile old stuff. It is a key tool in allowing the transformation that we actually want to happen. It is a gateway through the muck to the next clear place.
Here are some things to consider as you choose your words and your approach to this vital practice:
- Meditation reminds us that we are not our thoughts. “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather” – Pema Chodron.
- The purpose is not to “Do” anything but to allow yourself to “Be”
- Allow it to feel easeful not effortful
- If it is effortful – what can you do? Move first? Journal? Practice a Mantra?
- Notice if you can practice meditation as a way to soothe a present agitation. Allow Meditation to be a new “reaction” to a state you do not want to be in.
- Perhaps you practice mediation pro-actively. Design your day to support this habit even when you aren’t feeling stress or strain. Does a regular practice prevent the build-up that then requires a reactive practice?
- Is movement a prerequisite to quieting your mind? Or is movement a diversion so that you do not need to be still?
I wish you well. I would love to hear what word or phrase works for you when you think about this practice in your life. What do you call it to support its easeful presence in your daily routine? Email me your thoughts.
Feel free to tap into my free recorded breath meditations.