Okay, so this is the part of our month where we introduce the thing you might not want to do. Take a deep breath and bear with me because I am going there.
I feel like people either LOVE meditating or HATE it. Maybe hate is too strong of a word. I think, it would be more accurate to say that the people on this side of the fence haven’t had enough experience with the “right” kind of mediation to really feel the benefits of it, therefore, it doesn’t feel like a priority in their life. Yes? I say this because I am one of those people. I spout the benefits because I have seen the studies and I have also witnessed first-hand how meditating can change one’s life. I want to be one of those people that can’t get through their day without making time and space for meditation. I really do but I haven’t found IT yet.
I have struggled with meditation because I have a hard time focusing when I sit down to silence. I have tried focusing on my breath, a place in the room, acknowledging my thoughts, but to no avail, I quit or fall asleep. It’s hard for me. I still recommend it to others and will even practice it from time to time, but I admit, it’s not something I have been able to stay the course on.
But, alas, whenever the idea of practicing self-love comes up, meditation is always offered as an important aspect. So, I figured if anyone should tackle meditation this month, it should be me; the whiney one in the corner begging NOT to meditate.
It’s also NOT about self-awareness or being quiet. There are many ways to do a Loving Kindness Meditation, but my basic understanding is that you say the following mantra/ prayer:
May I now live with ease and joy.
There are so many variations on the wording and you can make it as simple as saying, May I be happy, May I be safe, May I be healthy and May I be joyful.
First, as in the above example, you focus your attention on yourself by using the word, “I.” After a few times through, focus your attention on others and use, “you.”
May you now live with ease and joy
This isn’t my first go round with Loving Kindness Meditation. I was first introduced to it in 2014 when I took a class on meditation. When I did it over the course of those 8 weeks, I loved it and I can honestly say, I benefited from it. Life, however, took over and while I knew it was good for me, I eventually stopped making it a priority. I went back and read my notes and my journals from that time and I don’t know why I stopped. The studies alone should have made me stick with it. I won’t bore you with all of the details and authors, but since I already referenced Barbara Fredrickson I will tell you that she found that after just 7 weeks of doing a loving kindness meditation for a few minutes each day people felt increased love, joy, contentment, pride, hope, interest in life and gratitude. Who doesn’t need more of these things in their life?
Okay, so you have the majority of the information and you might be thinking, “you quit before, so how good could it be?” Well, I don’t know about you, but I have quit a lot of things that are good for me over the years only to start again. I am willing to give this another go because it feels like the right time. I have been adding small things to my life since October and I have stayed committed to them. Meditating for a few minutes each day feels like a good addition to my morning routine and there is no time like the present.