I always considered my mind to be very busy. When I found this short video, I could really relate to the visual, all these colours, turning right and left, connecting together but never still.
It seems so attractive to be able to sit down and quiet my thoughts. It seems so simple, but can I really do that?
Through my coaching practice, I have encountered many people contemplating mindfulness. After having read, watched, researched about the benefits for their life at work and at home, they still procrastinate to start.
Many questions are hanging unanswered:
- Is this even serious? Sitting on a cushion and closing my eyes, doing nothing…
- Will it be effective? I doubt it will work anyway?
- Sounds good on paper but where will I find the time?
- What will I find?
- This is way too spiritual for me, anyway!
- How can I start?
When digging deeper, often fear and uncertainty are preventing us from moving forward.
Creating a sustainable habit means commitment and to be able to commit, you need to feel comfortable and motivated by the change.
First step is to understand what is your story around mindfulness and meditation. What are your beliefs around it? How would you end the sentence: meditations is …? What do you value in having a quiet mind? And what do you value in not having a quiet mind?
While I was exploring my own struggles to start a mindfulness practice, I realised that I strongly valued the capacity of my brain to observe what was happening around me, connecting dots and finding new solutions. That day I realised that I saw meditation – being in the moment and letting thoughts settle – as an enemy to my ability to solve issues. No wonder I never managed to pursue regularly my practice. From there I was able to transform my belief and see these two types of brain activities as complementary and not mutually exclusive.
Whatever belief you find, acknowledge it, challenge it and seek a new one that is supporting your commitment.
Second step is to mitigate the uncertainty to a level that will allow you to act. Instead of trying to step out of your comfort zone, how can you expand it?
What are you afraid of?
- Sitting still with closed eyes? Start with meditation practices that are done while being active: walking meditation, observe your environment, note your physical senses
- Meditation being too spiritual? Discover meditation that are down-to-earth, focus targeted meditation, a voice that connects with you
- Time needed to practice? Start with micro-meditation 1-3-5min, breathing exercise, integrate it into your daily routines
- Finding yourself alone with yourself? Do it with a friend, have someone to share it with afterwards to go through what you have found.
And then: just do it! Doing will be the magic trick to further reduce the uncertainty, let go the expectations, stay curious and practice regularly.
As part of continuous improvement, you might need to revisit the above two steps when you progress on your journey! See it as a learning process and not a failure of your practice.
Enjoy and we would be excited to hear about your experience with your first mindfulness exercise.