With the buzz in mindfulness and meditation being more and more popular, a common misconception is that you are only meditating ‘properly’ when you have ‘no thoughts’ and I often hear those who haven’t tried meditating or maybe tried once or twice, is that they are ‘bad’ at meditating because they cannot stop their thoughts and so they stop trying.
Firstly, lets clear up that – thoughts are a part of meditation
Secondly, it impossible to be ‘bad’ at meditation. Meditation is simply ‘being.’ Allowing your body and mind to just ‘be.’ We have become so obsessed with ‘doing’ that we forget to allow ourselves to be still or feel lazy or guilty when we ‘do nothing’ – the stillness of being is essential to human beings and something we all innately crave.
So why do our minds ‘wander’ in the first place?
The mind is constantly looking for excitement, something that makes you feel more fulfilled. Think about a time in your life when you were in complete flow, time passed quickly and you were completing immersed in what you were doing and a distracting thought didn’t appear for that entire time. Think about kids playing, they often lose all track of time so they need to be reminded that its time to eat, time to leave or time to go to bed. Maybe it has been a while since you felt that same level of flow.
This is what your mind is searching for. When you are doing something that drains you or something that brings no joy to your life, your mind will wander. It will wander in search for something more fulfilling. Maybe you create fantasies in your mind. Maybe you think of your to-do list, whatever it is you think about is your mind’s escape from what you are currently doing.
Where is your mind wandering to?
Pay attention to your thoughts, this is what mindfulness is. Becoming the observer to your thoughts, without shutting them off or running off with stories. Observation without Judgement.
Now back to Meditation. Along with the many, many benefits developing a meditation practice has for our mind and body, one of the benefits in terms of distracting or repetitive thoughts is that it helps us develop an ability to let go of chatter coming from our ego (the negative, self-loathing thoughts or any thoughts that are not serving our life) and helps us connect with our higher self and the messages from our intuition that we know we should act on (even when our ego tries to convince us otherwise)
If your mind is wandering, it is searching for something.
Some questions to ask yourself to dive deeper into the maze of your mind are below, grab a journal, pen and cuppa, give yourself some space and sit with these questions. Let your raw answer flow from your higher self without filtering or editing.
Where does my mind most often wander to?
When does it start to wander?
What does my ego think about this?
How does my higher self-feel about this?
What do I need to change in my life to feel more fulfilled?
Thank you for reading
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