The season of tidying, organizing, and discarding our extra baggage is almost upon us.
By: Mitchell LeBlanc – In-House Writer
Spring is synonymous with “new beginnings” (I blame the flowers). With all the focus on sprucing up our surroundings, we run the risk of creating beautiful tidy spaces while remaining cluttered inside the one place we spend all of our time, our minds.
By now, we all know about meditation. We know the studies, we know the benefits, we know people who say it’s been life changing. But, we might not know how to start.
It might sound like a joke, but it isn’t. One of the biggest hurdles for people beginning to meditate is the anxiety they experience simply by stopping. On top of this, add the breathing, reflecting, not-reflecting, body scanning, and releasing of thoughts you’re supposed to do, and it’s no surprise that panic can ensue. For the first while, make it simple. Try sitting and just being. Don’t focus on trying to meditate. Just sit there. You can even leave your eyes open. Just get used to what 5, 10, or 15 minutes feels like when you’re just sitting. Cultivate this skill and you’ll give yourself a good foundation for the rest of the practice.
Embrace The Noise
Talk of meditation often invokes the image of a monk sitting in a serene garden far away from the troubles of the world. If that’s the goal, no wonder it’s so difficult! We live in one of the busiest cities in the world. Even in our most serene parks we can hear traffic jam induced honking and someone shouting at the TTC. Thankfully, the idea that meditation has to be quiet is a myth. At the beginning, it might help, sure. But the entire practice is about cultivating your internal life. Often, especially for us living in large cities, it can be about cultivating our internal lives against the backdrop of these very noises! So what better practice can there be?
Meditation can be solitary, yes. But it doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. The past few years have brought us numerous apps (some free, some paid) to help guide us on our meditation journey. Here are just a few to check out:
- Calm – https://www.calm.com
- Insight Timer – https://insighttimer.com
- Stop, Breath, & Think – https://www.stopbreathethink.com
- Headspace – https://www.headspace.com
- 10% Happier – https://www.10percenthappier.com
Of course, the very nature of meditation is that it will take some work, but our efforts are better spent actually meditating than trying to meditate. Good luck, and happy spring cleaning!