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But I’m Bad At Meditation

But I’m bad at meditation!

I get this a lot whenever I suggest someone could benefit from a mediation practice.

“I’m bad at it, I can’t keep the thoughts out of my head.”

It’s a reasonable enough answer for a novice to meditation. They assume that meditation is getting rid of the monkey mind, of all those thoughts that flood our mind second to second.

A similar thought pattern occurs with exercise. We assume that being fit means never struggling with a heavy weight or never getting out of breath while doing burpees.

In reality meditation (mindfulness meditation that is) is about recognising when your thoughts are wandering and then bringing your attention back to the breath or some other object. You’ll get distracted about a million times, and about a million times you’ll notice this and bring yourself back. Each time you do this you’ve done a “bicep curl for your brain”.

In reality exercise is reaching that point where breathing is laboured, you’re straining to pick something up, or you fall down learning a new skill.

That’s mediation and that’s exercise. Consciously challenging and working on something and then ultimately seeing the positive impact in daily life.

In daily life you’ve less rambling thoughts, worries, and anxieties. Or if you do, you can recognise them for what they are and not let them take over.

In daily life you’ve less strains and struggles to move and go about your day. Or if you do have to run for the bus or carry your luggage up 17 flights of stairs, you recognise that your body is capable of doing so. And you’re glad you have the fitness to be able to tackle that challenge. Okay maybe that’s a stretch but at least you’ll have the ability to do these things.

Things that are good for us are rarely easy to do and require some conscious thought or effort. And just because we’re not good at something doesn’t mean it’s not meant for us. In fact, most likely the opposite is true. That struggle is worth embracing and leaning into, because that’s where the rewards are.

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