“I have taken Wendy’s meditation classes and love meditation, but I still find myself wanting to go-go-go. I find it hard to sit still. I feel like I’m failing at meditation. I keep telling myself to calm down.” – from Alain.
A meaningful conversation was sparked by Alain telling me that he’s unhappy with his ability to ‘calm down’. Although when he does the occasional meditation class with me, he truly loves it and wants to do more, but often finds himself resisting the practice. He is unhappy about this resistance.
After some discussion, I learned that Alain is indeed a go-getter, a driven person and has many goals. He does want to cultivate more calm in his life, but is dissatisfied with the pace of his adoption of meditation. In the past year, he told me that he has taken up yoga practice, and has been able to incorporate yoga regularly into his life.
Here is what I offered to Alain:
- Instead of having an attitude of forcing yourself to calm down, take on the attitude of allowing. Just allow yourself to be exactly where you are right now. Give yourself permission to take this journey, and don’t strive to be at a certain point.
- Reflect and celebrate on the fact that one year ago, you weren’t even doing yoga. Yoga is a form of meditation, so guess what, you are meditating! Moving meditations such as yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and walking meditation are wonderful for people who feel the need to be moving. I had trouble sitting still early in my meditation journey too. Over time, I cultivated the quiet within me to be able to sit still in meditation, but it took me a year or two before I could enjoy that.
So Alain, realize you’re on a journey. Notice and enjoy the journey. Do you think you’ll even realize when you’re ‘there’, when you’ve reached your goal? Isn’t that an interesting question — for me, I don’t consider myself as having reached a goal, because I see myself as on a journey every day, and today is today.
Thank you for the wonderful conversation, Alain. It’s always a pleasure to have meaningful encounters, and I want you to know that you are doing great.