Raise your hand if when you think about meditation, you think of some peaceful person who must have too much free time on her hands? Or maybe you think you’ve tried it before and your brain just doesn’t “shut” off like that. Or maybe you think you have to be a part of some special cult or spiritual community to practice mediation?
Well as a busy mom of three crazy kids and a Yoga Teacher for many years, I can tell you that most of the things we modern mamas think about meditation is a big ol’ MYTH!
Yeah, I use to think many of the things I mentioned above. I thought I had way too many things to do than to waste 20 minutes of my day just sitting still. I thought I didn’t need to meditate because I wasn’t interested in reaching enlightenment. All I wanted to do was find a little peace in the midst of my kid chaos, and that if I had 20 minutes of quiet time to myself I was going to use that time to be productive!
Fast forward about 10 years and I have to say that my regular meditation practice is NOT a waste of time at all. As a matter of fact, it helps me be more productive, efficient and dare I say kind to my loved ones. Click here to learn more about the Mama’s Meditation Course to see how meditation can up your mom game!
But what about all those things you (and I) THOUGHT about meditation? Well here’s the real scoop, one busy mama to another!
MYTH #1 We’re Trying To Stop Our Thoughts When We Meditate
Umm, here’s the thing lady we’re not trying to stop our thoughts. This is a common misconception, so let’s think about it logically. If you, a real live person, had absolutely no thoughts, what would you be? The answer is: You’d be dead!! Yes, Mama: DEAD! And that’s not what we are trying to do in meditation.
What we will do instead is attempt to make those thoughts less important to you at the moment.
Liken your thoughts to the “baseline” of noise in your house. At any moment, the refrigerator is humming, the washing machine is churning and the kids are giggling or thumping. None of those sounds require your attention. So you can easily focus on whatever you’re doing (like reading this blog) as the noise in your house is not commanding your attention. That is what meditation helps us do with our thoughts. The thoughts will still be there, but they’ll be like background noise. Noise that because we’ve learned to focus on more important things we just let fall away from our attention.
MYTH #2 You Have To Be A Yogi or a Buddhist (or some other tradition) to Meditate
Meditation is not a religious practice. Sure many religions, including Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism utilize meditation as a spiritual tool, but you certainly don’t have to be a member of any particular religion to meditate. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to belong to any religion to receive the benefits of a meditation practice.
Why? Well because, there is no one way to meditate. There are so many meditation traditions and practices. And you should practice the one that is suited to you.
MYTH #3 You’ll Be In Meditation Bliss For A Full 30 Minutes
Umm I hate to break it to you mama, but you won’t meditate the whole time you practice. Okay, here’s the thing. We may sit down for 30 minutes to meditate, but we will likely be practicing for 25 minutes and maybe if we’re lucky, slip off into meditation for 5 of those minutes.
Yeah, that kind of sucks. But mediation is something that just happens as a result of what we’ve done leading up to it. We can’t force it. It’s kind of like getting your infant to fall asleep. You really can’t force her to sleep. Only she has control over that. What you can do is set her up for sleeping success. So you bathe her. You sing to her. You make the room dark. And you rock her until she is drowsy. All of those things make the conditions right for her to sleep. And she may just knock off for a few minutes before she realizes you’ve escaped. Or she may stay blissfully asleep for hours. The point is that we don’t control the sleeping, we only control the lead-in. Meditation is the same way.
MYTH #4 You’ll Have Out of Body Experiences If You Meditate
Let me just clear this up. Visions and Hallucinations are not the goal. Yes it may be really cool to tell your BFF that you floated away and had a bird’s eye view of your body while you were in meditation, but that’s kind of not the point here. That may happen. And if it does, by all means run off and tell your bestie. But as moms, it’s important to make all of our self-care (and meditation is self-care) practical! The goal of meditation is just to be.
There you have it! Four famous meditation myths busted, so you can actually feel good about whatever your meditation practice looks like.
Now go forth and meditate like the #EnergizedMama that you are!