Quiet the mind.
3 of the most daunting words, I’ve encountered.
When meditating, the idea of quieting my mind has been oh-so-desirable, but nearly impossible to achieve.
With the best intentions at heart, I try to focus on my breath. In and out. In and out. I allow my thoughts to come and go, attempting not to judge or linger on any of them.
But they just keep coming. And coming. I let one pass, only to have 5 more behind it, pushing to get through.
I’ve spent whole meditations, just letting one thought after another swirl rapidly through my mind.
Determined to stick with it, in hopes that mediation would get easier, I pushed through.
Each and every time I close my eyes in meditation, it’s a different experience.
Most of the time it is enjoyable, nourishing and just what I needed. But sometimes it can still be the most painful 5-30 minutes of my life.
Now when I experience the endless thought chatter, I have been taking a different approach to the voice inside my head.
Instead of the usual ‘Stop! Stop thinking that. Focus. Why are you thinking that now? Where did that thought even come from? Stop. Relax. C’mon. Just focus on your breath.’ dialogue that interrupts my incessant and varied thoughts.
I have decided to show my mind so much love.
I shower it with loving kindness.
I honor it for all the tireless work it does.
I thank it for constantly wanting to work and be productive.
I send love and gratitude for all the beautiful ideas it produces.
I bless it for all the love and kindness it sends to others.
I praise it for its excellent memory, its wild creativity, its truthful reflections, its kind thoughtfulness.
I let it know it’s okay to relax though.
I let it know I don’t expect it to always be so active.
I give it permission to rest.
I ask it to savor the bliss of this moment.
I tell it to just hold those thoughts. ‘I know you can’, I say. And I let it know that I will address the thoughts later.
‘Now it’s your time to rest, to not do a thing, to just be the beautiful, wonderful and mysterious mind that you are.’
I picture myself giving my mind a little kiss and lulling it into silence through tender love, like a mother would her newborn child.
No need to berate and shame my mind into quietness.
The mind is magnificent.
It wants to work.
It loves to work.
I reassure it that its work is noticed and appreciated, but that right now it can just rest.
It can just be.