“Meditation isn’t for me, it’s not my thing” or so I thought. Thinking of nothing was a notion I never understood. Initially, I didn’t grasp the true concept of meditation as setting intentions. The picture in my mind of meditation was sitting criss-cross applesauce, in a dark room, only lit by candles, incense fragrancing the air, and thinking of absolutely nothing. The closest thing that mimicked a meditation room in my life was my closet. That area definitely doesn’t provide enough room to sit and lighting candles or incense around all that fabric didn’t sound like the smartest choice. So meditation was something I never considered until my friend BreOnna suggest we sign up for a month trial of yoga.
She had challenged herself to take thirty classes of yoga in thirty days and wanted an accountability partner. Being interested in trying anything new with health and wellness and having discipline she asked me to join her. So we both purchased the cheapest yoga mats we could find and signed up at a center called Kindness Yoga. Side note: Invest in a good yoga mat. It’s really hard to get your namaste on when your mat is hard and sliding everywhere on the floor.
Even with the less than an ideal mat, yoga opened my mind up to meditation. At the beginning of each class, the instructor would set the focus in their own unique way. Some told stories about their journey practicing yoga or reflected on their actions/reactions through the day, some even recited poem or quotes they felt resonated with them. No matter which way they chose to focus the intention of the class I was grateful to have something to focus on. The lessons I learned from them resonated with me and made me feel more connected to them, the class, and meditation overall. Instead of focusing on nothing, I gained more confidence in my ability to practice yoga and meditation through focusing on the connection. For that month I was hyped up feeling as though I had become a master meditator and decent yoga practitioner.
As time went on meditating became less frequent and yoga became nonexistent. Moving to Los Angeles I felt would re-spark my interest. Dealing with the traffic issue alone I needed a church, holy water, yoga, and meditation to hold me together. But I found it hard to connect with any yoga classes that I had taken. It was kind of disheartening and I felt like maybe I had lost the ability to meditate. Then it occurred to me I was still meditating throughout my day outside of a class. Before cardio, I always listen to something to inspire or educate me. During my that time, I always use it to focus on what I listened to and how I can apply it to my life. I replay and visualize until I can see a picture of the goal in my mind. All the outside noises fade out and everything is quiet.
Finding my inner voice and thought can be hard enough in a busy world. Over complicating meditation by standardizing it to being in a class doing yoga poses really hindered me. Whether it be reading, cardio or active things like practicing yoga finding stillness and peace in my own unique way gave me the opportunity to meditate more often. Which I suppose is the true purpose of meditation. The ability to be able to quiet the noise to focus on your own thoughts and intentions in an environment that feels the most authentic to you. This gives me comfort that I will never lose the ability to meditate. What are your favorite ways/place to meditate?