If you've heard of meditation - you've probably heard a myth or two.
A LOT of people have the wrong idea about what meditation is, should, or can be.
Here are the top myths I hear about meditation and the truth (as I see it 🤣 ).
Myth #1: I need to sit still in a quiet room to meditate.
Fact: Most of my meditation time happens with Nerf battles raging in a cluttered house, in the shower, or during/right after my exercise time. All you need is the intention to focus on your breath for 30 seconds.
Jay Shetty recently shared this story in an interview and it beautifully highlights what I've been teaching for years. Jay was early in his training to become a monk and was on a 72 hr train-ride across India. Of course the monks are all in sub-economy and packed into a chaotic, over-stuffed train car. One of the monks noticed that when the train stopped, Jay would get off the train, meditate, and then get back on.
The monk asked Jay what he was doing, to which he replied, "I'm practicing my meditations at the stops."
The monk asked him why, and again he replied, "Well, it's loud and chaotic on the train and peaceful at the stops. So I can meditate better at the stops."
"Do you think life is more like the train or the stops?" he was asked.
"Life is like the train," Jay said.
"Then don't you think you should practice meditating on the train, where it will prepare you better for real life?"
THIS is why I will never tell you that you have to clear out 30 minutes of time daily or you're not really meditating. It HAS TO be able happen in the midst of the chaos.
Myth #2: I'm supposed to have a completely blank mind.
Fact: To meditate actually means to focus your mind, not wipe it blank. Thoughts WILL come up. Notice and acknowledge them and then let them go. Literally say to yourself, "I see these thoughts about that time I put my foot in my mouth. And I let them go." Rinse and repeat for every thought that pops up.
You may have a moment where you realize you've been actively thinking and you've lost the thread of your meditation. Don't worry, it happens to me all the time! There's no need to beat yourself up, just jump right back in. Remember this is a practice, not a perfect.
I have AHA! moments during meditation all the time. I take a moment and write it down if I really need to remember it, and then I go right back to my mediation. You literally can't do this wrong if you're trying.
Myth #3: You're selfish to take the time to meditate.
Fact: Are you selfish when you take the time to eat and sleep? Are you selfish when you put the oxygen mask over your own face before helping anyone around you on a plane? No. You have to have a supply of "oxygen" to be of service to others. You need to take the time to meditate so you can support those around you without losing your marbles in the process.
Myth #4: Meditation goes against (insert your religion here).
Fact: Meditation or mindfulness is NOT religious in and of itself. Think about it this way - prayer is when we talk to the God of our choosing. Meditation is when we shut up and listen for the response.
At no point over the time we spend together in this course or within my community will you hear me try to convert you to/away from a religion. So rest easy, I'm just trying to give you more tools to live your best life - and meditation is a heavy-hitter!