Anyone on the path toward enlightenment already knows that meditation is an essential part of the process. In addition to being necessary for expanding your consciousness, meditation has a whole host of benefits from calming stress to lowering your blood pressure to clearing your chakras to improving your energy healing abilities, and many, many more. But what if you can’t do it? What happens when meditation seems to stop working, or when it feels like a chore rather than a blessing? How can you jumpstart or retrieve your meditation motivation?
Let me first and foremost assure you that you can meditate! If you are reading this, you are capable. Like any skill, it takes practice and determination, and a little guidance from an experienced instructor like me. As a spiritual teacher and energy healer, I’ve been training my students in meditation techniques for decades as part of my energy medicine workshops and healing courses.
Everyone goes through periods when maintaining their meditation practice isn’t as joyful or fulfilling, and you may have problems that many share. But meditation is crucial to your health and happiness, so I’ve put together a list of some of the most common meditation pitfalls and how to counteract each bump in the road in the hope that meditation will become an indispensable part of your life.
Pitfall #1: Time.
In this frantic, life-at-the-touch-of-a-smart-phone-button culture, it can be hard to find the time to slow down and meditate. In fact, it’s darn near impossible. That’s why you must make time.
You do not have to set aside hours upon hours for meditation like yogis or monks—they don’t have day jobs. Just twenty minutes at a time, preferably twice a day, is all it takes to reap the rewards of meditation.
Solution #1: Schedule meditation until it becomes routine.
Add meditation to your calendar like it’s any other important event because it is! It takes about three weeks to turn an activity into a habit, so for three weeks, block off the time and set a meditation reminder on your phone. Sit on the same cushion or chair for each meditation and create a safe space free from distractions that, upon entering, sends signals to your brain that it’s meditation time.
The best time to meditate is when you first wake up in the morning. Before you check your email or read the news, before you’ve even had your cup of coffee, take a few minutes to ground yourself to the earth, reset your body, mind, and energy field for the day ahead. If you find that you drift back to sleep when meditating this early, try a mid-morning meditation break instead. Your second meditation of the day should be before dinner, but after work. Let this meditation be your transition between the hectic rushing around of errands, projects, phone calls, and whatever else your day throws at you, and the slower pace of evening.
Making time for meditation will eventually become habitual. How often do you forget to brush your teeth before bed? I’d wager not often, because you know it’s good for you and it’s ingrained in your nighttime routine. The goal is to make meditation as automatic as polishing those pearly whites.
Pitfall #2: Doubt.
This particularly devious pitfall can strike at any level at any time; even the best are not immune to this niggling little pest. Doubt conjures up thoughts like, Nothing is happening. Is this working? Am I meditating right? This is silly. What is supposed to be happening? Shouldn’t I be feeling something? I must be doing this wrong, and on and on and on. Doubt creates a cycle of self-sabotage in your mind and convinces you that meditation is the problem, not the solution, which is of course, absurd.
Solution #2: Be gentle with yourself.
Learning to meditate is not a race—there is no prize for getting to the finish line the fastest. In fact, there is no finish line. Meditation is a long-form art, a lifelong pursuit that can take some warming up to, but there’s no need to rush. Don’t beat yourself up if it feels like nothing is happening. Trust me, energy healing and emotional processing are taking place. Simply do the work: show up each day and sit, breathing, and do your best. Allow yourself the time to notice the benefits. Meditation will get easier the more you do it, so don’t let your doubts keep you from a practice that will change your life if you stick with it.
Pitfall #3: Physical discomfort.
Maybe once you’re sitting, you realize that your neck hurts from the computer or your back from driving so much. Maybe you just have trouble sitting still, your muscles tense and jittery, bouncing up and down or twitching. Whatever the source, it is not uncommon to feel some physical discomfort when you first start meditating. If you experience severe pain, you should see a professional to help determine if there are conditions that need to be addressed, but plain old restlessness or mild discomfort will resolve in time.
Solution #3: Focus on your mantra.
If you have a mantra to focus on, it will take you away from your body in just a few minutes. If you don’t you’ll want to get one from me – I’ll give you one calibrated to your energy field. https://deborahking.b.smartzsites.com/meditate After a while, sitting will become more comfortable, and your body will begin to associate relaxation with meditation.
Pitfall #4: Emotional discomfort.
Meditation connects you to the deeper levels of your psyche and can release emotions that have been previously kept under wraps. This is one of the reasons meditation is so complementary to energy healing, but when you hit one of those periods when feelings are flying to the surface every time you begin your practice, it can keep you from wanting to close your eyes and meditate.
Solution #4: Focus on your mantra.
During meditation, your job is to simply be. So instead of focusing on those emotional currents churning inside you, turn your attention toward your mantra. Be sure to journal about those feelings later, and be thankful for the opportunity to process your emotions. As you know, releasing old negative feelings is important for keeping your chakras and energy field clear, and meditation facilitates that healing process.
Pitfall #5: Giving up.
Your meditation can’t get better if you stop doing it! Just like you wouldn’t start an exercise routine and expect immediate results, you must give meditation time to effect change in your life. If you give up, you will miss out on all the amazing benefits of meditation.
Solution #5: Don’t give up!
I understand how frustrating it is to come up against seemingly insurmountable obstacles while trying to maintain your meditation practice, but don’t give up! Meditation is the most rewarding personal practice you can do. No other single activity can do so much to increase your all-around well-being as meditation. Keep at it and I promise, you’ll thank the universe you persevered.
To learn more meditation tools of the trade, please check out my meditation workshops and energy healing courses!