Imagine you have a snow globe in your pocket. Going through your day, it is constantly being shaken. When that happens, the particles never have time to settle. Instead, they create patterns and waves and fill the otherwise clear liquid, impeding the ability to see what is inside. There is no clarity, vision or peace. It’s exciting, at best. Distracting and disturbing, at worst.
This is your mind over the course of your day. Thoughts fill it, run it, and control it.
For many of us, this is our way of getting stuff done AND the vehicle to our own discontent.
In order for the snow globe to clear, it must be set down and left alone. Not just for a second or two, but for as long as it takes. We don’t have to grab hold of each of the particles and put them away. Their natural state, left undisturbed, is orderly, rested and at peace. What remains, after the disturbance, is once again the clear liquid, through which what lies beneath can be seen.
I’m sure you get the analogy.
If clarity and focus are what you seek, it must be practiced through stillness.
Yes, the snowflakes may take some time to settle. Yes, you will feel tension pulling you back to your current habitual behavior. Yes, it will bump right up against the many forces within you that really like the adrenalized life.
Impatience, fidgeting, discomfort, overwhelming desires to flee, and even anger, are natural and expected consequences.
Being consumed by thoughts is not an indicator of getting it wrong. In fact, it points you to your ever-strengthening muscles of awareness. Noticing that you are having a thought is already one step removed from the unconsciousness and consumption by our thoughts that most people walk around with.
Things get better. Often much quicker than expected. After a vigorous physical activity, it takes a while for the heartbeat to return to normal. The fitter you are, the faster this happens.
Same with meditation. Being attached to our thoughts, which we’ve done for every waking moment, for the entirety of our lives, takes time to release.
So why do it?
Because this is the strongest medicine there is for health and happiness (from which all other good things arise, IMHO).
Maybe… you feel resistance to the practice, or even the idea, of meditation. (If the thousands of peer-reviewed medical and psychological studies haven’t convinced you so far, maybe I offer blind faith as an alternative.)
CEOs, scientists, doctors, lawyers, secretaries, stay-at-home moms, factory workers, artists, and entrepreneurs have taken the leap (with me, personally). It was always:
- Better than expected
- Immediately beneficial