In life we are taught that the more you put in, the more you get out. Work hard at school and you will do well. Put in the overtime at work and you will be successful. Train more and you will be better at your chosen sport. Putting in all that effort can be addictive, we can become convinced that it is what we need to do to find happiness.
In the real world life isn’t always like that. From my days as a marathon runner I know that often a rest day is better for your body than a training day. As a mindfulness coach I know that trying too hard with your meditation can be counterproductive.
Training your brain is a great thing to do. You can achieve a mind that is better able to focus and concentrate. You can learn to relax so that you are less distracted by worry. You can give yourself that extra headspace so that life seems a little lighter. To those of us who are hectic minded, and perhaps competitive this seems so appealing, a way to get ahead!
Keeping all of the benefits in mind and using it as your motivation to sit to meditate each day is a brilliant way forward. Dedication is the hard part.
Once you are sitting to meditate, however, the skill is in just being. Your competitive edge no longer serves you well. Your drive is no longer an advantage. There is no need to put masses of effort in. The best approach is to observe rather than jumping in to change things, to simply be.
For those of us who like to put our all into everything we do this doesn’t come naturally, but remember, that is why you are doing it. Learning to simply be is the end gain but you can’t force it. A gentle approach over a longer period of time is what is needed. Trying too hard can cause you to tense up and prevent you from feeling the lovely sense of relaxation which is an all important part of the meditation process. Back off and see what a difference it makes.
Come on a Revitalise Day to see how you could get the most out of your meditation sessions. The day retreats are a lovely mix of mindfulness training and meditation sessions. You will be able to relax in beautiful, peaceful surroundings and really appreciate the benefits of mindful living.