“Wait…how the hell does this actually work?”
This was all I could think after sitting in the dark on the floor of my apartment in the wee hours of the morning before work. Static silence in my brain, feeling generally unenlightened, no spark of genius inspiration or clarity in sight. At this point in my life I worked from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. every day and had very little time to spare, so finding time to even attempt this meditation practice was a lot to ask of my schedule.
If you’re anything like me, the first time you began to consider meditation probably went down in a similar fashion. I get it- the unfamiliarity can be incredibly overwhelming! There are so many misconceptions about meditation today, especially when trying to to find time to meditate with a busy schedule: How does it work? What are the rules? Why would I waste my precious time sitting on the floor doing nothing?
Okay, well, for starters- I don’t wanna hear anyone complain about that last one. I see all of you sitting there on your phones stalking bitches on Instagram for two hours straight (you were probably doing that before you started reading this article) – if you can block off time to do that, you can find 10 minutes to meditate.
But I get it! There’s a huge gray area when you start out. It can feel difficult to find the time. We don’t want to wake up earlier but are also exhausted when we leave work at the end of the day. Plus there’s hundreds of other (read: more fun) options and people waiting to capture the few hours of free time we do have each day. So what’s a girl to do?! We have to use that time wisely to tackle our ever-growing to-do lists, right?
Yes and no. Did you know taking the time to meditate can actually help you better accomplish your daily, weekly and life goals? According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can relieve stress and anxiety, improve your memory, increase creativity and allow you better focus which can result in greater efficiency!
Check out my five meditation misconception busters below, including the best ways to meditate when you’re a hard workin’ gal (or guy) with limited time:
- Make the Time!
There’s no “right” time to meditate. Whether it’s 10 extra minutes before work, during your lunch break, or before bed…be committed to taking the time to meditate. It’s easiest to build the habit if you select a consistent time of day and repeat every day. However, there’s no rule that says you can’t wake up 10 minutes early three days a week and take 10 minutes out of your lunch break the other four days. Customize your schedule to suit your needs- but stick to it!
- Don’t Wait for the “Right” Setting!
While some areas are more ideal than others, you can meditate anywhere! Boss ass bitches like us often find ourselves in a go-go-go mode. Office, meeting, office again, gym, get together with friends, pick up the kids, run to an appointment…the list goes on. Plus, most of us don’t have the luxury of a dedicated meditation studio or practice space. While that’s nice to have, don’t let the lack of a “meditation space” prevent you from practicing. You can meditate on your bedroom floor, in your car, at your desk, while on a walk, even in a bathroom if you really need to. Not having the right setting is an excuse you are way too good for, girl. Prioritize your health and make it work!
- Crystals, Schmystals!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of having meditation props and items that increase my sense of comfort or focus during a practice. However, at the end of the day they are not intrinsically vital to meditation. If you’re telling yourself you need to delay or cancel a practice because you’re missing your favorite crystal, candle, or essential oil…you probably need to check yourself. Enjoy these props when you have them, but never let their absence limit you (also my philosophy on men, but that’s for another article).
- Screw the Trends – Meditation is for YOU!
You heard me! If the concept of “traditional” meditation (I’m talking sitting cross-legged on the floor, eyes shut, silent for 15-30 minutes) is an unappealing idea for you right now that is a-okay. The whole point of meditation is that it is beneficial to you. If the traditional meditation practices aren’t helping you center yourself or lean in to your intuition, experiment until you find what does work! Try starting with one minute a day, then five, and so on. Or work on building an easy meditation practice through infusing “meditative moments” into your day. Quick moments of gratitude, walking meditations and simply setting intentions for your day are all great ways to introduce a meditative mindset into your day.
- You Do You, Girl!
The battle against women having to dull or mask their kindness, empathy and sensitivity in life and specifically the workplace is nothing new. Don’t let your dedication to your meditation practice fall into this category too! Meditation is one of many methods of self-care and mental health maintenance that is beneficial in our personal and professional lives. Need a quick moment to refocus or bring your breathing back to a healthy pace? You do you girl, and offer a few helpful tips to the next coworker who gives you a weird look while you’re at it (they probably could use a breather, too!).
For more meditation mythbusters, check out this article from spiritual author and alternative medicine advocate, Deepak Chopra.
How do you squeeze meditation into your busy schedule? What other concerns or misconceptions do you have about meditation?