What to do when meditation ain't workin'

Meditation seems like the new cure-all—everybody’s talkin’ about the mighty benefits of meditation.  

You might have heard how it helps reduce stress.  How it results in a greater degree of happiness.  And it reduces risk of cancer, heart disease and other physical illnesses.

It’s cool for me to see meditation gaining some press nowadays (it is a passion of mine, ya know?), HOWEVER, what I often notice is people get so excited about learning meditation......and then…some of the new folks get disheartened because they realize they don’t really like meditating AND/OR they aren’t really feeling the benefits.

Here are some things to consider if meditation isn't jiving with you:

Piggy Bank Theory- You may have heard me talk about how in the recent past saving money (especially for fun things) was a challenge.  Last year there was this sacred feminine training in Bali that looked really amazing, BUT I didn’t have a funds set aside for doing random cool things.  Yes, I was good at setting money aside for the car payment, rent, spiritual retreats (oh yes!), and the emergency fund, but I didn’t allocate savings towards vacations or things just cuz.  

This is when I realized I had to start somewhere.  I decided I would put my spare change into a jar—that would be my fun fund.  A long story short, small amounts of change add up to a lot over time.  While I’ve only been doing this a short while, I can see a vacation in my future—yay!

The point of this story is meditation is cumulative and even if we can’t feel the benefits day-to-day, over time we might see that we’ve come a long way since we started. Hence I call this the Piggy Bank Theory.

The other piece of advice is this:

Move in the direction of Ease- This is basically your other option, and to be totally honest, this is my general philosophy on life.  If it’s hard AND doesn’t seem rewarding there is probably another way.  (Note: some things are challenging AND rewarding) It may not be your jam at this point in your life.  While I’m totally onboard with the benefits of meditation, I don’t believe that it is for everyone at every moment of their life.

 What I mean to say is this: there are actually many, many ways to get into a meditative state (aka receive the benefits of meditation) without meditating, and get this: you might actually enjoy it.  

Some other ways to meditate without meditating are: dancing, rock climbing, yoga, knitting, art, or any sport/craft where you totally zero in on the activity.  

Here I am rock climbing a few years ago in South Dakota in the "Needles."

Here I am rock climbing a few years ago in South Dakota in the "Needles."

What I realized from learning meditation is that I had actually been meditating in other ways—mostly when I rock climbed.  I lived in Boulder, Colorado for a couple years and when I climbed rock faces, I was completely focussed on the moves. 

So, I hope at least one of these pieces of advice works for ya!