I am no medical expert but there are profuse medical experts who tout the benefits of meditation. It relaxes you, calms you, relieves anxiety and stress, and some more stuff. We should all strive to meditate daily. It does a body good...
But, what if you're one of those people who are unsuccessful at meditation? What do you do then?
Although I'm no medical expert, I am an expert at failing in the "traditional" methods of meditation. Sitting in the lotus position in my sacred space, fingers pinched together with hands on my knees, eyes closed and perfect silence -- yeah, that doesn't work for me... It gives my mind free reign to populate any and everything that comes. Even after acknowledging the thoughts and letting them go on their way, it doesn't stop. My mind can bring up a year's worth of stuff in minutes if I allow the thoughts to gather.
I'm not promoting dodging your thoughts here. I'm just saying when it's time to meditate then it's not time for processing thoughts. So what's a person to do? Below are several ways I am able to use active meditation to accomplish the goal of meditating daily:
- Crocheting or Knitting: A great form of active meditation, especially if you're working on a pattern which causes you to have to count stitches. Your mind is concentrating on counting and/or putting the hook in the right place and making the correct stitches. It doesn't allow other thoughts to take up the space because it's busy counting! You will relax and be able to clear your mind of all else. The rhythm of the stitching motion gets you to the same state you would reach sitting quietly.
- Coloring: Yes, you read that right. Pull out the colored pencils and a coloring book and have at it. You begin to concentrate on staying in the lines and which color to use in which space. Using a mandala coloring book or a coloring book that only offers shapes rather than pictures helps you get to the meditative state more easily. You're working on coloring a repetitive pattern -- the rhythm that you're looking for to clear your mind.
- Art Journaling: You know I love this one! When you art journal, your focus becomes laser sharp on the project before you. You are dealing with shapes, colors, and words. You're dealing with how these things will be composed on the page to make the best presentation. Your mind doesn't have time to rattle through the throes of your life. You are concentrating on using art + words to depict it pictorially. The daily stresses of life dissipate.
I know you are probably thinking: well your mind still isn't completely still and quiet like it would be with traditional meditation. And you are 100% correct in deducing that. The key here, however, is that you have stopped your mind from "wandering." You're not "all over the place" in your thoughts. Things that stress you or that you worry about aren't popping in and destroying the peace. Eventually, the rhythm of what you are actively doing will take you away to that place of peace and respite -- the same place where traditional meditation can take you.
Try This: Use one of the methods above if you struggle with meditation. Get yourself in your sacred space. Light a candle to represent Divine Light and guidance. Burn your favorite incense -- scent helps relax and calm you no matter which method of meditation you are attempting. I like 3 Kings resin incense. It takes me there... Turn off all other sounds. If it's too quite, find some meditation sounds on YouTube. These won't distract you and are designed to help you relax. Whichever method you choose, do it for a minimum of 15 minutes. When you're done, pull out your journal and write. Write whatever comes to your mind about the meditation session you just completed. Write any Divine guidance that may reveal itself. Write the answers to the questions your mind has been plaguing you with. Just write until there are no more words to be expressed.
Now, how do you feel? Are you relaxed? More calm/less anxious? Do you feel freed from the stress you felt earlier?
You do? Good! Now you have some methods in your arsenal that will help you accomplish at least 15 minutes of meditation daily. Don't forget to always write after you've meditated. You never know what Divine Downloads you may have received while you were in the meditative state. Don't lose your jewels now that you've figured out how to get to them!