Have you ever tried mindfulness meditation? In a nutshell, it’s a form of meditation where one aims to focus only on the present moment. Many practitioners will use either the breath or the movement of the abdomen as the focus of their meditation.
It looks a little something like this:
Seems simple, right? But for those of us who are new to meditation, it can be very hard to avoid distraction. This is what it looked like the first few (dozen) times I tried:
It can be very tempting to assume that you’re incapable of that level of focus and just quit trying. Here’s the thing, though — even long-time mindfulness practitioners will tell you that THEY have trouble staying present sometimes, too! The difference is, they accept these temporary lapses in focus as part of the process; they patiently bring themselves back to their breath time and time again. Sometimes they achieve that state of mindfulness that they’re striving for and sometimes they don’t, but every time they recognize the value of the attempt.
Meditation is not about ‘doing it right’; it’s a skill that must be practiced over and over. You’re going to do it ‘wrong’ a whole lot before you strengthen the muscles necessary to do it ‘right’ and see any benefits from it. And that’s OK! Give yourself permission to suck at it for a while, and before you know it you’ll suck a little less, and a little less, and then eventually you’ll stop sucking at it at all. Promise!
Have you ever tried mindfulness meditation? How did it go?