These days I have been focusing more on meditation again and being mindful. It always amazes me to see how crazy my mind really is. Yoga of course is very helpful to me to separate myself and watch my thoughts, but in life you can’t always be doing yoga or meditating because there are things to do. Being a mother, you don’t have all the time in the world (and rarely even a few minutes) to focus on yourself. This is something that I always thought made it difficult for practicing.
Last summer I read all these books about people who would go on retreats and are able to meditate and found reading them so very helpful in sorting out my mind, yet I would feel like it was hopeless for me to overcome or even recognize my thoughts and fears because I really don’t have time to just focus on myself all day and “better” myself through meditation.
What I have been learning is that you don’t need to go anywhere on a retreat or even sit on a cushion to practice meditation (I don’t). You can watch your thoughts at anytime, in any moment. I don’t think of meditation as a tool to enlightenment or believe that by doing X,Y and Z that I am going to further myself along spiritually because I have noticed that trying and having that goal in mind never leads to any advancement, it just makes me prideful and has me believing that I am getting somewhere. You really can’t force anything. Everything will happen in its time and will work out naturally if you let go and don’t resist it.
That being said, I still believe that practicing meditation is extremely important to me and that separating my true self from my thoughts really does lead to more inner peace and joy. I am a better mom, able to be more present, calm, patient, loving and selfless when I take the time to simply watch and observe the noise in my head without acting on every single thought or giving them power. I am able to see that there really is never anything wrong with the present. There is nothing to escape from, nowhere to be and that there is not going to be anything better about myself or my life in the next moment or that someday “if ‘ or ‘when’.
I am able to recognize how many of my thoughts are really just motivated by fear and convince me that I am not good enough as I am and that my life is not good enough as it is. I am able to dismantle the lie that happiness is ‘out there’, ‘around the corner’ and that it is something that I have to strive to attain. I can see that all of those are just thoughts and that they only continue to steal my happiness because my mind is never able to be content with what is. I remember who I really am and become detached from the outcomes of my actions, knowing that there is nothing more I can add, nor nothing that I can do to take away from who I truly am. When I do this, the stress disappears and I am able to enjoy my life and every moment, without expecting a certain outcome or something better to come.
I think so many of us fall into this trap and if you are like me it happens OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I sometimes wonder how often I have to go through some of these things before I learn my lesson! I often beat myself up for not remembering my true identity and living in it every moment of everyday. I look back on my life and see that a lot of the way I have been living is out of fear and condemn myself for it. But then I remember that I am still human. Yes. That one for me is still a very difficult one to accept.
I will never be perfect, you will never be perfect. There is nothing ‘out there’ that is going to truly satisfy. I realized that about material things a long time ago and detached myself from many things, yet now I see that this happiness trap can still exist for those on a spiritual path. It really all boils down to attachments.
Whenever we attach ourselves to anything we will cause suffering in our lives because we form attachments to things that are of an impermanent nature. Many people attach themselves to material possessions, their stuff, their appearance, their health, their routine, their relationships, people’s approval, their career or their home, which are obviously impermanent but the reality is that spiritual seekers also form many attachments. Attachments to their church, their beliefs, their meditation, their yoga, their mind-states, even to their feelings of peace and joy. When those things go away, the person is left depressed and defeated and with a craving and longing inside of themselves. They feel as though they are empty.
This is why I find it important to know my true identity, my impermanent nature. The part inside of myself that will not fade away.
I know that I am never truly to overcome my human nature. I don’t make that my goal, but I do make it my goal to become more awake and aware in this lifetime. I do make it my goal to identify more with my impermanent nature than all of the impermanence in my life.
Here are some links worth checking out if you feel like you might be interested in meditation. I found this site extremely helpful to me in learning about what true meditation is and what it is not.
This test also helps you to identify with your true self that abides inside.