FOR YEARS, TEACHERS, FRIENDS and social media have been telling me to meditate. And for years I have been resisting. I just didn’t get it. Heck, my mother-in-law was kicked out of a nunnery in her early 20s because she didn’t get it. Sure, I’d try. I’d set a timer, or push play on a recording. I’d watch my thoughts float on by as I tried not to attach my mind to them.
And I never felt what everyone told me I was supposed to feel.
Light. Deep. Expansive. Peace. Bliss.
I just felt like I was sitting there watching my thoughts go by. Or I’d wake up 20 minutes later to discover I had been sleeping.
And then. AND THEN. Some amazing synchronicity happened in 2015. I can’t even tell you who it was because that’s how mundane it was — I don’t remember. Within days of one another, not one, but TWO people taught me how to flip the script on meditation. And it hit me like a ton of aha-moment bricks. This is my take away and my new approach to meditating:
The more you meditate, the more thoughts you exorcise. The more thoughts you exorcise, the deeper you meditate. So when I’m sitting there trying so hard and waving goodbye to a bunch of monkey-brain thoughts, I AM MEDITATING! And if I sit down and do it again tomorrow, I will probably have slightly less thoughts. And if I keep at it for a while, my emotional, physical and psychic body will have the opportunity to release all of the pointless and harmful thoughts and emotions that it has been squirreling away for MY ENTIRE LIFE. So meditating is a lot like clearing your chakras. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if clearing my chakras is helping reduce my meditation karmic debt load. I might get to that deep place of bliss faster if I’m doing both practices regularly.
Is this a revolutionary way of thinking about meditating to anyone else but me? Or am I late to the party?
And if you fall asleep while meditating? That’s still meditating! Actually, I now view falling asleep while meditating as a really good thing. To me it means that my emotional, spiritual and physical bodies had a lot to let go of and it was better to knock me out for the process so that my monkey mind couldn’t interfere. Kind of like how there are some surgeries you can do with local anesthetic and others that need you to be knocked out cold.
How do I meditate? I’m a fan of keeping it simple. I walk out into the forest, sit on a fallen tree, close my eyes and focus on the third eye area of my forehead. And I sit. And I breathe normally. I wave goodbye to thoughts and I strive for a quiet stillness. I peek at my iPhone every once in awhile to see how much time has gone by. (usually a lot more than I would have guessed! It goes quickly.) When I’m ready, I take a few moments for gratitude, put my hands and feet on the Earth and ground myself.
Then I record my impressions and experiences in my DIVINA journal.
You may not have the luxury of an entire forested mountain as your backyard (but don’t feel bad, I miss the luxuries of the city daily — coffee houses, window shopping, bookstores). You can still incorporate a simple meditation practice into your daily or weekly routine. Instead of walking out into the forest you can walk into a bathroom stall at work. Or the broom closet (ha!). If you have small children, you may want to hide in the shower, pull the curtain closed and meditate until they find you (I have done this — ain’t no shame). Or go to a nail salon, pull your sunglasses over your eyes, and get to meditating while you get your toes painted.
There are also dozens and dozens of ways to meditate for reaching your guides, angels and higher self. I encourage you to try out many different forms. YouTube is a good place for guided meditations (meditations you can close your eyes and do as someone’s voice leads you through it) and even using your own form if a different way of meditating comes to you and resonates.
Meditation Is For Mars, Twerking Is For Venus
AS MUCH AS I appreciate and apply my new-found perspective on traditional meditation, I think it is also very important to remind you that this form of meditation was developed over many centuries, through many cultures, for a man’s body and a man’s spiritual advancement.
Which, I have discovered, is another reason for my deep aversion to all things “sit still and make funny finger symbols while chanting.” For me, it doesn’t always cut the cake. Blame it on my Aries moon. There is a time and a place for traditional meditation and I do it when I feel the need. But the other 90 percent of the time? I prefer to do something a bit more feminine: dancing, walking in the forest, closing my eyes and leaning back against a tree trunk while the sun washes my face, or deeply kissing my husband.
Those are valid forms of mediation, too. More importantly, they are forms of mediation that bring out and strengthen the feminine aspect of my spirituality. And though I don’t literally twerk, sensual movement is my favorite form of meditation.
Qoya is an excellent way to shimmy into the world of ecstatic, sensual movement — sensual movement that is intended to awaken the divine feminine energy within you and for you. Not for the viewing pleasure and approval of an audience. I can’t recommend a Qoya class, retreat or 20-minute follow-along video enough. Visit www.loveqoya.com