On today’s podcast, I am going to nail the top ten list of “why I didn’t or can’t meditate “ – I like to call it the excuse du jour. I bet you’ll recognize a lot of them and laugh at some too.
Hey there, Alexa Z here.
Usually, when you teach a subject, you start with how you can do something, but in this case, I am going to start with the “why I can’t.”
I get more people stopping me and saying I can’t because of “X” or I know I should do this or I should do that but….
No more excuses and no more should-ing on yourself. It’s all good.
But first I want to give you a very current example - my husband’s reason he hadn’t meditated in a while. This is a true story; you can ask him.
“his chair…. If he is not near it.”
Then this morning I asked what it was about the chair…….hold that for #5 on the list.
BUT WAIT UNTIL THE END FOR WHY HE THOUGHT MAYBE HE SHOULD QUIT.
It may sound like a negative start, but actually, it’s way easier to get this out of the way and then move on to the good stuff. And even if you are meditating daily, I KNOW you will relate to a lot of these. They always creep in once and a while, just like when that scone that jumped onto my plate this morning. I knew I should have had steel-cut oats as I had planned.
Happily, I also get people calling me and telling me about the fantastic changes in their life due to their practice, and I look forward to crushing this list and my voice mail blowing up with your fabulous stories of success.
10 Reasons people say they can't or don’t want to meditate
1. I have no time
a. Stare at a clock for one minute.
b. Zen proverb – if you don’t have 20 minutes to meditate, then you need 2 hours. Ok my version 5 minutes
2. I can’t stop my mind.
a. Right or you will be brain dead.
b. We use meditation to observe our thoughts, not stop them.
c. Focused concentration – open awareness – do these sound mindless?
d. We are human, we think, we have memories, we have emotions, we have processing centers in our brain. NO ONE SAID TO STOP THINKING
e. Think of it as quieting the mind as in thoughts are ok they are just not YELLING AT US! Like whispering a word then getting louder and louder – no fun.
f. Thoughts are great as long as we can access the ones we want without our brain running away all willy nilly
3. I can’t sit still much less sit lotus style.
a. Sitting is easy. Sit in a chair- that is truly what most people do.
b. Well, that sounds like a problem, I can relate, this is a common problem.
c. Sometimes sitting still is most annoying because we have no idea what it is like to sit with ourselves.
d. Mind and sitting still remind me of the study (zapping your self)
e. Don’t worry about sitting still; you can even start lying down, walking, standing, etc.)
4. **Life is too stressful right now.
a. This one is easy. Just wait until everything is perfect then start. And wait to have kids, get married, buy a house….ok sorry, but you know where I am going. b. Oh yeah, wait until you make a lot of money to save for retirement
c. MEDITATION RELIEVES STRESS - This will need its own show
5. There is nowhere in my life that is quiet enough.
a. Wait for vacation – then there is so much fun to be had, and you are not stressed so why meditate?
b. Part of meditating is about learning that sound is just like a thought – lawn mower, stomach grumbling, dog playing with bone, coffee pot
c. But to start easy you can do it in your car; I meditated in my car forever, loved it so much I now have a transit van I can meditate anywhere. In your office?
6. I heard you have to meditate in the morning and I am too busy in the morning.
a. If you have kids, dogs, families, etc. that can be hard and yes the morning is excellent, but you can find a way to weave it into your own personal schedule.
b. Let’s just try starting with consistency.
c. Anytime but nighttime, try to get it in by midday or before dinner.
7. I tried it twice and it didn’t work
a. Really? I have heard this. Going to the gym twice doesn’t work either. Or the PT for that matter. Try it thrice :)
8. I am just not good at it.
a. You were born totally chill; you can do it.
b. Anyone can – I am PROOF
c. You are labeling yourself. Did you ever meet someone that said “I can’t help it I am just an angry person, I’m just a worrier, I’m not a good listener, I’m terrible at dating.
d. SO HOW IS THAT WORKING FOR YOU?
e. And really how long have you been at it that you finally made this decision?
9. I am too tired to meditate; I’d fall asleep.
a. This means you are tired. Let’s look at your sleep first.
b. We are a sleep-deprived society.
c. We lack alpha waves
d. We go to bed and crash and wake up exhausted even 8 hours later.
e. We miss the melatonin wave…
f. Meditation improves sleep so cross that excuse off the list
10. When we meditate we are trying to be in the present moment sucks why be in it? I want to go to the next moment. This is juicy. Join me next Monday for my podcast “Stay in the present moment, even when it is a crappy one.”
Let me end with my husband’s latest reason not to meditate this week. He said "Once I meditated in a parking lot then proceeded to pull forward and rip off the bumper of the car next to me."
Remember this is a LIFE LONG practice. Just like exercise, you can’t wait until you look and feel great and then stop. But just because it is lifelong doesn’t mean it is drudgery. Do you frigging hate to brush your teeth?
Did you know on average it takes a kid until 6 to brush their own teeth? About the time they are coordinated enough to tie their own shoes. And then you still need to remind them and make sure they are doing it right.
But what about babies when they walk. They start, fall down, take a few steps, and all of a sudden, they are running across the floor.
I’d say meditation falls somewhere in the middle of brushing your teeth and running. So go easy on yourself. Crawl before you run and brush before you floss.
That list was real but it won’t hold you back.
Let’s play pretend:
You wake up feeling energized, peaceful, focused, happy, imagine what your day would be like?
Imagine hitting life’s to-do list with a bring it on attitude and not a giant UGH.
Throw away the excuses. How about until next week you do one little thing for me?
Pick one time each day to breathe — one time to become aware of your breath.
At 2-3 stoplights a day.
While strolling to get your glass of water or coffee?
One inhale and exhale before you answer that call.
Five deep breaths before you turn your computer on.
Or I know five breaths before you look at your phone for the first time of the day!!!!
Or how about right now? Don’t close your eyes if you are driving.
If you want to me to guide you go to alexazmeditates.com/quiz
Is meditation for you? AND a free 5-minute breath meditation download.
I am saying adios until next Monday for the discussion on STAYING IN THE PRESENT MOMENT EVEN WHEN IT IS CRAPPY – now TURN THIS OFF so the next podcast doesn’t roll in. Five breaths, slow and gentle, just watch them come and go.
YOU’RE THE BEST. NOW GO ROCK YOUR PEACEFUL DAY