I was sitting with my sister at Global Tribe Cafe (having some incredible vegan food!!) and she was telling me about her experiences with Yoga and Meditation.
One of her stories made me laugh a lot, but I also found inspiration in what she said, so I thought I'd share it here on my blog.
She explained that when she was lying down at the end of her Yoga class in 'Savasana' (meditation pose) she began to imagine herself as Dory from 'Finding Nemo' (as you do) in the scene where Dory and Marvin become trapped inside the whale's mouth. They're both panicking, trying desperately to get out, but Dory suddenly forgets everything and begins to allow herself to be moved by the water. She feels the ebb and flow of the waves as she lets go and relaxes.
Even though it sounded hilarious at first, I thought it was a wonderful representation of meditation; when you are pushing against your thoughts, trying to relax your body, trying to breathe deeply and trying not to think about anything, when you are using any force at all you inadvertently cause yourself more stress. But, if you allow yourself to just be and to feel the discomfort, the tension, the pain, the numbness in your body, allow the thoughts and emotions to flow through you and observe them then you will find yourself meditating without realising it.
That is what meditation is. It's not about doing nothing, thinking nothing, feeling nothing. It's about observing how you feel, detaching yourself from your thoughts by observing them without reacting. It's a practise which takes time, patience and persistence. With regular practise the mind sharpens and you become better able to cope with discomfort in the body. You develop a skill that can be harnessed during times of anger, frustration, sadness, impatience, tiredness, stress, anxiety and so on.
Draw your attention back to the breath.
Mentally scan your body.
Notice your thoughts.
Just keep swimming swimming swimming.
Before you know it, you're meditating.