We’ve all heard the amazing benefits of meditation. Sitting with ourself sounds like the easiest thing in the world – and yet for most people it’s the hardest! Even with so many people shouting all the benefits of meditation such as increased awareness, mental clarity, increased presence and capacity to move through life, there’s still so many people that really struggle with this practice.
Many of us desperately want to know our true self, yet there is something that gets in the way of us being able to sit.
Why do some people find sitting with themselves hard
There are a couple of reasons why I think people struggle with meditation.
- Someone hasn’t been taught HOW to meditate. There are things to know and learn and experience, that sometimes you just can’t get on an app. Investing in how to learn meditation properly I feel is really key. Confusion about what you ‘should’ be doing, it is the ultimate meditation killer.
- Not finding a practice that is absolutely adored. There are many styles of meditation and techniques, just because you tried one and it didn’t vibe that it’s game over. Our practice should be something we look forward to. We need a balance of techniques that include awareness and elevated emotions. If your practice is feeling dry, then choose something that makes your heart want to expand a little – I have some on Insight Timer. Or if you’re a chronic over-thinker, active meditations like my Electronic Music Meditation might help.
- I think this is possibly the biggest reason…. many of us don’t feel comfortable sitting with our emotions. Many of us have developed coping mechanisms not to feel our emotions that were possibly extremely helpful at certain times in our life, especially in younger years. In many cases overthinking has become an adaptation to avoid feeling painful emotions, but the price we pay is that we continue to feel disconnected from our truest essence. It’s a paradox that our essence seeks truth, the personality wants to avoid pain, and yet often the truth is painful. Feeling past emotions can bring up a lot of fear but when we are in the right environment for that to happen, we are liberated from them, and all the energy that has been used to repress an emotion is released. In that moment we feel lighter AND closer to our truest essence. This is a huge part of work that I do with people in my mentoring when they come to me struggling with meditation.
You’ve tried everything and still find resistance to sitting
It’s not uncommon for people to come to me who’ve bought many apps, courses and signed up to live online classes, but haven’t do
ne them or shut down their computer a few minutes before their online class starts. Their (sometimes unconscious) drivers which are protective mechanisms kick in and then they feel frustrated that they haven’t meditated again. Unconscious drivers can be hidden self limiting beliefs and repressed emotions that we’ve pushed down and are unaware of how they are controlling (or driving) our life. We call it ‘fate’ or an inherited bad habit and feel we have no control over this aspect of our behaviour. I’m very grateful to have been able to guide many people through their meditation blocks in my meditation mentoring.
When We Meditate We Heal
Meditation in many traditions was considered a peak practice – often years of training and yoga came before. These years included art of blissful living, how to relate to others, and a lot of spiritual psychology. It was all preparation to begin to work through emotions, habits and self limiting beliefs to create enough “clear space” for practitioners to feel they could sit with themselves and enter deeply into the meditation bandwidth.
From here of course the work is ongoing. The state of meditation is where we can transmute many of our feelings. Not repress them. But feel them in a state of presence and allow them to move through us completely. This has been compared to digestion. When we digest our food we don’t need to ‘think’ about it. We just need to give it time and space and be in a relaxed state so that the energy can do it’s thing. It’s exactly the same with our emotions – to ‘digest’ them we just need to give time and space.
What can be challenging is sometimes when we feel an intense emotion we think it’s going to last forever. That’s why we’ve been avoiding it. But when we remind ourselves that it will pass and once we’ve had the experience of digesting emotions it starts to feel easier.
Meditation is like the Forest Gump phrase “a box of chocolates, and you don’t know what you’re going to get”. Sometimes it will be an elated ecstatic experience, sometimes a wash of old emotion coming up to be digested and there is a feeling of heat as anger transmutes, or tears fall that we’ve been holding back.
It’s about having a deep trust in the process and being ok with not trying to control the process. That’s a lot for our human mind! So we need to be compassionate and patient with ourselves on this journey.
Meditation and Therapy To Move Through Old Coping Mechanisms and Deeper into You
We can start to see the very intertwined relationship between mental wellness and spiritual wellness. Most of us have been through some kind of emotional upset and trauma that might be preventing us from meditating. Ironically meditation is often an important part of the answer. We’re often so scared of being alone, of being abandoned; and yet many of us spend a huge part of our life abandoning ourselves because of not wanting to go near our emotional pain. When we aren’t feeling connected to our essence and having a visceral experience of feeling part of the fabric of the universe we can feel alone and isolated and more prone to states of anxiety and depression. Therefore it winds up being a vicious circle.
The good news is that there is a way out and often that involves a combination of some kind of therapeutic practice and meditation offered together.
If you resonate with some of what’s been shared you may like to seek out someone who can help you move through emotions safely and support you in your meditation practice. In my own experience I’ve had years of meditation training and then began studying a psychotherapeutic curriculum with Dr Gabor Mate so I can help my clients in this way. There will be people who offer different modalities that have the same purpose in mind.
So if you’ve felt hindered in your practice, and feel it may be due to some repressed emotions or old coping mechanisms, know that there are many options for you to heal from the inside and begin to feel connected to your essence and experience all the benefits of a meditation practice.
Belinda Matwali is a Spiritual Mentor and Meditation Guide. She has over ten years of experience in meditation training and study and completed 19 meditation trainings with her Masters in India.
She offers 1-2-1 Spiritual Mentoring through which she encourages and guides people back to their deepest self and learn meditation tools that suit them individually that they can always come back to. Meditation is not one size fits all, so Belinda really listens to tune into what each person needs.
She’s collaborated with Deliciously Ella, Sweaty Betty, Wanderlust, Beatport and more. If you’re curious about working with Belinda either in a Spiritual Mentoring capacity or through a course or workshop, please arrange a free 15min call via her website.