Isn't meditation just a grown-up time out?
What is meditation and why are so many people doing it? To me meditation is the opportunity to quiet my mind and listen to my heart. It provides me with clarity, insight, and allows me too just be. For those that may need more convincing, it has been scientifically proven that meditation can reduce stress, promote emotional health, enhance self awareness and can increase attention span.
Even with these benefits, I have heard too often that people are unable to meditate. There are a number of reasons why such as they can’t sit crossed legged, have trouble quieting the mind, or are unable to find the time. In the beginning I too had a difficult time, but as I learned meditation comes in many forms and there is no right or wrong way.
Doing a quick search on Google, I found many articles that list the various forms of meditations. They include mindfulness, spiritual, focused, movement, mantra, transcendental, progressive relaxation, love-kindness, and visualization to name a few. Personally, I would classify my meditation style as primarily spiritual with a little relaxation, mindfulness and visualization thrown in for good measure. Do I sit crossed legged? Sometimes. I also just sit in a chair or I stand at the sink. I set an intention for the meditation like I am looking for guidance or I want to release this negative energy and meditate wherever and whenever I can. Somedays I will spend 30 plus minutes meditating but most days I only spend 5-10 minutes. However, I will give myself the opportunity to meditate multiple times a day. I say this to show that meditation can be as formal or informal as you like. It is up to you and your needs. In the end all you can hope for is reaching the intention that you set prior to your meditation.
For those of you reading this that say you can’t and use the same reasons that were mentioned above, I say take a Time Out. Yes, the same kind of time out many parents send their young children to when they have done something wrong or need to quiet down.
Maybe that is why people do not like to meditate or think they cannot because they were sent to time out as a punishment. But aren’t we just asking our children to calm themselves and to contemplate what they have just done? A time out is giving them an opportunity to slow it down and just be, the same results you hope to have when you meditate.
With a time out the parent is setting the intention for the child – “I want you to calm down” or “I want you to think about what you have done.” In other words, they are asking the child to do a mindful, relaxed or visualization meditation. Meditations and time outs are both the same to me. The only difference is how it is presented and how you look at it.
So, the next time you try to meditate and think you cannot do it, send yourself to a time out. Set your intention, sit or be where you want and do not be surprised if you walk away happier and look forward to you next time out – whoops, I mean meditation.
P.s. - Recently I launched a YouTube channel called Healing Words Meditations. These 10-minute guided meditations may make your time outs even more enjoyable.