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Think You Can't Meditate?

If you’re anything like me (at least the way I used to be), you may think that meditation just isn’t for you. Do you have a hard time sitting still? Do you have a short attention span? Are you always thinking? Or is your schedule already jam-packed? Maybe you have tried a handful of times and found that you just can’t sit still or stop thinking. Believe me, I totally get it!


I fall into a couple of these buckets: My mind is very active. And I certainly tried sporadically over the years to meditate without success. Whenever I tried to quiet my mind, I would either start thinking about my “to do” list, daydream or just fall asleep.


But a few years ago, I made a pact with myself to try again. I committed to sitting in a comfortable chair every morning for at least five minutes to start. I breathed in deeply and tried to let go of my thoughts. I’m not going to lie: I found this very challenging! The thoughts would creep back in over and over again. Initially, I sat in a chair for five minutes a day - thinking – interrupted only by noticing that I was thinking, then berating myself for thinking. I felt like a failure for not being able to do this thing that, it seemed, everyone was doing…this thing that was supposed to be so good for me…this thing that humans have been doing for millennia. I really didn’t know what a quiet mind felt like. But every day, I sat back down in my chair, I closed my eyes, played some soothing meditation music on my iPhone, and I tried again. And after a few months of regular practice, I noticed that the quiet spaces between my thoughts got longer and longer, and the amount of time it took me to release my thoughts once I noticed them got shorter and shorter.


How My Meditation Practice Unfolded


As quieting my mind got easier and felt more natural, I stopped setting a timer. Instead, I let myself go for as long as I could. Five minutes turned into ten. Ten minutes turned into twenty. Twenty minutes turned into 30, and on and on it went. Every once in a while I sat in meditation for more than an hour, which I found astonishing!


As my meditation skills improved, I began to “hear” guidance, and I started writing it down. Initially, I would take a few minutes after meditation to record in my journal what I could remember. Eventually, I began to pick up my pen when I heard the guidance coming, and simply transcribed what I received right into my journal. Every time I read it back, I could hardly believe that it had come from my pen. The guidance was always kind, always loving and always useful.


Meditation is now something that I look forward to every day. Most days, my mind stills as soon as I start to meditate. And on those days when the thoughts persist, I simply tell myself to “let go”, which usually works.


My Meditation Ritual


When I sit down to meditate, I always begin the same way. I live in the city and often hear street noise at home, so I put on some soothing music – usually “Eternal Om” by Dick Sutphen, which you can find on iTunes and Spotify. I light two white candles: one for my family in Spirit and one for my Guides, Angels and Ancestors. Often, I burn a bit of white sage or Palo Santo Wood to clear my space.


Once I have prepared my meditation space, I gently close my eyes, place my hands on my lap - palms up, and I recite the following silently three times: “I encircle myself in the white light of God’s love and divine protection.” Then I take a few moments to sit in gratitude. You can read about my gratitude practice here: www.ellenhenry.com/blog/starting-with-gratitude.


From here, there is no one way my meditation progresses. Sometimes, I quiet my mind and just notice. Other times, I open my chakras from root to crown, drawing in energy from Earth. I find this helps me to raise my own vibration. Occasionally, I will listen to a guided meditation.


There is no magic to my meditation ritual other than it’s mine. I share it only to show you from a technical perspective what I do. If any of it resonates with you, please try it on for size. If not, just find what works for you!


For me, meditation turned into a mystical journey of self-discovery. Through meditation, I met some of my guides (which I will tell you about in another blog post), and I began channeling wisdom from the higher realms.


After a few months of meditating regularly, I noticed that I remain calmer during stressful and frustrating times. I also noticed that I spend less time letting worries pull me off of my course. And I find it easier to tap into my own intuition at a moment’s notice.


A Few Tips for Beginners


I hope that if you have not yet begun your mediation practice that you are inspired to give it a go. In that spirit, I will share with you a few tips that may help you get started.


§ Set Yourself Up for Success. Find a comfortable place to sit. It can be on the floor or in a chair. A dedicated space is great if you can manage it. Silence your phone. It’s nearly impossible not to be distracted if your phone is ringing, vibrating or lighting up. Choose a time of the day when you won’t be too tired or distracted. You want to be conscious and aware. I am a morning person, and I find that the best time for me to meditate is before noon.


§ Start Small. Commit to five minutes a day to start. Don’t worry if you spend your time daydreaming or thinking about what’s for dinner. Spiritual teacher and New York Times best-selling author, Sonia Choquette, recommends picturing an infinity symbol in your mind. (It looks like a sideways 8.) Watch your breath in and out tracing the infinity symbol as if the infinity symbol is a rollercoaster and your breath is the cart on its tracks. I tried this and find it really works for me.


§ Music. If, like me, you choose to listen to music while you meditate, I recommend finding music without words or a heavy backbeat. It will be harder to get out of your head if you’re tempted to sing along or tap you foot to the beat.


§ Guided Meditations. I just love Lauren Rainbow’s Heart-Centered Meditation. You can download it for $3.00 here: http://www.laurenrainbow.com/store/the-centered-heart-meditation. If you’re looking for a free, guided meditation, you can find loads of them on YouTube.


§ Be Kind to Yourself. Whatever you do, please don’t beat yourself up for having a thought (or several). Aside from feeling awful, it just takes you further away from a quiet mind. When you notice that you’re thinking, just acknowledge the thought and let it go. Try picturing it drift off like a fluffy, white cloud in the summer sky.


§ Track Your Progress. Take a few minutes and write down your impressions after you finish meditating. It will help you track your own progress, and you will be able to look back on your impressions. Sometimes what you experience during meditation won’t initially make sense to you. But if you write it down, you can revisit it and, perhaps, make connections that you don’t initially understand.


I hope that this inspires you to give meditation a go. Whether you’re new to meditation or a seasoned pro, I would love to hear about it! You can find me online at www.ellenhenry.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Healing_Messages_by_Ellen/ and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/Healing_Messages_by_Ellen.




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