So why, do you ask, is a Professional Organiser blogging about meditation? One of the things I sometimes hear from my clients while we’re talking about their clutter situation is a sense of guilt. About EVERYTHING!
They feel guilty about:
- Having spent so much money on stuff they don’t need
- Yelling at their kids or husband for making a mess
- Not being able to keep up the incredibly high standards they hold themselves to
- All the rules and regulations around recycling and reusing things
- Their paralysis when faced with their own need for perfection
- All the things they believe they should be doing
Just to name a few. Sometimes there are tears and anger and anxiety.
And then to add to the burden of guilt there’s meditation. We’re told how absolutely life changing it is and all the science agrees, it’s absolutely awesome for improving your mood, happiness, stress levels, blood pressure and relationships. It’s the discipline of actually DOING it that’s often the problem.
Now, I am NOT a meditation expert, or a happiness expert. However I do talk to a lot of people about their happiness, because it’s a huge part of how they got themselves into the clutter state they’ve called me in to fix.
One of the things you’ll notice about the list above is each one is based on the FEELING about that thing.
And everyone is different. That’s another thing I often hear: “My friends/mum/mother-in-law/partner just don’t get why I’m feeling bad!”. The thoughts that cause you to feel guilty are nothing to someone else. Which can be extremely frustrating!
So what’s so great about meditation? Basically it helps you control your thoughts, or if control is too strong a word, it allows you freedom from your thoughts. And it’s our thoughts that create the feelings we are struggling with.
Ok, so here’s the point. If you are feeling bad about not meditating there are other ways to get that freedom from our thoughts. They are behaviours or activities that cause us to be so in the moment, so enjoying doing it that our unhappiness-causing thoughts stop, all thoughts stop, except for working on what we are doing right now.
They come to you naturally. They are fun, a pleasure that YOU look forward to. Remember, everyone is different. What clears the mind for one person is the perfect opportunity for another person to dwell, mope and obsess. It’s important for you to find your own method of being absolutely present and engaged in what you are doing. So much so that nothing else matters.
- Running or walking
- Knitting a complicated pattern
- Creating art
- Fixing things
- Making things
- Tai Chi or Yoga
If you are feeling guilty about not sticking to your meditation practice maybe one of these will give you the opportunity to clear you mind of all thoughts. You will be practicing mindfulness effortlessly because you are enjoying yourself. That alone gives your mind a rest and increases your capacity to let your worries and fears go for a while. It’s also called mindfulness.
Once you have found your mindfulness practice you can build it into your schedule.
You could then extend that capacity to other activities, now you know what it feels like. The really cool thing about learning how to be mindful is that it’s portable. It applies to absolutely every situation you can imagine.
Learning the skill or habit of mindfulness or meditation can serve you well if you struggle with negative thoughts and feelings but please don’t beat yourself up if you fail to practice it the way you think you “Should”.
This is a short recording on meditation and mindfulness that’s really interesting:
What If You Stopped Talking To Yourself All The Time? – Alan Watts (Absolutely fabulous voice)
How do you find freedom from your thoughts?