When I drive, I put all too much trust into my Mr. Garmin, my GPS System. Previous to Mr. Garmin I was always getting lost. Sometimes I wish I had a Garmin for my personal life so that I would always be “recalculated” into the right direction.
I remember being 17 years old and always asking my teacher for life advice? I knew what I wanted him to say and I wouldn’t listen when he suggested something different. I really wanted to go to New York City and pursue acting as a profession, yet I felt afraid and I didn’t trust myself enough to believe it was the right choice, so I felt conflicted. I wanted someone else to confirm it for me. I’ll never forget when he said, “the problem is you don’t trust yourself.” He was right and I just stayed conflicted for a couple of years before I finally went for it.
When I think about it, every time I’ve felt conflicted, stuck or lost it was because I wasn’t listening to myself. I wasn’t trusting my self.
“…trust yourself, then you will know how to live” – Goethe
Practicing daily mediation has more benefits than just relaxation.
It can grow self-trust.
Doubt, fear and inner chaos all distract us and lead us to feeling conflicted, stuck and lost.
Some people have an easier time than others with making choices and decisions. Others even after all the due diligence of researching the options and becoming educated about the topic at hand, still have a hard time deciding what’s right for them and committing to it. This is largely due to not trusting one’s self.
In meditation we sit in stillness and clear out the mental chatter. We are in direct connection with spirit. In this quiet stillness inner wisdom (instinct and intuition) can grow strong. The more often we connect to this, the stronger our sense of knowing becomes. Ultimately only we know what is true for ourselves and when the outer chatter fades to quiet it gets easier to hear our own voice. This happens we practice being in quiet stillness, going within and listening.
If you don’t know how to meditate I’ll give you the Cliff Note version. There’s a book I recommend, “Meditation for Dummies.” It even comes with a CD. It’s written very simply.
How to Meditate
1.Find a comfortable seated position on the floor, on a cushion or on a chair. Lower the gaze of you focus but try not to close your eyes. (If you need to close your eyes at first that’s okay, but we tend to be more present if we keep them open but not looking around). Some people like to use a candle to center their focus on the flame.
2. Focus on your breath and allow deeper breaths. Focus on your breath, feel your stomach expand as you inhale and gently contract as you exhale.
3. You may want a small mantra to keep your mind from wandering. As you breathe in you may say silently “I breathe in love” or “Love” anything positive that works for you. On your Exhale you can say silently, in your mind “I breathe out fear” “I let go” or “OM” or something else that works for you
4. When thoughts or mental chatter come up, recognize them and just tell them to go away. Some people choose the word “Cancel.” Then refocus on your breath and your mantra. Eventually you will be able to do this will no mantra, if you choose.
5. See if you can do this for 5, 10, 15 minutes maybe work your way up to 30 minutes.
The best time to do this is when you awake in morning and in evening before sleep.
No need to be concerned about finding your answer or your direction when you are mediating. What you are doing is emptying your mind from all the outside chatter, input, and suggestions. You are being still and present with yourself. Eventually you will begin to get a feeling, an instinct or an intuition and that is your inner wisdom. It is often your best guidance.
Be open to possibilities and know that your wisdom may come to you at any time in any place. It might pop up during your meditation or it might not. It may take a little while for you to learn to hear it, but you will. The more often you meditate the stronger it will become and trusting yourself will become easier, more natural. We really don’t need a GPS system for our personal lives we just need regular mediation.