I wish I could meditate. I’ve tried so many times: from finding a quiet spot in my house to sit and close my eyes, to being physically told to meditate at the end of a yoga class. It seems like such a relaxing and fulfilling practice, but I just can’t seem to do it.
The truth is, when the room goes silent, and I close my eyes, that’s when mind turns on: EVERY SINGLE idea I’ve ever had comes to the surface and my mind starts whirring around how to put those ideas into action; then, I start thinking about something awkward I probably said 10 years ago and I get anxious butterflies; and then, after all that mind work, I’m too exhausted to sit anymore so I tend to find a blanket and take a nap.
… I don’t think that’s how meditation is supposed to work.
When I published my post about finding peace (read it here), I googled how to do it. Every article or post I read about how to achieve peace in life included some meditation time and that just didn’t resonate with me. I even looked into retreats that help you find happiness and peace, and guess what one of the main activities was in these retreats? Yep, meditation.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for the practice of meditation, and behind the effect it has on people. In fact, I am envious of those that can do it…but I can’t. So does that mean I won’t be able to find peace?
Here is what I did to start my journey to finding peace without meditation:
1) Evaluate Your Decisions
I looked at some of big decisions I have made in my life, and evaluated why I made that decision, and if I would change it. For example, one of the big decisions I have made is to move an hour and a half out of the city and where I work. I re-looked at this decision and asked myself: Do I miss Toronto? What do I enjoy about Burlington? Would I trade my life in Burlington for a shorter commute time? In the end, I am ok with the sacrifices I have made in order to build my current lifestyle in Burlington; therefore, I am at peace with this decision. Try evaluating the decisions you’ve made in your life to confirm that you are at peace with your decisions. If you are no longer ok with the sacrifices you’ve had to make, it might be time to make a new decision.
2) Be Positive
I am not a huge believer in the ideology of “The Secret” where if you ask the universe for something the universe, in turn, will provide it to you. I do believe, however, that if you approach people and problems with a positive attitude (even if it’s really, really hard to do so) that your experience will inherently be more positive. My personal trainer likened this to food too: instead of saying “stop eating the bad food” which has a negative connotation, reframe to say “add in more healthy foods”. Automatically, the task of eating healthier became mentally easier for me, and became a more positive experience. If you approach life with a positive outlook, you may find that you are happier and more at peace.
3) Be Mindful
Being mindful is a practice I am just starting but it is having great effects. To be mindful is to really take in your surroundings and your actions while you are in the moment. For example, going on a mindful walk in nature where you truly consider the beauty of the trees around you, the feeling of your feet hitting the path, and noticing the rhythm in which your arms swing. Doing simple actions but being mindful about them brings us back to living within the moment, and enjoying every little aspect of life. Forgetting the past and forgoing the anxiety of the future, allows us to find peace in the moment.
4) Let It Go
Yep, just like the song. My good friend noticed that I was harbouring negative feelings about a particular event and I was letting it overwhelm me. She literally told me to imagine the event in my hand, bring my hand above my head, then throw it to the ground and let it go. This small action made me rethink why I was holding on to the negative feelings when I truly couldn’t change how the event played out. Once I let it go, I was able to move forward and consider ways in which I can learn and make changes in the future. Sometimes, you just have to let go of the things you cannot change in order to find peace.
What do you do to find peace on your life? Do you meditate (if so, teach me your ways!)? Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments down below.