Mapping Your Meditation (Destination: Success)
Trying to meditate by closing your eyes and doing your best to think about absolutely nothing is just about the same as actually not noticing the elephant in the room. What does nothing look like? Is this the same shade of black I see every time I close my eyes, or is this a special shade of black because I'm meeditattiiiing?... Did I leave the coffee pot on this morning? What's that noise??
Get the picture?
Sometimes, the best way to lose focus, is by focusing.
What is the main purpose of this meditation? A feeling? An uncluttered, peaceful mind? Perhaps this is a manifestation meditation or loving gratitude meditation. If each of these purposes was synonymous with a destination, then shouldn't there be some maps for them around here somewhere?
In light of the new year and the countless resolutions that fall deep into the dark abyss of Unrealized; here is a roadmap that I like to use in my ongoing journey to this Destination of Success. A destination that is littered with all the glories of basking in the sweet pleasures of MY version of success. Of joy, and love, of connection and stories, of triumphs and life elevations, of heartfelt hugs and tears of bliss from realized potential. Of you, knowing You as you could and will be!
So this would be STEP 1 on this journey: Get right with YOUR version of success. Whole-heartedly Go there. Allow yourself to feel what it is like when you achieve your version of success. What does it look like, feel like, taste like? Can you bask in this space and become more familiar with it? (To read about my personal journey to ignite my purpose check this out)
For many people, this looks like: a more satisfying job, a happy marriage, more freedom, a slimmer waistline, a million dollars, finding happiness. What would You like to achieve more of? What is success for you? Can you Go there?
Step 2: Become aware of your obstacles. I refer to these as your shadows, your dark areas. The parts of your being (brain and body) that You know are not serving your highest self. And I'm not talking about a bad habit or an action that you perform too much or too little of (although these can be a helpful clue). I want you to look a layer or two past these actions to point out the thoughts and feelings that drive you to these actions.
Here's an example of what I am talking about:
I have a bad habit of watching my mind wander away from the present moment so it can begin working on another task. Sometimes I am in 5 places at once and none of them are where my physical body is actually standing.
Because I am feeling overwhelmed in that moment, like there is too much I need to be doing. I am overwhelmed and insecure by this clutter that can cloud my being.
Why is the clutter there?
Because I am often playing catch up as I bounce from objectives in my head; objectives like: studying for a school exam, prepping for a yoga class, planning a retreat, following up with that client, updating my website, filming more videos, writing that book, writing that article, writing that school paper…
But, aren't these all awesome objectives which have manifested into my pool of ever-growing success? Why have I become overwhelmed or insecure about any of them?
Well, I suppose sometimes I feel a sense of inadequacy or unworthiness. Like I could be doing better, doing more, as if just being me in this present moment wasn't already more than enough.
Yes, that is the process of facing my shadow.
But you know what the greatest part of this faceoff is? Through all the tears, and pains and deeper understandings of the darker parts of me- I can now put a label on these feelings.
Inadequacy and Unworthiness.
Now I can point out these feelings as something separate from Me. I am the one experiencing Inadequacy, so, therefore, I am not a victim to it, instead, I view it as a feeling that I have the ability to let in or keep out.
Now that I am aware of it, I can ask it to go. (For more on how the body and mind feed each other in a ceaseless loop and how to intentionally interrupt this process click here.) I honor these feelings for the teachers that they have been for me, for even Inadequacy has a lesson to teach and therefore deserves my love and gratitude. But, in honoring it, I can also set it free; thereby freeing myself from it completely.
So, once you've done the legwork of pointing out your obstacles, the culmination of Step 2 is to ask the Universe to remove this obstacle which no longer serves you.
Step 3: Find gratitude.
If I have to give more than a brief explanation for this step then we should consider some deep life evaluation! Look up to the sky, look down to the earth, hear the stirring leaves as the gentle breeze passes, stand with your feet in the ocean and feel the magnitude of power that surrounds you. Know your beauty, know your intelligence, know your grand perfection! Savor this very breath and harmonize its life force with your gratitude. And then, find gratitude for the goals that you are seeking. Say "thank you" for the story of you living out your greatest dreams and accomplishments. Yes, the ones that we established in step 1. These goals already exist somewhere out in the limitless field of vast potential. By expressing your gratitude for them having already manifested, you are signaling to the Universe that you are willing and ready to receive them in your existence here and now.
Step 4: Just go in reverse.
Yes. Start from Step 3, then work to 2, and then finally arrive at 1.
Now that you know your process: you know your destination, you know your obstacles and you have your gratitude, you can proceed on this journey. Here is an example of how it might play out in a 30-minute meditation:
Minute 0- 10:
Close your eyes, tune into the breath. Notice the quality of the breath and of where on your body you can feel it most. Allow the inhales to fill up your entire lungs, beginning down in the deep portion of your belly and rising up through your entire chest and head. Free the exhales to seep out of you completely with grace as you return this life-force back to the Universe. And then, find gratitude for it. This very breath, the most fundamental part of it is a gift from the Divine. Celebrate that; for without it you would not experience anything at all.
What else are you grateful for? What kind of feeling does that give you? Can you sit with that feeling for a while and enjoy it? Don't forget to take on the feelings of your most sought after stories realized. Enjoy the feeling of having that job, that perfect partner, or satisfying life you so deeply desire!
Sit with your shadow.
Notice it. You have done the work to peel back the layers of it. Now be with it. Feel Your darkness so that you can recognize the feeling of it when it comes along unannounced. (Don't be afraid to let yourself be vulnerable in your shadow space. If tears or pains arise then let them! This is just the process of you letting them go). Once you have sat with your shadow for a time dependent on Your specific needs, then let it go! Ask solemnly for The Universe or God or Great Creator or The Quantum Field or whatever you want to call that all-providing force, to remove these obstacles from your path. Often times upon completing this step, I follow it up with an acknowledgment that it is complete such as: "and so it is," or "amen" or, my personal favorite, "hey mamamau!"
Bask in your success.
Notice all the colors, textures, sounds and smells of great success realized. How will you feel in the moment your reality meets this potential reality? Can you enjoy it now? Can you orchestrate the process of this grand design and allow the Universe to match this version of reality with your reality more and more?
The key here is not to think about the process involved with getting there, but instead, to simply be there. Allow the Universe to work out the details of how your grand destination shall be fully understood by you. Just enjoy the feeling of your best story. Live in it and don't ask questions. Don't try to understand it or try to get to work on achieving it now. Just enjoy.
Upon closing my meditation, I always aim to reengage my gratitude. For the moment in time I was just allowed to bask in, for the people in my life and the bounty that uplifts my every step in this plane here and now.
Don't get lost on your journey to enlightenment. Choose not to be frustrated or overwhelmed as you travel toward peace. That would just be silly. Pick up your map and make this journey your most epic one yet! Stay in your joy, stay in your power and Stay Elevated!