Frequently Asked Questions
- What is meditation?
Meditation is substituting another object of attention for the habitually haphazardly roaming mind. Simply focus on something like your breath instead of the continual cascade of thoughts, commentary and judgments that take up your attention. Instead attention is placed on a sound, object or your breath. When your attention wanders, you notice the distraction, let it go and bring your attention back to your object of attention such as a sound, an object or image, or your breath.
The three steps in meditation are 1) placing your attention on your breath (object of attention), 2) allowing thoughts to be as they are and 3) when you notice being absorbed in thought, let go and start again. Forgive yourself early and often! Laughing at yourself encouraged!
- What are some misconceptions about meditation?
You have to stop thinking? Not at all! Quite the opposite. Your mind is welcome to the party just as it is. What’s interesting is what happens when you learn to just observe your thoughts like the sky watching the clouds. Not reacting but relaxing instead. By just watching – your interior landscape expands which leads to discoveries like you are more than you think.
Meditation is a form of self-help / self improvement? No it’s much more than that. First by accepting the form the moment takes you accept things including yourself just as they are. Meditation is about acceptance of what is – not forcing any particular outcome. Meditation helps us discover who we are – not dictate how to be. Not a life hack, escape or shortcut but quite the opposite a path to discovering our true nature.
- How does a meditation practice impact my life?
A meditation practice helps you like yourself more, soften to who you are and develop true confidence by accepting, embracing and knowing yourself – the courage to be who you are. The three continuous steps of meditating create precision, openness and magic!
Placing your attention on your breath cultivates precision, the ability to focus and pay attention. Precision is mindfulness – the ability to place attention on the object of your choosing and hold it there. Meditation helps you see, think, speak, and decide more clearly.
Allowing thoughts to be as they are creates space for true wisdom and insight to emerge. You soften, your heart opens and you feel more. Openness is a gesture of great bravery! Opening to the realm of possibility which by definition is not full of thought. True wisdom, love, insight, creativity and innovation are not things that can be built – but things that arrive when you create space, cultivate attention and become more receptive to see new things.
When you notice being absorbed in thought and let go you become more attuned to the magic of what’s happening now. Opinions, hopes and fears dissolve. You inhabit the vibrancy and magic of your own life unfolding now. Your creative expression and the life you experience comes out of the wisdom, insight and love you are.
- What if I miss a day?
Forgive yourself and start again the next day.
- Meditating is really hard to do I’m constantly distracted?
Just come back to watching your breath. It’s always there for you. As soon as you notice you’re distracted with a thought or feeling just note that and come back to watching your breath. In. Out. In. Out. Your willingness to sit for the time you committed to and start over and over and over again is what builds the healing muscle.
- There’s a part of me that doubts this is worthwhile?
Of course! Our habitual selves strongly resist the movement to slow down and become a witness to our constant stream of thoughts and emotions. There’s another inner part of us that gets stronger and clearer when we learn to inhabit the space between our thoughts. Doubts are just thoughts. If you let them go like the clouds moving through the sky they’ll move on and disappear. You could say the stronger the doubts the more progress you’re making!
- Reporting on what happens every day is challenging?
Commitment is really important. Reporting is part of the structure the program includes to help you keep your commitment to yourself. Daily reporting helps keep the focus on each new day. Writing down some of the information as it happens may help. Keeping a journal is also a great way to add to your new structure to create a safe place in your everyday life to build healing muscle.
- What is healing muscle?
Motion towards wholeness and health
Muscle is soft tissue that produces force and motion. Healing, “to make whole”, is the process of restoring health to a diseased or out of balance organism. So healing muscle produces force and motion that helps restore health. To better understand how to exercise and grow this healing muscle let’s consider the “motion” that it produces.
Integrated body mind spirit system
From how healing happens we know healing restores health to our integrated body-mind-spirit system that may be damaged, diseased or otherwise out of balance. The most effective “motion” depends on which component of our integrated system we’re acting upon. For example, with the body, to keep it simple, there is a direct relationship between the wellness of the body and the amount of water, exercise, sleep and sugar consumed. The motion of more water, exercise, sleep and less sugar leads to more balance and improved health.
Meditation calms body and mind
Acting upon our minds is a much trickier and difficult task. When our minds are agitated and often full of anxiety, fear and anger the stress on our overall system increases. Calm minds enable our nervous systems to rest and recharge which restores balance. Meditation practice activates the parasympathetic part of your nervous system that nurtures and balances your well-being and decreases the amount of stress related cortisol produced. Meditation also reduces your respiration and heart rate, increases blood flow in your brain and strengthens your immune system. With spirit it’s a question of being in touch with your inner nature. Examples include forgiving yourself, loving relationships, time in nature and keeping a journal.
Our habitual selves stand in the way
The biggest obstacle to building healing muscle is the self-discipline to do these things on a daily basis for more than a couple of days. Our bodies and minds are changing all the time, we can direct what we change into, but it takes time and a minimum of six weeks for positive changes to take hold. Our habitual selves are often hostile to making changes and it’s hard to create space midst the stress and obligations of our everyday lives.
Do you believe you can help yourself heal?
So it comes down to motivation and discipline. Do you believe you can help your self heal and grow? Can you muster the discipline and get the support you need to install changes that persist for weeks, months and years? Do Safe2Heal in 6 Weeks is a guided program designed to help you create safe space in your everyday life to build healing muscle. Healing muscle is your capacity to act positively on your integrated mind, body and spirit system.