Human beings tend to over-complicate things.
If something doesn’t feel good or isn’t going smoothly, we tend to look for what to do to change the situation. We rarely look for what not to do. Doing less is the surprising secret to finding peace.
The vending machine approach to life
A client recently asked for advice about her meditation practice. She was facing stressful changes in her workplace and family life and she’d increased the length of her meditation practice to cope better.
Regular meditation reduces blood pressure, aids digestion and quiets the mind. I highly recommend you meditate. My client had discovered that starting her day with meditation helped ease her anxiety, but she was puzzled because when she increased her practice time, instead of becoming less stressed, she felt even more pressure and discomfort.
After a few questions, it became clear that her problem was not her meditation practice. She was suffering from what I call “the vending machine approach to life.”
Stop doing the right thing, start being real
Most of us are conditioned from an early age into the belief that we get rewarded when we do the right thing.
This training helps to generate order and tradition in our families and society, but it does little to connect us to our inner compass. We’re taught how to answer the expectations of others, pass exams, follow the rules, not how to connect to the evolving wisdom in our hearts.
My client reasoned that if she meditated for a longer period, she’d get more of the benefits. This was logical. She thought she was doing the right thing. She even thought she was being more spiritual. But life isn’t designed to work like a vending machine. Life responds to us the more authentic and real we become.
You are more than what reaches the eye
Meditation, or any practice that centers and grounds you, is a way to listen, feel and sense the part of you that extends beyond the physical realm. This greater part of you is filled with refined intelligence that allows you to become the solution. When you get in touch with the greater presence of you, you become the one in your family that holds a space for Love to reveal itself. You become the one in your workplace that senses the breakthrough needed to resolve a challenge. You become the one who allows grace to flow through you and into the field of energy that connects all of us as one.
When you find a practice that helps you center and ground, let yourself become the outcome of your practice. If you relate to your practice only as a tool, you create a state of separation within you. There’s me, and there’s my practice for centering. Can you see the separation here?
When my client realized the difference between doing her meditation to get a result and being in meditation to connect with her heart, she adjusted the time she practiced and soon felt calmer and more clear about how to navigate the changes in her family and workplace.
The next time you feel under pressure from life and reach for a tool or practice to help you. Allow yourself to become your practice. Breathe and embody your practice. It’s being faithful to your hear, not doing what you think is right, that allows wisdom and inspiration to move you.