Thoughts are key. They are the essential backbone of our very existence and what shows up for us in life (and how we perceive it).
With that being said, there are many misconceptions about Meditation.
Many people say, "Oh, I can't meditate, I have too many thoughts. My mind just races and races. I can't find stillness." Saying you have too many thougs to meditate is like saying you're too dirty to wash. Having thoughts doesn't mean you can't meditate. It means you have a functioning brain. And that's a great thing.
Meditation is the tool by which you LEARN to become present and quiet and "observe" thoughts.
Thoughts during meditation are simply stress-release.
We can use a financial analogy here:
Sometimes, people find that once they begin to meditate, they seem to have more thoughts, and perhaps more negative in nature. Let me share with you a story.
When I began meditating regularly, I thought to myself, "O.M.G. What is going on here? I am learning to meditate so that I can benefit from the practice, and it feels like now I am worse off than before with MORE negative thoughts."
No one had warned me that this may happen. I soon discovered I was not having more thoughts or more negativity. I was simply becoming AWARE of my thought processes, perhaps for the very first time. Before meditating, I hadn't really paid close attention. Now, learning how to observe through the practice, I was gifted new (in)sight, perspective and presence.
Soon after, the negative frenzy of thoughts passed and I was reaping the rewards of my new meditation practice.
Staying present is vital to our over-all wellbeing, and meditation teaches you how to get there. Gradually, your new skills and state of being are integrated into your daily life, bringing profound change and benefit.
When we are present, we get out of our heads and out of our own way. Meditation brings us back to ourselves. To quiet. To peace. To detach from the thoughts that control us and realize we are not our thoughts. We are the observer of them. They cannot consume us without our permission.
We will always have thoughts; so take that pressure off of yourself, if you are just starting out and even if you're seasoned. It's absolutely acceptable and normal to have thoughts during meditation. It does not mean you're "bad at meditating" or that you cannot meditate. Again, it simply means your body is filtering out stress, meditation is working, and your brain functions perfectly well ;)
The point isn’t to remove thoughts; it’s to:
Something to remember: Do it for you, not because you think you "should" be doing it, or "everyone else is." Make this journey and practice about you and for you. Show up for yourself. You are worth it.
As with most things in life, subtle shifts in perception have the greatest power in fostering and ushering in change.
Here's to your incredible journey!