I have one question for you. What are you invested in? Now for the follow up questions: What do you spend your time, energy and money on? Did you choose this, or are you operating on default mode?
You can be honest. There’s no one else around to challenge you about it. Sometimes, I’m more invested in Netflix and emotional eating than learning and relationships. (I know! Even I have moments of rest and stasis, and might I say, weakness?) I say this tongue in cheek, because everyone needs ways to unwind, relax and check out. But if a majority of your time is spent in these pursuits, where is your growth? Are you happy with the opportunities and situations that this investment is creating?
A good litmus test for your life is your emotions. If you are generally content, happy, healthy, prosperous, and connected to people around you, then it is a pretty good indication that your energetic investments are in the right place. If you are not content, what are you putting your energy into that is creating this environment?
Not sure? Meditate and set the intention to reveal where you need to focus your energy in order to get the results you want. Put on a timer for 5 minutes. Say to yourself “My intention is to reveal the opportunities I need to put my energy into to get x result.” Then breathe. Inhale, exhale repeat. When thoughts come into your mind, gently remind yourself to return to each inhale, each exhale. Feel the sensations in your body for 5 minutes. Take control of your thoughts and direct them to the breath for 5 minutes. Practice the skill of identifying when your thoughts are taking you away, (it doesn’t matter whether these thoughts are “good” or “bad” just exercise the muscle of controlling your thoughts. 5 minutes is all I’m asking. Then when the timer goes off, revisit your intention and write out whatever comes to mind. This is called a mind dump. I like to start it with meditation because you strengthen your ability to direct your thoughts before you do your free flowing exercise. It helps to bring some focus to the exercise, but is also part of an alignment practice. Centering you, getting you in the right head space for the activity.
I’m a super jittery person. Sitting still is torture for me, and the same concept for my mental process is also true. Stillness in my thoughts? Why would I ever want that? So, obviously, meditation is a great fit for me. Yeah right, I’m not fooling anyone here. Meditation is the single most rewarding, and frustrating thing I do. The reason I make it frustrating for myself is I have expectations about what it should look like. I feel like I should be able to do 5 minutes with ease. No stray thoughts, no monkey mind to distract me. Just me and my breath and peace and calm and WTF is that all about? I don’t know, but I’ll let you know if I ever experience this chimera.
My meditation practice looks more like dead lifting 400lbs as I laboriously return my attention to the breath. Like, 40 000 reps in 5 minutes. They don’t call it a practice for nothing, and it looks different for everyone. Sometimes it is easier to settle into a practice. Sometimes I can only do 3 minutes, sometimes I can sit for 20-30. For me, it is often much easier to meditate with movement (yoga.) But the whole point is that every part of your meditation practice is valuable. Every minute you spend in meditation is one that you spend strengthening the muscle of commanding your thoughts. And that muscle does get stronger. If you have a particularly busy mind, meditation is such a good tool because you get the best workout! Now go out there and save the world my friend.