Mentality Monday – Our meditations define us!

Meditation is a very powerful tool that we all use each and every day. The trouble is that most people don’t realize that they are meditating. A big misconception about meditation is that people think it is this practice where you are a monk or some sort of spiritual person and you go to the top of some waterfall where you spend years trying to clear your mind and explore the inner workings of yourself.

First of all, clearing your mind of all thoughts is impossible unless you are dead. Meditation is about what we focus on. It is about taking control of our mindset and our thoughts, not switching them off.

Where focus goes, energy flows!

Tony Robbins

What is meditation exactly?

The dictionary defines it as “a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject.”

My personal understanding of meditation is that it is a process of repeated thought on a subject which results in the adoption of a belief system about this subject which works to define our actions.

These repeated thoughts can be on anything from religious, political, materialistic, etc… . These thoughts then become what we believe to be true, which defines our spiritual beliefs, our political belief and what we believe about our appearances and possessions. Our belief systems then dictates how we act and respond in different scenarios.

Our meditations lead to our internal destruction?

Well it is not the meditation itself that is destructive but the belief system that our meditations create. Meditation is something we do continually whether we are aware of it or not. Meditations are what create who we are as individuals. It is a tool which can make us extremely happy, open minded, empathetic, productive and successful individuals or it can cause extreme pain, suffering, isolation, depression and anxiety. Much like any powerful tool, it has the potential to do a lot of good or a lot of harm depending on how it is used.

I believe one of the biggest reasons that the society we currently live in today is so full of anxiety and depression is due to our belief systems. Our belief systems are causing the anxiety and depression because we meditate on things such as,

“I’m so fat and lazy.”
“I’m such a loser.”
“I’m never gonna have the things that I want.”

These are forms of destructive meditations that we tell ourselves everyday, and even worse is that we are told these things by external sources such as classmates, family members and strangers who don’t really know us. When we say or hear these things we look at ourselves, and if we don’t reject these things that they say, they start to become what we believe about ourselves. This form of negative meditation leads us to depression, self harm and even suicide.

What forms of meditation can we use to positively impact our lives?

Reprogramming from a negative mindset to a positive mindset requires repeated intentional meditation in order to challenge the negative belief systems which are already established within us. I have found and research suggests that this is best performed in the morning as soon as we wake up, as this is when the mind is most impressionable and it sets you up for the day. Ideally you should not look at any sort of outside stimulations such as your phone or the news prior to this intentional meditation.

This can be done in the typically portrayed fashion of seated with cross legged during breathing exercises or while you’re looking in the mirror brushing you’re teeth. Personally I find the best way to focus my mindset for the day is to journal and write down my thoughts as this forces me to slow down my thoughts and focus more which is an essential part of intentional meditation.

There is no wrong way to meditate but there are wrong things to meditate about. Try different approaches to how you meditate best about things. I personally find that writing my thoughts on paper allows me to be thorough and precise about how I want to think as well as what I want to think about. I also perform breathing exercises prior to these meditations as it helps be to slow down my thought process and be more present in the moment rather then thinking about different tasks that need to be done later in the day or what encounters may arise.

The meditation itself involves thinking of three things that you are grateful for and that you think is positive and beautiful. One of those things should be a thing that is directly about yourself such as:

“I’m grateful for my good health.”
“I love the color of my (eyes, hair, skin, whatever part of yourself you like).”
“I’m grateful for my athletic ability in (football, CrossFit, basketball).”
“I’m grateful that I love to read”

Whatever is its make it directly about you and focus on a positive talent or attribute that you like about yourself. The second thing should be something about other people:

“I’m grateful for friends I know I can depend on.”
“I’m grateful for my wife/husband and all the love they add to my life”
“I’m grateful for competitor/coworker/clients who challenge me and add drive to my life.”

The third thing to meditate on should be anything else in the world:

“I’m grateful for coffee”
“I’m grateful for technology”
“I’m grateful for storms”

Whatever it is about the world that you love.

When first thing in the morning you are meditating on these positive things, it sets you into a more positive tone for the rest of the day and helps you to deal with the stresses that life throws at you. Life can be, and is, very tough with different things affecting us all the time. A positive mindset is central to being able to deal with the trials and tribulations of life.

Taking it to the next level!

Meditating in the morning is a great way to start your day, but to take it to the next level and really tap into the power of intentional meditation, it takes time, patients and a MASSIVE amount of self reflection. Truly get to know who you are now and decide how you want to change to become the person that you want to be and achieve the things you want to achieve.

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