The thing about having a dream, or even just setting a big goal, is that it can stop you in your tracks. You freeze. I’ll show you how practice is the key.
“I don’t know if I could ever do that!”
“That just seems unrealistic. How am I ever going to start?”
A voice that you hear finds every possible doubt that lingers in the energy of your thoughts, (and that’s all that your thoughts are, after all).
The result is that you stay motionless. Motivation deserts you as you look across the dream chasm, unable to move.
“I’ll never manage that. I just don’t have the talent.”
We give ourselves plenty of justification as to why that particular goal or vision is too unattainable and how we should just stay where we are. It’s often because our psyche seeks safety and comfort it prefers staying put and not moving at all.
“I can’t really change this relationship, I should just stay where I am.”
But beware of the shoulds. Mike Dooley often talks about the ‘cursed hows’. Well I’m talking about the ‘loathsome shoulds’.
There is a really good way to tackle them and to move from inaction to action. To render the ‘loathsome shoulds’ impotent.
Through doing the practice.
Doing the practice is making the small steps without worrying about the big G-O-A-L.
Put your helmet on and start doing the thing that will begin to shape the dream. It’s not the final dream vision itself, but the fuel that will run the engine to get there.
If it’s writing, then write; building a website, then start working with code,;meditating then start sitting and following your breath.
I always tell people who I work with that when you practice you are not on stage, therefore practice isn’t the performance. You don’t have to look good and you don’t have to impress anyone or gain approval.
You are practicing, pure and simple.
Work out the kinks, find your voice, play with the line and see where it takes you.
Doing the practice builds your discipline and gives you a path. Don’t look for the top of the mountain yet. Watch your feet and find the footholds in front of you.
This isn’t being busy for busy’s sake, or spinning your wheels to give you the illusion that you are working. This is building a habit of practice that will carry you almost unnoticeably forward with a quiet certainty.
Each day moving. Each day doing the practice.
Not More Hacks!
I don’t really care for hacks. All that short-cut, time-saving ideology.
I don’t want to short change my experience just so that I can cram more into an hour. Run faster, get more done, be busier.
Enough of doing more.
But on this occasion I’m hacking how to meditate so that more people can use it and get over their fear of it.
I’m specifically hacking ‘meditating properly’ because it came up for one of my clients. It came up so much that it had hampered his own meditation process. He felt that he should be meditating properly to feel okay about who he was, to feel approval for how it’s going.
So this hack is going to help you see through this. Because, you’ll be pleased to know, there is no ‘meditating properly’. There are meditation techniques and there are the results of meditation and that’s it. The important one is the second one, the results. The benefits and the gains. The how to meditate techniques are just to get you there.
in Osho’s Book of Secrets there are 112 meditation techniques and he asks that if you want to learn how to meditate you just pick one that you fancy and then try it for 3 months. Just pick one. it’s not important. All that is important is whether or not it works for you.
So choose Transcendental Meditation, choose mantra meditation, choose yoga, choose mindfulness, choose breath observation, choose body scan, choose sitting, walking, lying, standing. Choose active meditation, choose sound.
You see. the meditation technique is just a tool to get to see through the illusion. Your thoughts are not real.
How to Meditate
When you meditate you begin to see, you become aware. When you meditate you are breaking the train of everyday thoughts. The thought spiral. Meditation is breaking the train of everyday thought and letting go of impulsive thinking.
You let go and awareness enters. You break the train of thought and you see the space. You feel present. You react less and respond more.
This is the goal. The body and mind are resting. They are not doing, doing, doing. You are not lost in thought exhausted.
The brain burns so much energy to keep thinking. We run it ragged just chasing our tails with our thoughts of approval and judgement.
What to do instead
How you get there makes no difference. As long as you aren’t hurting others then take your pick. But not meditating and watching TV. The inaction as you sit is vital to the meditation process. The still space lets that awareness bubble up and the thought spiral is revealed.
So, when you are learning how to meditate don’t worry whether you are meditating properly. That is just more thinking to take you away from your presence. Instead choose a technique that suits. That is the hack. Aim for a break in everyday thinking and allow your awareness to swell within you.
If you want more help get in touch or check out my coaching programme.
One day travelling back from a trip into Camden, I headed for the tube and heard the familiar sound of djembe drummers on the street. I live in London and street performers, in particular street drummers, are a fairly common theme once you get past 9 O’ Clock or so.
I’ve played African drums for many years but stopped to look across the street. There was something different about that rhythm.
I looked across and saw that quite a crowd was gathering. Admittedly, Camden attracts new visitors all of the time, so some observers may have never seen djembe drumming outside HSBC before. But something felt different.
I’ve seen plenty of decent drummers and without a doubt, these guys were really good. Even so, I couldn’t quite put my finger on why the grooves felt so attractive, more so than the many drum performances you will see on the streets of London in any given month.
The time was crisp and sharp The tempo brisk and the rhythms played tightly. There were three drummers in all, each with a different sized drum. The two djembe were supported by a djun djun player, the bass drum of the African drum orchestra.
The interlocking melodies from their drums created a glorious grooving tapestry. But this wasn’t a new groove they had invented or some cutting edge rhythmic interpretation. This was African drumming with a traditional intent. Played with heart and spirit.
I noticed that each of the drummers were smiling. Continuously. Their rhythms were shaping an appreciative crowd around them and the intoxicating beats were creating a joy in everyone experiencing them.
I crossed the road to trade a closer look.
As I moved closer it was clear how loud they played. The drums crashed into your senses like cold stormy waves. Metal discs and shells strung to the drums added a percussive jangling on top of their tones. The music moved yet stayed static. It breathed on fire like a lion sprinting across a plain. Beauty, raw power and energy.
I looked around and noticed that people were smiling and laughing. We were at a party. On the street outside the bank we shared unexpected joy in our day. It was hard to pull away, the rhythm seemed to hold onto you. Although it repeated in cycles you felt like if you stepped away you would miss something. It was feeding me and I didn’t want to end that.
Eventually, pressed by time of another urgency I dropped a pound coin into a bowl next to them and moved towards the tube still listening to the rhythms and wondering what that experience had meant but knowing just how powerful rhythm when played with truth.