Today’s prompt for the Daily Post is one I can never resist… “The Satisfaction of a List.” Like the prompt states, I can’t resist the power of a good list. There is just something about list-making that I find inherently satisfying.
This list is a bit of a silly one, although it is something that I discovered just this weekend. I was volunteering/observing at a cancer retreat this weekend, which was an amazing experience both personally and for my professional future. I plan to write a bit more about my general experience another day.
The list that I am writing is a top 6 list of the reasons why I suck at meditating. A big chunk of the retreat was learning relaxation techniques and how to meditate, etcetra. It was cool. I liked the bits of yoga and qi gong we did. The meditation, not so much.
- I am a poor relaxer. This would probably actually make for grounds for me to take up meditation, but the problem is that they tell me to relax and I either almost doze off or I start making mental check lists. They say this is okay and that you should acknowledge it and go back to concentrating on your breathing. But it is hard.
- I have poor posture. Why is this related? Well, you see, most of the meditation we did were sitting meditations. And that involves sitting at the edge of your seat with proper posture. Half way through every session I started to get a pain in my right back (thank you slight scoliosis and North American culture induced poor posture) and then I would try to shift quietly but shifting does not fix it. Not that the laying or standing ones were much better, but the sitting ones were the worst.
- I have authority issues. This comes off as weird because I love rules and such, but I still hate when people tell me to do something that is optional and not always logical. For instance, telling me to breathe into my pelvis or picture my loving light filling my heart in the middle of my chest does not make practical sense, nor does it sound like something I want to do. I then get all stubborn in my head and annoyed and, well, that kind of dulls the whole experience.
- As much as I believe in holistic medicine some of the imagery and such seemed hokey to me and I couldn’t get past that. I tried being open minded, and I know that visualization is valuable to so many people, but for me it just felt silly.
- Doing things like concentrating on my breathing or bum in the seat or what have you make me feel like I am hyperventilating or uncomfortable. Please stop drawing my attention to them. At one point, I was convinced my lungs would implode.
- I am childish. Some things make me giggle. And in a quiet room where everyone is seeming to be listening and doing intently, it is really hard to stifle the odd snicker. And stifling the snicker makes you want to do it more.
Again, I must re-iterate that I had a great experience at this retreat overall. I just didn’t love the meditation. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. And my experience should not belittle that some people derive great benefit from meditation and that I may at some point in my life. It is very life changing for some people to have that means of relaxation and stress reduction. You can change neural pathways, alter your stress response and better your self awareness and coping… I get it. But, right now to me, it just felt like something I did not want to do and something that I am not good at.