One of the most important lessons I learned was that meditation looks different for everyone. Unfortunately, via modern media, we have been spoonfed this image of meditation only looking like sitting cross-legged, fingers pinched together, eyes closed, in a pristine and serene setting. While this sounds like a lovely and heartwarming experience, it is not something that most of us can achieve.
What is more realistic for many people is to find a meditative activity that suits their needs. For example, meditation has never been an excellent fit for me due to a history of trauma. While I can meditate, it is not physically comfortable or enjoyable for me to do. Likewise, people who have experienced trauma, or PTSD, may not do well with meditation. This can be somewhat controversial, especially on the Spiritual Streets, where meditation is nearly always recommended. Unfortunately, not every regimen will work universally, and it's essential to understand this.
I was first introduced to this concept via Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's Ted Talk on "Flow, the secret to happiness." This video was part of an assignment I had during an ASU class on "Happiness and Communication" and helped me to modify my outlook.
Most people have activities they can find themselves lost while doing, but we haven't been trained to think of them as meditation. However, I know many people who find their workouts or daily walks meditative. Likewise, many artists find themselves getting lost in their creations. The same can be said for writers getting lost in the process of crafting worlds for the mind to explore.
What are some of the flow activities that allow you to find a meditative state? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!
Arielle is a best-selling author, holistic life coach and intuitive energy healer.