I have tried to meditate for many years, with varying degrees of success. Usually I found guided meditations the "easier" option, they helped me to focus my mind on something in order to quieten it. But I still found that I was unable to fully meditate, to achieve that sense of peace and stillness that is the ultimate goal.
A couple of years ago I tried a guided meditation, known as "sophrology" here in France, in a group setting. It didn't go as well as I would have liked, mainly because I was automatically translating in my head the guided meditation, it was like watching a movie with sub-titles, you couldn't really get into it to achieve what it was designed to do.
I have tried to meditate using applications (usually free or free trials) and to be fair a couple of them had a pleasing effect and I felt that I was able to "still" my mind sufficiently to garner some degree of benefit.
If you are anything like me, and I sincerely hope you are not :-), your brain is trying to process so much all at the same time, and you may sometimes feel the need to wipe it clean, metaphorically speaking.
In a previous post, I talked about stumbling upon the book The Lightworker's Way, by Doreen Virtue. In it she talks about morning and evening meditations to set yourself up for the day and to cleanse yourself at the end of the day before sleep. There's an iTunes version of it too, so instead of reading you can just sit back and listen.
The morning meditations are a wonderful way to start the day. The evening ones I'm sure would be great if a) I could cut down on my pre-bed routine and b) I wasn't falling asleep before they had finished, thus defeating the whole mindfulness objective!
My higher self is a being of pure love and joy. My ego self, on the other hand, is the part of me that tries to control my mindset to suit its aims. Think of it as a controlling partner who doesn't want you to change, to evolve, because he/she will lose his/her power over you.
The first time I encountered my higher self all I felt was this overwhelming sense of love, it was a joyous experience and one that left me wanting more, a spiritual high, for want of a better word. So when negativity starts to bite, and your ego self starts to make its play for dominance again in your life, STOP. Sit down, take a moment to hang out with your higher self, believe me you are worth it.
In my next post I will tell you how I have adapted the meditations from Doreen Virtue's book to fit me and my life. There isn't a one size fits all meditation practice, and your spirit guides and higher self are just happy that you are opening yourself up to their guidance. Remember, this is your personal journey, it is as unique as you are, be kind to yourself.
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I'm just like you, struggling to come to terms with life and everything it throws at you!