One thing we all tend to be good at. Unfortunately.
Whether you’re new at meditation or you’ve been at it for a while, it is important to remember that this process of training the mind doesn’t mean forcing it to be a certain way or beating it into shape. As Sharon Salzburg points out, if doing that actually worked, we would all have everything we wanted long ago because we’re pretty good at that.
No, the real insight is to explore your mind in an environment permeated with self-compassion. Both research and personal experience show that meeting ourselves with kindness rather than with judgement and criticism is the best way to learn a new skill. Indeed, it is the best way to accomplish anything because we learn to be our own best friend through thick and thin.
So try to notice when you are being hard on yourself, both in meditation and out in life. Simply noticing is a huge step, because beating ourselves up is one of those self-nullifying habits of mind that can make us more miserable, yet it is often so automatic we don’t even realize it is happening. Once you begin to see how hard you can be on yourself, you can start to undo that conditioning. A ideal resource for that is the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion, a great place to relearn how to be kind to yourself.
Photo by Dev Leigh on Unsplash