If you would have told me even 2 years ago that I would someday have a daily 30-minute morning meditation practice, I would have laughed.
How would I ever find time for that?
Turns out, I didn’t find the time. I had to enroll myself into an immersive training in a super foreign country with no way out, where I had no choice but to maketime. And then it stuck!
That’s the thing about me… when it comes to personal development, I can read books, take notes, listen to podcasts, and get all the intuitive readings and astrology forecasts in the world. But in the end, it comes down to me, and what I’m willing to do for myself… and if we’re being honest here, I realllllllly need to be pushed out of my comfort zone to get it done.
I guess some would call me stubborn. Others might just call me human! And whether it’s meditation, or eating better, or (insert healthy habit you avoid) the question is:
Why is it so easy to avoid what we know is good for us?
With all this time I’ve spent in meditation, I’ve gotten a little perspective on this. My theory? Our mind is too full. We have a big ole’ case of “mindfulness” … and all we need is a little space.
Wait — did I just say mindfulness is the bad guy?
Hear me out: Mindfulness… meditation, same thing. Different word.
But the word mindfulness is sort of silly, isn’t it? Do we really want to be Mind Full? Personally, I prefer my mind half full. Or even a quarter full. And the truth is that 95% of the thoughts running through our mind are the SAME thoughts we had yesterday.
Let that sink in for a moment: 95% of the thoughts running through your head RIGHT NOW are the same exact thoughts you had yesterday. And most of those thoughts are subconscious thoughts — just running in the background with (or without) your permission. Those are the thoughts that keep us the same, day in and day out. Those are the thoughts that prevent us from easily taking a leap and doing something good for ourselves. Those are the thoughts keeping us from evolving into a brighter version of ourselves!
So this Mind-Full Conundrum… if we’re going to have a mind filled with something — even half filled with something, don’t we want to have a say on what it’s filled with?
If you’re interested in re-writing the stories that fill your head, then meditation might be a good fit. Specifically, Japa Meditation — using a mala necklace (108 beads strung together with knots in between to help you keep count) and a Sanskrit mantra that you say silently in your mind over and over, 108 times… and then repeat the mala, again and again… to start filling your mind with mantra instead of all the other unconscious thoughts.
Studies have shown that chanting in a non-native language not only helps with memory retention, but also improves brain health. Not to mention, you’re re-writing your subconscious programming and creating new neuropathways! And Sanskrit isn’t native to anyone — it’s a language specifically created to communicate yoga. Sanskrit words have powerful vibrations and resonance that cuts to our core, and thus, can have powerful effects on our psyche!
Japa Meditation is an incredible way to fill your mind with mantra so that you can disrupt the patterns of thought in your subconscious mind and start making positive changes in your life.
Me? I've just taken on a 40-day sadhana (practice) of my own. I'm committed to saying a particular mantra 19,000 times in 40 days. That's about 196 rounds on the mala, or 5 rounds on the mala per day for 40 days straight. WHEW! Day 4 just began, and I'm loving it.
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.