1. Myth: You have to completely empty your mind.
Truth: Meditation in the simplest form is interrupting your regular thought patterns. So whether you empty your mind, repeat an affirmation, focus on your breath, or follow a guided meditation, you are meditating.
2. Myth: You should meditate in complete stillness devoid of any outside stimulation.
Truth: Again, meditation in the simplest form is interrupting your regular thought patterns. Dancing, singing, writing, walking, surfing, etc. can all be meditative. Yoga is specifically touted as a moving meditation. One signal that a task is meditative for you is when you lose track of time while you’re doing it. You may be meditating more than you realize.
3. Myth: If your mind wanders while you are meditating, you are not doing it right.
Truth: As you relax, your consciousness may drift from your original focus. You are then empowered to make a choice. You can put those stray thoughts in a bubble and watch them float away so you can return to your original focus, or you can follow those stray thoughts down the rabbit hole of personal discovery. A grocery list is probably not going to lead you to personal discovery, but you may have flashes of brilliance that can resolve an issue that you’ve been contemplating. In the moment, the choice is yours, trust your intuition.
4. Myth: You should meditate for at least 30 minutes (or any arbitrary time period) every day.
Truth: I approach meditation the same way I approach my appetite. Sometimes I am ravenous and need to meditate for an hour, and sometimes I am barely hungry and 3 minutes will totally suffice. Listen to what your mind and body crave. I do try to meditate everyday, but it doesn’t always happen, no worries.
Final Thoughts: Don’t add meditation to list of ways you beat yourself up for not doing or being enough. Please don’t stress about how often you meditate, how long you meditate, or what form of meditation you choose. The experience should be positive and it should just be, no strings attached.