Morgan is a well put together 28-year-old. She’s a lovely woman both inside and out. Although she had a lot going on in her life she still had time to relax. However, she wasn’t able to relax because she couldn’t shut off her mind. It just kept going and going. Her journaling and meditation practice had gone by the wayside because when she tried to do it she couldn’t stop thinking, and she figured that since she couldn’t stop thinking she wasn’t doing it right. If she couldn’t do it right, why do it?
Most people can’t just sit down and stop thinking. Therefore, they assume they’re not journaling or meditating right and decide they can’t do it. A common misconception is that in order to journal and meditate you have to stop thinking, which is impossible. However, journaling and meditation are processes that help quiet the mind.
When we put our often fragmented thoughts onto a page, without judgment, without trying to get them to make sense, we get some distance from them. This distance causes the thoughts to lose their grip. Inner wisdom takes over. The same thing happens in meditation when we simply observe that we have a thought, let it go and come back to our breathing and relaxation.
The gift of journaling and meditation comes from the process itself. There’s no outcome to aim for. There’s no goal to accomplish. There’s nothing to do. There is only being and observing.
Morgan was relieved when I explained this to her. She recognized that her practice isn’t something she needs to perform well at. Rather, it’s a way to care for herself. She saw how this approach would help her let go of the frenzy and connect to her wisdom. She joyfully committed to getting started the next morning.
You don’t have to stop thinking in order to meditate, you only need to observe the fact that you are thinking. The space where you observe that you’re thinking is where the mind quiets.