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what to expect when you begin meditating - people meditating in a class

The magic you can expect when you begin meditating

Just a few years ago, even the thought of meditating seemed beyond impossible for me. All the doctors told me I had ADHD... How could I possibly learn to sit still??? 

When I began meditating, every time I would sit down my mind would rabbit trail and I'd end up even more frustrated after the meditation than I was when I sat down. ​

So what's the point right?! 

Fortunately I'd read enough of the benefits and found that most of the people I admire (and secretly want to be like) meditate daily. So I realized that I better overcome these obstacles if I want to have any chance at being the next Tony Robbins (I can dream can't I?)...​

And I will say that it was challenging at first. 

But with a little practice and some good ol' fashioned discipline I learned to meditate and you can too. Here's the 5 stages you might experience when you begin meditating. You may breeze through one or more stages or you may get hung up at a stage for a little longer. Its your process and only you can know. 

1. Denial

​There's a good chance you've already gone through this stage or you're going through it now. You hear all about meditation and how much it helps people. You read somewhere that Oprah does it every morning. You saw a thing with Tony Robbins and his morning routine. 

You know that meditation can be great. But you're in denial. You think "I can't sit still." Maybe you tell yourself that you don't have time or, "there's no quiet place in my house".

You're experiencing classic denial my friend. The good news is that since you're reading this article, you may be coming to the end of this first stage and be one step closer to the sweet embrace of meditative freedom. 

2. Anger

So here we are. You've fully realized that meditation is something you can do. You're confident. You're excited!

You plan it out. ​You've read all about meditation. You set up your meditation space just so. You go to bed early so you can wake up and meditate. Then, you sit down to meditate...

That's when it happens. You planned on meditating for 20 minutes because that's what you heard was the "right" amount of time. But about 2 minutes in, you realize that your mind won't turn off.

You try to peacefully let the thoughts pass like a ship on the horizon. Then it hits you - while letting thoughts pass like a ship on the horizon sounds peaceful and easy - in practice, its not so simple.

About that time you may become frustrated...maybe even a little angry. ​You get up from your meditation and resolve to try again later. It's at this time that you're on the cusp of the next stage...

3. Bargaining 

As you reflect upon your meditation experience, you might not be too excited to sit back down. After all, the last time you tried it wasn't exactly relaxing and peaceful. 

Buuuut fortunately you remember that Oprah meditates. So you decide that you want to keep trying. At this point, you enter stage three: Bargaining. 

You begin telling yourself things like, "I don't need to meditate EVERY day" or "maybe I'll just try it again and see where it goes" or even worse, "if I don't like it, I don't have to do it."

Don't cheat yourself! You're so close to the blissful embrace of a quiet mind and peaceful focus. If you continue on, you may experience stage 4... 

4. Depression

After a few days of meditating you'll probably begin to realize that meditation is, in fact, a practice. That's when you'll start to realize that you actually HAVE to practice. But you're busy. ​You've already got so much going on. You probably began meditating because of stress or something similar in the first place. 

So adding one more practice on to everything else can seem overwhelming. And since you're not seeing the rewards of meditation yet, its hard to persist. This is when you hit stage 4: Depression. ​

Alas, I guess I'll have to default back to Ben & Jerry's for my emotional relief. ​

Not so fast - you're finally approaching the last stage....​

​5. Acceptance

Yes! ​You've made it! Finally you broke through to the other side of that emotional roller-coaster. At this point, you fondly gaze back upon the last week and realize that it was all worth it. You've reached the final stage: Acceptance.

You're mind is quiet. You have more focus, less tension and you feel healthier. Plus you're getting more done and you feel delightful about the process of doing it. ​

You're actually beginning to look forward to meditating every day. You no longer try to bargain for anything but more time to meditate. Depression and anger are a distant memory.

You. Feel. Good.

Congratulations on surviving your journey. Keep it up grasshopper. You will be grateful you did. ​

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