A friend once asked me to convince him to start meditating. He wanted to learn to meditate, but he just couldn’t justify spending 20 minutes a day doing nothing. Here’s my response. . .
You want to be the best you can be. You want to please everybody. You want to live a life of purpose. That’s great, and everyone respects you for it. You’re probably the first person people turn to when they’re in a pinch. It’s a noble trait.
There’s just one minor problem: you’re not being fair to yourself.
You can’t always be perfect because you’re not superman. And even if you were Superman, you’d still have your kryptonite.
But what is your kryptonite? What is your problem? Honestly, it’s that you’re just too demanding of yourself.
Just think, for two seconds, about all the demands you put on yourself. You demand yourself to be successful at work, to be fit and healthy, to always be there for other people, to never get inpatient with others. . . the list goes on.
You’re a best friend to practically everyone. But you’re not a best friend to yourself.
Think about it. Would you ever demand half as much from someone else as you do from yourself? Would you ever expect that much from other people? I doubt it. You’re loving and accepting to everyone, but you don’t love and accept your own weaknesses. That’s the problem.
But how could meditation possibly help with that?
In truth, when you meditate for twenty minutes—when you sit and do nothing for twenty minutes—you’re not really doing nothing. In fact, you’re doing the most important thing you can do: giving yourself the break you need and deserve.
Seriously. Chill out. Learn to meditate. You deserve it!
When you meditate you allow your mind to calm and to find stillness. You let go of all your thoughts, all your worries and all those pesky demands you put on yourself. I could go on and on about the benefits of meditation (but I’ve already done that in this extensive list of over 100 benefits of meditation). For you, it’s really simple. You’ve done more than enough for other people. It’s time to do something for yourself.
It’s time to stop putting demands on yourself and to appreciate your own happiness and your own peace of mind as much as everyone else’s. And honestly, that’s what everyone else wants for you anyway.
So, go ahead. Spend twenty minutes doing nothing. And in that period of activity, do the most important thing you could possibly do for yourself.
Spend twenty minutes doing THIS. You deserve it. And then, once you have experienced the benefits of meditating for just twenty minutes, consider what might happen if you lived a mindful life.
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