Over the past few months, I've been chipping away at the creation of my first online meditation course, Learn to Meditate. While the process has been a labour of love, I must admit that I have probably been pushing things a little hard to get to the end goal of officially launching my course. It's safe to say that I haven't been doing a great job of cultivating the mindfulness attitude of non-striving, which is all about not forcing things in order to achieve a certain outcome, state of being or goal.
In our meditation practice, we cultivate non-striving by allowing ourselves to drop into a state of simply being; feeling what we feel, hearing what we hear, observing our breath and acknowledging thoughts without getting carried away by them. However, in our Western society, the idea of non-doing and non-striving is often perceived as being unmotivated, lazy or unproductive. We live our lives from this mentality of always needing to be 'on', always needing to tick things off our to-do-lists and never really giving ourselves the opportunity to just be for a little while. Unfortunately, this drivenness leads to high levels of dissatisfaction, stress and burn out.
So, with this in mind, I thought I'd share with you some of the resources that have helped me to remember why it's so important to allow ourselves to slow down and just be every once in a while.
WATCH + LISTEN
In this beautiful video, the renowned philosopher Alan Watts perfectly unpacks our need to be constantly moving forward and progressing in life by arguing that our lives should be treated as a musical composition rather than a pilgrimage. If you're in need of a little perspective yourself, I highly recommend stopping for a moment and listening to Watt's wise words - they have been a real game-changer for me over the past week.
After getting a bit of a reality check and realising the importance of kicking back and making the most of each day, I decided to spend an afternoon laying on the grass and basking in the sun at the park across the road from my apartment. Rather than spending this time 'productively' listening to a psychology podcast or reading a personal development book, I took with me a copy of The Sun and Her Flowers by modern-day poet Rupi Kaur. I spent two blissful hours indulging in the simple beauty of well-crafted words and it was pure heaven. Here's one of Rupi's poems that resonated with me the most:
I lied and said I was busy.
I was busy;
but not in a way most people understand.
I was busy taking deeper breaths.
I was busy silencing irrational thoughts.
I was busy calming a racing heart.
I was busy telling myself I am okay.
Sometimes, this is my busy -
and I will not apologise for it.
You can pick up a copy of Rupi Kaur's latest book here.
In my quest for resources to help me cultivate a non-striving attitude, I stumbled upon an amazing guided meditation by Dr. Julien Lacaille on the Insight Timer app. This practice is all about leaning back into the present moment, rather than constantly leaning forward into the future, and relating to yourself in a more accepting way. If you've been finding yourself gripping onto control, pushing forward and stuck in a state of doing, you might find this meditation helps you to slow down and unwind a little. You can find Dr. Julien Lacaille's guided meditation here.
Even though it took a serious bout of striving to get there, I'm proud to say that my Learn to Meditate online course will officially launch tomorrow. If you're interested in checking out what I've been working on over the past few months, you might like to take my free sample class on Setting Your Foundations here. And if you'd like the take the course yourself or know someone who might be interested, use the promo code BECALM at the checkout to receive a 15% discount.
I'd love to hear your feedback, thoughts and insights, so please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Wishing you all the very best.