Shed Expectations:

Nearly 50 years into my meditation practice, a moment from 2007 still resonates. While on a retreat in India, a friend expressed her struggles with meditation during an evening walk. My friend shared that she really couldn’t meditate. I felt badly for her, knowing we were sitting hours in a day. I said, “Oh Heidi, what’s going on? Why, what happens for you?” She said, “My mind always wanders.” I replied quietly, “Mine wandered the first 15 to 25 years.”

I remembered back to hours in meditation, during my early years, when my mind wandered incessantly. I’d sometimes rise from the proverbial mat wondering what was all that about? No silence at all, just nonstop chatter. But I didn’t stop, and I had long ago given up labeling a meditation as having been a good one or a bad one.

I accepted that the mind wandering was a part of my practice in the early years. I eventually relaxed my expectations along with my body, and the body of my thoughts and emotions. This occurred when I found the right meditation for me. But it wasn’t anything traditional. It was my own unique way into meditation, into silence, into the space between what was and what will be. While techniques like focusing on the breath or body awareness can aid a practice, they’re not the sole essence, the be-all or end-all of a meditation practice.

I no longer had to fight to control my thoughts when I finally found my own organic way into the quiet of a meditation. Nor did I have to sit watching thoughts come and go for hours. I experienced peace, a kind surrender, and a sweet humility that I was okay just as I was. Meditation became my appointment with peace, a gateway to other realms including, and maybe most importantly, the realm of my own heart.

Learn to Relax:

Learning to relax can be another helpful component when beginning a meditation practice. Yes, it can feel like an insurmountable mountain to climb, an alien notion, amidst life’s many stresses. But as you experiment with relaxation methods, you can uncover a personal approach akin to finding keys to your own inner sanctum. Start by simply asking yourself, “How do I relax?” Explore various approaches until you find what resonates with you. Understand that what works for one person may not work for another. When you discover what suits you, new worlds open.

When someone seeks guidance on meditation or on finding deeper peace, I initially inquire about what brings them to a practice. Are they seeking stress reduction, relaxation, spiritual connection, relief from grief or trauma? Additionally, I ask about their passions and what they love in life. Their answers often reveal the optimal path to guide them on. For meditation can be like having a sweet conversation with your Self, carving out a sanctuary within where you can connect with the vast inner Universe. It can be like falling in love with the depths of your own being in and through the Great Silence.

Cultivate Compassion

I cannot stress enough that meditation is not about correctness, about right or wrong, or whether your mind wanders. It entails cultivating compassion for yourself. Such kindness to yourself extends far beyond a formal practice. It will will become a steadfast companion for you through life’s challenges.

Meditation doesn’t have to be arduous or boring. It doesn’t require endless hours of watching your thoughts unless you want it to be. Meditation can be filled with a wonder, with bliss, peace, and a compassionate wisdom. But should you find yourself disappointed or scolding yourself for a perceived “bad” meditation or wasted time, then reflect on what prompted your quest for quiet and recall your true desire for peace. Perhaps it was the longing for self-care, love, calmness, clarity, connection or creativity that inspired you to try meditating. If so, then allow this remembrance to guide you back to the peaceful lands within your own heart. The lands that overflow with love await you there. All that need be is to relax into that love.

Shedding expectations, relaxing, and showing yourself compassion—these are just three foundational pillars for meditation and in life. As we recognize the inherent beauty, and honor the sometimes-complex journey, we may find solace in the timeless wisdom of meditation and discover boundless possibilities that await within. A testament to the human spirit, its ability to persevere, and its capacity for love.

Join my Newsletter for Creative and Peaceful Insights

For personalized guidance, explore

Discover the art of Rest and the REST technique at

Receive a 50% discount with the coupon code RESTWELL

Check out the FREE Webinar "Rest in Times of Unrest" and get your FREE PDFs Today!

Receive periodic updates that make you laugh, settle you down, or give you something to think about. Creative Compassion ~ It’s where the Spirit of Play meets the Spirit of Peace.

You have Successfully Subscribed!