The 3 Tricks Your Mind Uses to Pull You Out of Meditation (and What to Do About It)

So, here I am, sitting in the middle of the floor, eyes closed, designing my dream office.  I’m thinking there should be those shelves from the Container Store Elfa line in white, no in birch, no, no definitely in white.  I see happy gold doodads, marble accessories and inspirational quotes on the wall.

But, I am getting carried away because… I am supposed to be meditating

Whoops.

Do you find this happens to you when you are meditating?  You get your rear end all nestled in the right position. You put your hands just like how you’ve seen the Zen masters do it.  

And then like a crow following a shiny object, you follow your mind so off the path, eventually you forget why you are sitting on the floor with your legs crossed in the first place.

Your Meditation Shiny Objects

Like a toddler told to go to sleep, my mind just does not want to lay down.  To stay in the conversation, my mind begins introducing what I call “shiny objects”.  These are topics that easily lure you away from your task of quieting the mind.  They are ripe with hyper emotional meaning or memories.  And your mind knows exactly which of little distracting subjects to present.

But, over the years, I have learned that my mind follows the same pattern.  Every time. At first, it tries the negative shiny objects.  These are the run of the mill dark thoughts, embarrassments, sore memories and deep regrets.  Yawn. I have heard all of this before.

And each time they come up, I simply say, “thank you for that, but I am meditating.” And I move back to my present state of awareness.

After it runs through the list of negative shiny objects, with my consistent response being “thank you for that, but I am meditating”, it then moves to the second phase of “shiny object” subjects: the distractions.  Which apparently for me is home décor.  Like a latte addict to a Starbucks, I am drawn to discussion of which dining table from the recent West Elm catalog would look best next to my new credenza.

Oh, wait.  Thank you but I am meditating.

If I can make it over the negative climbing wall and across the distraction rolling log, I have one final obstacle before I make over the finish line.  And this final “shiny object” is complements and rewards

Here’s how conversation goes:

Mind: “Oh, girl. You are doing so good!”

Me: “Uh, thanks?”

Mind: “You know what we should do?  Stop alllll this. Call mom and tell her how good you are doing!”

Me: “Well, considering I have been doing this for a hot 30 seconds.  And have not quieted my mind once...”

Mind: “But she loves everything you do!  [pauses to think] What about we go to Sonic and get that Reese’s Blast you like? You know the one with the ice cream and the whipped cream…”

Me: “Wow. That does sound good. Oh wait. Thank you for that, but I am meditating right now.”

That’s it!  After the final hurdle, my mind is out of tricks.  Finally, because of my boring tenacity and repetitive using the same phrase, my mind settles down for a long winter’s nap, and I can finally get some Zen.

Some honorable mention tricks the mind uses:

·       We don’t have time for this.

·       I am bored. Let’s do something else.

·       I bet this doesn’t really work.

Don’t pay attention- it’s another shiny object!  Say “thank you, I’m meditating right now.

If you are having the same mind interrupting issues over and over, I would recommend starting a meditation journal.  Not only can you use it you record any mind-blowing revelations from your intuition, you can write the piddly topics your mind brings up to pull you off track.

The magic is in the sunlight.  As in “sunlight is the best antiseptic” approach.  By calling the ego/mind out in detail – it will not try this topic again. 

At first you may be writing more distractions in your journal than revelations, but that is okay.  The more you clean house, the uh, cleaner your house.

Quiet the Mind for Meditation by Soothing the Ego

If you find that the mind is really rambling during a meditation session, it might be best to just soothe the ego. Perhaps you told it “Thank you, but I am mediating” close to 500 times, and it still wants to remind you about that time you had one of those white Little Debbie wrappers stuck to your shoe in middle school, and everyone thought it was toilet paper.

This is when you imagine your inner ego voice as a 6-year-old.  You turn to the voice, bending slightly, hands on your knees and go “what do you want sweetie?” And it the kindest way, similarly to how you would approach a second grader, ask it what’s wrong.  Let it talk and talk and talk. 

You know your fearful ego is done talking when you get to “and then I die”, “and then I’m homeless” or “and then everyone will hate me.”  Ultimately, most of our deepest fears come back to these basic three horror shows.  Death, homelessness and isolation.

Use this time to tell it that you are an adult, that you would never let anything bad happen to it. Rarely do your greatest fears come true and that things always work out.

Tell this voice what it needs to hear to soothe it back into a peaceful place. 

You will find that after it gets all the fears and anxieties out in the open, there is a calm that comes afterwards. Now, you can meditate.

You will want to add these interactions to your journal, too.

Noise Is Useful in Meditation

So, I have this noisy groaning refrigerator.  No, that’s not right, its more like a grinding hiss. Or maybe a churning gassy noise. 

It comes on and off again whenever it feels like it with little regard to the fact the I am catching up on Schitt’s Creek on Netflix.  Nevertheless, I have had the maintenance supervisor out at my place numerous times.  He tells me the same thing every time.  This is totally normal. (It’s not.) All fridges do this. (They don’t.)

I know they don’t because I have lived in a home with a refrigerator for my entire life.  Never heard this noise.  But, I am a wholly non-confrontational person, so I let it go each time.

I have learned you can acclimate to almost anything. Which is both a good and bad thing, but I will discuss this in a later blog post.  Anyways, over the last few months I have been able to tune the searing gassy noise from my attention…

Until it is time to meditate.

When that guy kicks on with his wheezing objections to cooling my food, it used to kick me out of alignment faster than a jackrabbit on a Texas plain.

But after giving Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now another re-listen (Audible obsessed, btw), I  learned that unwanted noises can be an excuse to be in the present moment.

When you bring your awareness to the present moment, you find that quiet time with your intuition that you’ve been longing for.  The ego only exists in the present or the past.  However, it does not know what to do with the present moment.

Mainly, because there is nothing wrong in the present moment- in this very nanosecond, you are alive, clothed and calm. 

So, when I learned that little unexpected distractions, like my cat, enter my space while I am meditating it is just an excuse to remind myself that the present moment is the perfect moment.

This increases my mindfulness while meditating, and eventually once I am present, them I calm and quiet.  From this calm and quiet place, I can feel my vibration rise.  Once it rises, I know that I am in contact with my inner being/intuition. 

Once you get a great handle on finding that inner calm, you can start to ask little questions to your inner being.  The first one I always ask is “are you with me right now”.  I can usually hear a “yes” but since I am more kinesthetic or tactile person, my head usually gives an barely perceptible nod.

What’s the point of meditating?

So, why is so important that we meditate?  What is so great about sitting on the floor, quiet and doing nothing?

For me, meditation is the key that opens the door to all of my wanted desires.  This is the sugar in my cake batter.  Without it the sugar, is not cake.

When I can quiet my mind, my intuition who knows everything I have been asking for (on repeat) can finally get through the chaos and the noise to say, “go this way!”

Since I am a deeply tactile visual person, I like to have my systems laid out for me, so over the years I have created personal worksheets for finding aligned actions right after my meditations.

Sometimes we need a little extra something after our meditation that keeps the positive momentum going, right in the direction of our desires.

After you meditate each day, it is so beneficial to talk to your intuition and get a since of where your easiest next steps are.  If you want to use the worksheets that I did to manifest my business and passive income, you can use them right here. 

On Visual Manifesting, I offer a Seven Day Manifesting Guide- that super-charges your manifesting and helps create new habits that pull you instantly into alignment with your desires.

Check it out, I know it will help.