Meditation isn't just for hippies

The other week I met someone who said, “You teach mindfulness meditation? Huh. I thought you'd be in yoga gear." 

It's a reaction I get a lot. 

Sorry to disappoint but there's no incense, long flowing dresses or chanting here. I’d hate to disillusion those of you who might think I am a modern-day hippie or an overly spiritual person just because I teach mindfulness meditation - I’m just not. 

Yes, I started learning meditation over 15 years ago but I work, have friends, go out late, love a nice New Zealand wine and don’t have dreadlocks or wear sandals. I'm a living example that meditation isn't just for hippies! It's for busy moms, stressed out business people and overwhelmed students. It's for anyone who wants to live a happier life. And who doesn’t want to be happier? 

When I tell people that I meditate, the one thing people say most often to me is, “I’ve always really wanted to learn meditation but I’m just not the right sort of person.” When I dig a little deeper and ask what the right sort of person actually is, I discover that many people think that ultimately meditation is only for those of us who are “spiritual” or a “modern-day hippie". 

I'm telling you that you don't need to be either to learn to work with your mind.  

Meditation is basically a workout for your mind. If you want to have a healthy body, you know that you need to regularly exercise to train it into shape. In the same way, if you want to have a healthy mind you need to train your mind. It doesn’t just become healthy on its own. 

Think for a minute of how hard your mind works all day for you. It has to process all of the things you read, listen to, worry about and then respond to them all, often in an instant. It then has to solve problems like what on earth you are going to wear to that function next week or how you can convince your boss that it’s time for a well overdue pay rise. On top of that we put a lot of negative information into our minds. We consume depressing news cycles, are the recipients of endless marketing campaigns and are masters of talking negatively to ourselves. 

How many of us would think you had to be an Olympic athlete before you should exercise your body? It’s the same with training your mind. You don’t need to be a monk in robes, chant, or love yoga to learn to work with your mind. You just need to find the person to guide you and get started. 

Meditation teaches us how to be happier, how to feel more positive, how to be less anxious and stressed out. All you need to do is sit down each day and spend a few minutes exercising your mind. It’s that easy. And the great part of that is that anyone can do it! Not just hippies... 

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Monique Rhodes - Creator of The 10 Minute Mind