Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Into the Ground…

Meditation (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

I haven’t really talked about this much, but last week I went ahead and saw a therapist because some of my coping mechanisms were no longer, well, refilling my cope. With my anxiety getting away from me, I felt I needed more advice. It took me about two and a half months to get in to see her but it was worth it. She believes in a very goal-oriented practice and specializes in anxiety.

She recommended I take a crack at ACT therapy, which seemed like a good fit for me. She gave me some good suggestions and she asked me, when I said I used to meditate, why I had stopped.

“Because I’m not very good at it.” I laughed awkwardly and backtracked about how I don’t feel like I get very much out of it, throwing out something about intrusive thoughts and monkey mind. She recommended specific guided meditations to help with my insomnia and my reaction when I thought about it later was actually a bit of a scoff. Guided meditation? I haven’t done that in years.

It’s easy to get attached to a tool and learn to use it in stages, seeing each skill as more advanced or more correct than the previous ones. Somewhere along the way I got the idea in my head that the kinds of meditation that gave me benefits, like guided meditation and loving kindness meditation, were somehow “cheating” – valuable tools for other people, sure, but if I got benefits from them it must be too easy for me. I ran up against the wall of no-mind zen meditation, found it didn’t do much for me at all, and decided that must be the thing I should put all my effort into. Because clearly it was harder, so it must be more worthwhile, too.

I finally put it together this morning and now that I’m putting it into words, I realize how silly it sounds. Why am I so good at making things harder for myself than necessary? Time to stop and re-evaluate.

0 thoughts on “Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Into the Ground…

  1. Basic practices often turn out to be the advanced ones upon constant practice. But I too have fallen into this particular ego trip — all the while believing myself on pilgrimage.

    1. Yeah. I almost didn’t make this post because I felt like an asshole when I figured out what I was doing. My former martial arts teacher would be very disappointed in me.

      1. Under the right circumstances, your martial arts teacher would not be disappointed, so much as laugh. But it’s an easy trap to fall into… even for him, I imagine. 🙂

  2. I think you’re on the right track there! If it works, use it – no shame.

    I have trouble with no-mind meditation too, and while narrative ones don’t do much for me either, ones that focus on moving energy around come naturally to me. I can achieve something like a no-mind state for brief periods of time if I first deconstruct myself through moving energy around. It feels like doing things backwards, but it works.

  3. I have the same problem. I’ve been dismissing the career path I just started moving into for years because I felt the work required came naturally to me, so clearly it was super easy and therefore fruitless as labor.

    I mean, I believe in challenging yourself, but at some point, it’s just ridiculous. It’s more punishing and denying yourself.

    I’m glad you found someone to work with. 🙂

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