Meditation Makes Me Angry: 30 Day Challenge Update

Day 10 and all I can say is that I’m PISSED. Frustrated. Angry. Unhappy.  I started this challenge with the intention of finding some quiet and space in my life. All it’s done so far is stress me out!
Finding even 10 minutes a day is proving alarmingly hard to do and I’m not ready to give up sleep or my own personal yoga practice to accomodate one more thing.

And that’s just it … it’s one more thing that I SHOULD do.  Who says? I hear all the time that I SHOULD practice every day.  I SHOULD meditate.  I SHOULD eat only healthy foods. I SHOULD only drink water or green tea. SHOULD SHOULD SHOULD.  I’m sick and tired of the moral imperatives coming from the yoga community telling me I’m less than my best. I used to feel empowered by my yoga practice but now it’s become one more thing I SHOULD do.

A counselor friend once said that she tells her clients to “stop ‘shoulding’ all over themselves.”  Rather than listen to everyone else tell me what’s best for me, I’m going to go back to listening to myself. It makes me sad that I feel like I’ve lost the serene, happy Abby while trying to incorporate something that was supposed to increase serenity and happiness.

We’re heading up to Maine this weekend and I think I’m going to use the change of pace and the close proximity to the ocean to do some thinking about what really does work best for me to support me as a person and as a teacher.

I’ll check back in when I return.



13 responses to “Meditation Makes Me Angry: 30 Day Challenge Update

  1. Just learn to relax and close your eyes for 10 minutes, go ahead get away from all your distractions and you might release some stress.

    I love that expression: Stop shoulding all over myself. It’s perfect! I had the same ah-ha moment with being vegan. Dude, I can only do so much. I’ve found my “middle path” and am quite happy, thank you very much. If it’s not bringing you joy, then I concur with your conclusion that you need to reassess this arbitrary mandate. If someday you are able to incorporate daily meditation into your life, that’s awesome. If you can’t right now, then it’s entirely healthy to free yourself from this (seemingly) prescribed requirement for being the best yogi you can be. I fully support you on this one, and hope you find the peace you’re seeking at the ocean.
    And to all those people who say you SHOULD meditate or else: NAMASTE, bitches.

  3. I love the pseudo-profanity of Albert Ellis – “shoulding on yourself” indeed 🙂
    I think he also coined the term “musterbating”.

    One mantra that I like is Brian Tracy’s “all I can do is all I can do”. It reminds me that there’s no “should”.

    And if all else fails, you can use Frank Costanza’s “Serenity Now!” technique. 😉

  4. This post title made me laugh out loud. Yep, I’ve totally experienced that, too — the endless ‘should-ing’ that turns us into angry neurotics. Well, at least that what it does to me.

    If you practice yoga every day, why add meditation? What is the driving desire behind it, besides the “shoulds”? Is it something I really want, or is it something that I feel obligated to add for other reasons?? I return to that when I’m feeling all should-y and pissed.

    I hope your weekend in the mountains brings you clarity and peace of mind.


    ps. THANK YOU so much for putting me on your blog roll! xo

    • Hi Nona!

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

      A weekend away definitely helped, as did finding my own time to sit on a rock on the lakeshore and just sit feeling the sun on my face. Because I wanted to. Because it felt right. PHEW! I think that’s my go-to feeling: when it feels right. Meditation isn’t something that can be forced.

      And you’re welcome for the blog link! I’ve been a long-time reader and find your posts inspiring and insightful.

  5. I hear you… I stopped too! Not a good time I guess. In the end it’s important to do what inspire you at the moment and not what people think you should try.
    Meditation is important at some point but I don’t think it has to be done during silent sitting.
    Walking to work and being aware of your surrounding IS meditation! Taking a huge breath in public transport and get centered for a few moments IS meditation too!
    And the 5 min before falling asleep when I forget all the day’s tension are definitely meditation for now at least 🙂

  6. Well, for what it’s worth, if the yoga community is telling you SHOULD do this or that, they SHOULD stop.

    That said, in my own case, the nagging nabob is ME. I know that I feel better when I practice, I operate with greater discernment when I’m sticking with my meditation practice. My body works better and with less aches and pains and ‘issues’ when I eat a healthy and balanced diet of good food.

    This, of course, is uncomfortable because it works against the weight of habit. Some of these ingrained behaviours and patterned responses are 40 years old. They’re pretty solid reaction patterns. They’re also comfortable, familiar and soothing when I’m angry, tired or distressed. Familiar doesn’t make them good for me.

    For me, yoga always makes things worse. Before yoga, I was blissfully unaware of a LOT. Sore, stiff, energetically drained but blissfully unaware of it all. Post yoga- I’m much more conscious of the consequences of my decisions and I can’t hide behind my own ignorance. Cue the nattering nabobs.

    As far as the yoga goes, a really great teacher once said, the state of Yoga is reached through persevering practice and detachment from the results. For the students who work really hard and are highly motivated, the results come quickly. For the rest of us, they come more slowly. The teacher, of course, was Patanjali.

    I hope your stay in Maine refreshed you and you’re refreshed. Have a lovely day,


    • Post yoga- I’m much more conscious of the consequences of my decisions and I can’t hide behind my own ignorance. Cue the nattering nabobs.

      Amen to that! It’s the upside and downside of yoga all rolled into one perfect statement. I know when I’ve made the wrong decision and I’ve got no one to blame but myself. 🙂

      I think, at this point in time, I’m ok with the results coming at a slower pace. This past year has been full of big life changes so a slower pace is alright by me. More time to smell the roses and appreciate the little things, rather than having the carpet pulled out from underneath me every few days.

      Thank you for the reminder, Kate, that we are the navigators and commanders of our own journeys.

      • Lots of big life changes?? Oh my, then I’d really encourage you to slow down. My guess is you could stand some time to process and integrate. I’m a firm believer that there’s no prize for getting there first.

        In my part of the universe, big life changes means I need time to reflect, and consider what things I need to keep, which habits still serve me well and which are just habits for the sake of habits. For me, it’s always a mental health cleaning time, and frankly, sometimes asana practice is not the key (up to your discernment of course).

        For me, it’s important to remember at times when I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire, so to speak, that “practice” is more than just asana work. Pausing, reflecting, being mindful, these too are “practice”.

        You sound like you’ve regained your centre. I hope you have a lovely weekend. Namaste,


  7. Pingback: The Art of Forgiveness | Perusals & Peregrinations

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