A MEDITATION ON QUIETENING THE INNER CRITIC
My mum suffers from what I consider is chronic anxiety and depression. She’s been on anti-depressants for more than a decade, she’s retired and lives alone and some days can’t bear to get out of bed. She’s stopped driving further than a 10km radius, she doesn’t have any hobbies or interests and with emphysema and a recent brain aneurism, her health is failing.
Until now I’ve not been able to truly face what’s happening to be able to help her. It’s only with five years of meditation under my belt that I can approach the situation – a situation that I’ve personalised and fought against for most of my life – with acceptance and empathy and understanding.
And it’s from this newfound position she’s finally agreed to get some help.
This one’s for you, Mum. xx
The inner critic. We all have one. That annoying voice in our head judging our every move. Taking glee in the dark side of every situation.
Cautious Katie. Negative Nancy. Worrying William.
Whatever you want to call him or her, they’re probably having a chat to you right now about this very meditation. You can’t meditate. You have too many thoughts. You can’t sit here still. You’re far too restless. Why are you wasting time? You could be getting things done.
They love saying no. They love saying don’t. They love to say can’t, never, nay.
Which is why we must nurture positive thoughts. The voice of self-compassion. We must clear the way for the voice of our intuition to be heard. The voice that says:
Go on. You CAN do this.
Go on. Have A GO.
Go on DO THIS, even if it’s just for you.
Go on. HAVE FAITH.
For the more that we ask that true voice to speak up, the quieter our inner critic becomes.
The more times we clear a path for our true voice to come forward, the further back Negative Nancy recedes.
And how do we encourage our true voice to sing?
By shining a spotlight on it.
In this meditation, let’s encourage a space for our true voice to grow by setting a simple yet powerful intention:
Saying yes to all of experience as it plays out moment by moment.
Yes to our monkey mind.
Yes to aches, pains and annoying itches.
Yes to every single thought we’re having.
And yes to the silence in between.
Saying yes even if we feel like saying no.
Yes to change.
Yes to the constant planning and problem solving.
Yes to this anger that’s flared up inside of us or some other emotion we’re trying to resist.
And yes to that thing we’ve been avoiding through fear.
Saying yes to this quiet reflection.
Yes to each and every breath.
Yes to each and every sound.
Yes to the practice of letting things be.
And yes to the joy of all that this brings.
For the remainder of this quiet time continue saying ‘yes’ to whatever comes up during the meditation.
Bringing yourself back with a ‘yes’ when your mind’s wandered off.
Keeping anchored with a ‘yes’ to the body and to the breath.
Repeating the affirmation ‘yes’ as a practice of empowered self-compassion.
Instilling that we CAN be present.
That we CAN show kindness.
That we definitely CAN change.
That we CAN choose happy.
Letting our true voice know it’s ready to be heard.