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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

Why aren’t you meditating?!?

Have you tried Headspace?  I have, with “tried” being the keyword.  It’s a meditation and mindfulness app with the slogan “Mediation made simple” prominently displayed on its website. Seems like an oxymoron.  I’ve tried incorporating meditation into my life many times and I still haven’t stuck to any regular routine, including the app, because the practice has never come easy, or “simple” to me.  The Headspace app offers a ten-day trial period with daily, customizable guided meditation sessions lasting as short as three minutes, or as long as ten minutes (it’s funny and sad how New Yorkers would probably agree that setting aside ten minutes means setting aside too much time from our chaotic day).  After day three, I was no longer committed and for whatever reason, couldn’t set aside even THREE MINUTES to meditate. And then I felt guilty each time I would get a Headspace notification on my phone to meditate, and then guiltier when I would push the notification aside and ignore it.  I even signed up to receive free mindful quotes each day from the app, which I also typically and shamefully ignore.

Meditation apps have become more common over recent years.  Apps such as Calm, Stop, Breathe & Think, Omvana, Aura and Insight Timer each include some sort of medication package and make enchanting promises to help you sleep better, manage stress, improve focus at work and in some cases, increase compassion if you can just put aside a few minutes of your time each day AT NO COST.  What New Yorker doesn’t need more sleep, less anxiety and better attention to detail at work?  These apps are making meditation more accessible than ever before to every New Yorker with a smartphone.  Then why isn’t every New Yorker with a smartphone meditating, for free, for a few minutes each morning!? It’s because committing to a meditation practice is far from simple.  I know I’m not the only one who has experienced difficulty with meditation. Although meditation apps are trying to help people like me become more accustomed to practicing meditation in a manageable way, I still haven’t been able to make a commitment.  When I asked my friend, who recommended Headspace to me, whether she went through the entire 10-day trial period, she said she stopped at day 8 or day 9 because she was just too busy. She did much better than I did but still couldn’t finish the ten-day trial.  I totally get it!

British psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Nigel Wellings actually wrote a book aimed at those who understand the value of meditation but just can’t keep it up, Why Can't I Meditate?: How to Get Your Mindfulness Practice on Track. According to the book’s description on Amazon, it’s meant to provide an accessible guide to those having a difficulty continuing a meditation practice, or reluctantly stopped practicing, to get their mindfulness practice back on track.  However, if you’re having trouble committing to three minutes a day, I realize that it’s unlikely you’ll commit to reading an entire book devoted to the topic. 


Read more stories on meditation here.