This entire series, Joyful Effort, was inspired by a student’s recent comment to me that although she was trying to meditate everyday she didn’t really feel BETTER. Her anxiety didn’t go away after meditation. Neither did sadness…

This is truly so common, and it is this way because in meditation we aren’t trying to feel better. We aren’t trying to do anything other than be with whatever is happening for us in that moment.

Remember, mindfulness meditation is simply being in the PRESENT moment, without JUDGMENT, and with COMPASSION. That’s it. It isn’t about being peaceful. Or happy. It is just about being.

When we sit in this way a funny thing starts to happen. We start to feel MORE. It isn’t always comfortable, but this is the path we’ve picked. And, in truth, the comfortable path doesn’t really exist, does it? We could try to stay closed off and shut down but that is exhausting and lonely. We could try drugs or alcohol to numb us but those effects don’t last and eventually kill us. We could try some white-light, head-in-the-clouds stuff but is that really our calling as citizens on this planet? To check out?

This practice isn’t about feeling better; it’s about feeling more alive.

Join me for this week’s brief discussion and 20-minute meditation. And, don’t forget, if this topic calls to you, the early-bird pricing for my August meditation retreat, From Tough to Tender, ends Friday, June 22. Grab your spot before they are gone via