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Asker ashisarah Asks:
I've been struggling with OCD-like symptoms and other anxiety for a long time, and I really want to practice meditation so that I can sit with my uncomfortable feelings and not act on them. However, every time I try to meditate, I end up getting so stressed out! I feel like there are so many ways to meditate, and I get so overwhelmed by what to do that I end up getting a headache and not feeling relaxed at all. Do you have any tips for the best meditation practice, especially for OCD?
everybodyhasabrain everybodyhasabrain Said:

Meditation is an incredibly useful support for health and for being more effective at work or school and for improving our ability to communicate and have healthier relationships with other people, and a whole bunch of other reasons.

But I do recommend to people that they don’t meditate as a reaction to OCD. In general, it’s going to help you tremendously with recovery if you begin to do things creatively instead of reactively. So meditate to be healthier instead of meditating to tackle some OCD-related issue. That would be my first meditation tip. 

My second tip would be to congratulate yourself on trying! It sounds like you’re doing great. There’s a popular perception that meditation is all about a blissfully calm mind coasting across clear blue meadows under a starry sky while birds sing and yogis chant Ohmmmmmmmm. It’s not. 

Meditation is all about trying. There are all sorts of zen quotes about how the meditator who just closes their eyes and is able to instantly meditate for hours, will never gain as much insight as the meditator that

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People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
Thich Nhat Hanh

(via yoga9vipassana)

A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us.
Pema Chödrön (via purplebuddhaproject)

(via yoga9vipassana)

To be a happy person, one has to drop all comparison. Drop all these stupid ideas of being superior and inferior. You are neither superior nor inferior. You are simply yourself! There exists no one like you, no one with whom you can be compared. Then, suddenly, you are at home.

There was a time, quite recently actually, when I would have looked at this photo and would never think to ever post it for everyone to see. Why? Because you can clearly see my face. If you haven’t noticed, I rarely show my face in photos. It’s a result of some of my body image issues that I’ve had for years. I would think, I wish my nose bridge was higher and my eyes bigger. I wish my hair was straighter and thinner, and my jawline more defined. The list goes on. I still have those thoughts, but I notice they don’t matter to me as much anymore. Part of the reason I started posting photos on Instagram was to try and become more comfortable with sharing my image with the world. It was to be a way for me to just get out there; like jumping right into a swimming pool. It’s starting to work, as evidenced by me posting this photo. I am beginning to accept the way I look based on how I was born to. I am beginning to see some beauty in the way that I look, and I am beginning to think my image is no less beautiful than that off my counterparts of other ethnicities. My look is simply just different; some people dig it and some don’t. More importantly though, I’m learning that the qualities that we have as a person, our character, is more important. And when that begins to shine on the inside, it shows on the outside. As I become more comfortable with my image, I hope it shows through my photos. I want others that look and feel like me to know that they are not worth less just because they look different than the conventional image that media has pushed on us. I want others to know that there is value beyond how we see our own physical looks. And I thank all of you supporting me, showering me with your feedback and for helping to get me where I am. 

Jared  

--> Check out Life of Jafu on Instagram for an amazing yoga journey set to beautiful Vancouver scenery.