So Perfectly Wrong: How to Meditate Like a Hot Mess

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February 4, 2015.

Me and my monkey mind 6.23 minutes into my daily 11 minute meditation session:

My back is not straight — hold up — OK, OK. Now I’m straight, OK. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Man my head is killing me what the — ssshhh . . . breathe, breathe, breathe . . . should I be using a different mantra? . . what am I looking for . . . I really need answers to come through, this connection is a train wreck I can’t . . . breathe, breathe, breathe . . . God, I’m so messed up today, I’m screwed, I’m spacing out, I’m stressing out, I feel strung out on life and this was supposed to HELP and now I feel like a DISASTER in life and a TORNADO in meditation and I’ve pretty much had it I’m not even kidding right now. Please help. PLEASE. HELLO. CAN I GET SOME HELP HERE. PLEASE.

At about 7.14 minutes I cut bait, pull the plug. Something’s gotta give.

Let’s be real, kids. I’m frustrated, I’m tired, I’m disappointed with myself something intense and trying to cover it up and drown it out with breathing is not the way to go. I don’t know much but I know that a huge part of getting in touch with yourself means being honest.

And honestly, I needed a different kind of way to tune-in in this moment.

Sometimes you really can’t quiet the mind. Sometimes you are a hot mess of tumultuous emotions, feelings and confusion. Thoughts whirl by so fast their downwind shoves hair in your eyes (mouth, up your nose, whatever) and you are left dizzy and frustrated in their wild wake.

You feel beaten, pummeled, disoriented, ragged, helpless.


Like a fake and a failure.

Mostly, you feel very alone.

Meditation is supposed to be quiet, calm, peaceful, flowing and angelic.

When it isn’t though . . . then what?

How can you connect with your higher mind when the truth is you are in pain, in fear, in a restless state of mind?

The thing is, you cannot get to your inner truth by willing your current truth to be anything other than it is. Right now.

If you are a mess, come into your sanctuary and be a mess. Love wants you the way you ARE not the way you think you should be.

It will be OK, gorgeous, I promise. Whatever it is that’s got you in a mind-numbing whirlwind -bring it.

Your meditation space is nothing if not a place to come raw, to open up honestly. If you are feeling scared and mixed up, show up vulnerable and spill it.

“The Holy Spirit will respond fully to your slightest invitation.” ~ ACIM

You will never be denied what you ask for as long as you ask from your truth. The minute you invite the spirit in, it’s got you.

Meditation is an exercise in unearthing what is true for you and bringing it to the light, offering your stuff for healing. It does not have to be pretty, it just has to be real.

Here is how to get real when real shows up as nuts:

How To Conduct A Messy Meditation

Get a sketch pad and markers, pens, crayons, whatever makes you feel comfortable enough to write-scream.

Then, write everything that comes in whatever way you feel like writing it.

No perfect prayers but prayers for sure – or fragments of prayers – that come naturally and in the moment.

No perfect lines, no rules, no bars, no edits (please, writers, for god’s sake do not edit the messy meditation).

Do not judge, do not censor. Cursing is fine. Drawing is fine. Obscene rows of exclamation points is fine.

Whatever is in you that has to come out let it fall out, crumble out, teem, pour, slide, just get it down and out.

Write on whichever side of the page you want, write sideways, write HUGE. Write in cursive, in crooked script, in hideous script, in bold, up the sides forget punctuation.

Write incomplete sentences.

Write the truth so help you.

And here’s the toughie for most perfectionists/humans/lovers:


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Ask for help. Ask for a miracle. Ask Love to show you the way, to bust up whatever is keeping you from getting to clarity and peace.

Write “HELP ME” a fucking thousand times until you surrender to it.

This is meditation. This can be one of the most ugly, healing, enlightening experiences you ever have.

In all the emblazoned, hot, furious, cathartic writing of the mess, something happens.

As the pen slows, the thoughts drizzle down to nothing and comfort begins to blanket you mysteriously from the inside out you’ll see . . .

You have just accepted and released everything you feared was keeping you from getting to you.

This is you, my love.

Perfectly wrong. Perfectly naked. Perfectly imperfect.

This is a rebel’s meditation.  This is meditation that honors your reckless abandon.

It’s a way to forge a connection with your inner guide when your innards feel wretched and yet in some way – however slight – hopeful.

This is for you at 7.14 minutes into what can sometimes soothe and sometimes feel like torture.

This is honest you.

It might not be apparent at first but this is you at your most beautiful.

And, my God, you are so absolutely beautiful.


~ ~ ~

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18 thoughts on “So Perfectly Wrong: How to Meditate Like a Hot Mess

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      That is so interesting, Kblah, I will definitely check out your thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing them! Sounds as though we are on a very similar wavelength indeed.

      Wishing you much peace along your way, my friend.

  1. Carol Blake Sessums

    I have the most ADD&D (Attention Deficit Disorder & Dysfunction) and my brain is so scattered, more like swarming with usually about 1,001 different things at once, especially lately, because my mind is still trying to play catch up from September or October when I pretty much stopped writing and meditating for the most part to focus more fully on work. Work, work, work. That’s mostly what I have been about for the last several months and now that I have some more regular contracts to where I don’t have to work 1am till 6pm, I am still a wreck, trying to find some normalcy. It’s almost like I’ve become so used to the chaos, I am now living off the adrenalin of it all and don’t know how to break the nasty addiction. It’s a high. Not a good high, mind you, but a high, nonetheless.

    The voices (my imaginary friends) are trying to speak to me again and it’s like I try to drown them out for some strange reason, but then I admit to being strange. I can probably manage to meditate for about 5 minutes, done best in my front porch swing. I do need to find and make more peace in my life. I now have the opportunity, so when am I going to learn to stop keeping my mind so occupied and busy with uselessless and work and drag it out rather than embrace my friend that sits alone in the dark, brushed aside and then placed in a cage, as she tries to reach out for me but I continue to ignore her? She wants to be freed and pour out the words that are ready to burst forth with abandon. And there she still sits.

    I met my main goal I set for myself in January – more regular contracts so I could get some of my life back. Now, let’s see if I can meet my main goal I’ve set for myself in February before it’s over.

    Another great post, my sister! Love you! xoxo

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dearest Carol,

      I can’t even imagine how rough that must be for you – it strikes me that you describe a sort of addiction to chaos, an adrenaline junkie type thing. I totally get that, I understand, sister. I know you are not alone in that, either, it is happening for so many of us.

      Your words about your “friend that sits alone” are so touching, so gentle, so heartfelt. I am sending you huge hugs and positive, healing vibes as you make you way along. I’ll imagine that light filled glorious day when you embrace that beautiful friend inside and let her pour her precious heart out!

      Big props to you, by the way, on nailing down your HUGE goal for January – that is so awesome, and not a small task! Let’s rock February, my good friend.

      Let’s make it gooood. Big huge love and hugs, you know it, always,

      Allison XO

  2. Cathy

    Beautiful! I think we should be honest that we show up more like a hot mess than all put together most days. This whole “be perfect, successful, balanced” is a lot of bullshit. I really don’t think balance exists except in that split second where we really are in the moment. Especially creatives because our minds do really work overtime and we have so many different projects going on.
    The honesty is just showing up and definitely in whatever state of mind you’re in. The writing works for me too and sometimes I just draw the whirl that is inside me. Looking inside and observing which part of us is in chaos is a good exercise. What is that part trying to get us to listen too. What are we doing that a part of us feels neglected?
    Great blog and great peace to you Allison!!!! Even if you feel like a hot mess, sharing that is inspiring because it makes your readers feel “normal”. We are all in this boat together and what goes on in our heads isn’t that different than others (ok, there are some abnormal thought processes out there that don’t match anyone else s’)

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dearest Cathy,

      I love your comment! Thank you for sharing your thoughts straight up!! I love it.

      It really interests me that you mention the creative mind and how projects are always whirling in our heads – such a fascinating point. We are always up to something, aren’t we?? Little rascals. Always something new to explore, always a next idea.

      Writing free style is a new gig for me, I’m totally digging it! And just as you say, drawing is a great outlet, too. “What are we doing that a part of us feels neglected?” – you totally NAILED IT. Yes, this is such an important question. I am so grateful to you for your comment, my gorgeous friend. I really did feel like a mess in that moment and then I worked it through with free style writing and MAN was it enlightening. Somehow through the honesty and sheer surrender of trying to control what I wrote or thought, the healing tumbled out, too, and the the answers to questions I didn’t even know I was asking inside!

      Wild what the spirit can do . . . and what the endless power of Love can show us when we show up. For real.

      In it together – I really love that.

      Peace and love and light, dear one, always. XO

  3. Brad

    Awesome post Allison.

    Let’s be real about our hot messy, beautiful selves! I totally agree that we need to honor and accept who we are and what we are experiencing. To me, that is awakening, being open and loving toward all of it.

    to love, miracles and hot messes,

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Gorgeous Brad,

      Thank you, my friend! Thank you for reading and thank you for your awesome comment – I love that you just virtual-toasted to “love, miracles, and hot messes.”

      I’m in. And I’m SO GLAD you are, too.

      Cheers, beloved!

  4. Chey

    “The thing is, you cannot get to your inner truth by willing your current truth to be anything other than it is. Right now.” I love this line! I love this entire post! lol. My first thought was…this is a fantastic idea…I’ve got to try this. Second thought…I’m actually feeling really good these days and don’t feel the need for it right now. Third thought…slightly disappointed. Fourth thought…Are you fucking nuts? That’s fantastic ur not feeling the need for this right now. Fifth thought…Oh, right! I’ll keep it in the back of my mind for a rainy day.

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Haha, CHEY, you beautiful angel,

      I LOVE your thoughts – all of them! And it was actually quite interesting and fun to follow along with your sequence of thoughts 1 all the way to 5. Four was especially awesome and literally made me laugh out loud! Haha, I love that you are feeling great these days – ride that goodness, friend! Enjoy every bit of it. And when a wild moment comes and you don’t know what to do with yourself . . . do give this freestyle writing meditation a go. I sincerely hope it serves you very well, dear one.

      Stay beautiful and amazing and thank you for your light,

      Peace, always.

  5. Meg Evans

    That’s so true — our thoughts reflect whatever happens to be going on in our minds, and often that is just random restless monkey-mind stuff, so why get upset about it? Much better to be honest about it, rather than making ourselves feel worse about not living up to unrealistic expectations of being in control at all times.

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dear Meg,

      Totally! All the rules and expectations and control freak stuff only brings you down. Better to keep it real, keep it honest. Let the spirit meet you where you are – it always does.

      Always love hearing your thoughts, my friend.

      Stay incredible,

      Wishing you much peace, always.

  6. Batya

    Moments before the Sabbath arrives, and just before lighting my candles (like right now!), I am still zooming around, organizing, cleaning, clearing, arranging, checking the food, drying my hair. Then at the magical moment I am to light candles I expect to be centered and peaceful? Yes, I do, and yes I can. Somehow, a mantle of peace drops over my shoulders, a luscious white fur cape of serenity. It holds my mind focused on the moment: talk to the One, bless the Sabbath, ask Him for blessings for me and mine.

    Then there are those other times, like 7.14…………..!
    Good Shabbos!

    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Dear Batya,

      I love that you were lighting candles right at that moment! Thank you so much for your beautiful words I actually felt intense calm as I read them. I love the way you describe the ‘mantle of peace’ . . . and your connection in the blessed moment to the power of All Love. Just beautiful, my friend.

      Good Shabbos, dear one.

      So grateful for your light!


      1. Anonymous

        Actually, let me clarify one thing: before lighting the candles, I have turned off the computer and covered it so I don’t see it during the Sabbath. So I furiously typed that note to you and scrambled to shut down. I am not normal; most women don’t still have the computer on seconds before Shabbos I suspect. But I’m passionate for your writing, Allison, and I couldn’t let it drop. That’s what I get for last minute (obsessive?) checking my blog and emails. HAH!

        Also prior to candle lighting, I have made preparations for the Sabbath night and following day so I need not engage in the form of work that is “creative work,” including turning lights on and off (timers) and cooking (pre-prepared my meals). I have a whole mental checklist that I’m so familiar with it’s become ingrained. Likewise for most other Jewish women I’m sure.

        I feel that “mantle of peace” descend as I say the prayers over the candles. I speak to the Creator and tell Him what I appreciate and ask for what I need, praying for the sick, wishing blessing for my family and friends, and desirous of peace for all. The words differ week to week depending on what’s foremost on my mind, but mostly I have that beauteous swirl of protection caressing me, enveloped in His Love.

        If anyone is interested in Sabbath observance of Orthodox Jews, they may contact me on my blog and I will attempt to guide them to good resources or explanations.

        1. Allison Marie Post author

          Dear Batya,

          Wow! Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I honestly did not realize the preparations you took for Sabbath, this is brilliant and beautiful to understand. It is such an elegant and disarming ritual it sounds like. The way you describe it sounds like sheer, pure reverence for the time you devote to sharing with God. And nothing could be more sacred or beautiful than that. :)

          Haha, I also can’t tell you how much I loved your description of checking the blog and emails right before shutting down! Isn’t that wild?! I must say, thank you, thank you, thank you from my heart for your taking the time to read and write to me. I really appreciate it more than I could ever say.

          Wishing you so very many blessings and peace in your whole being this day, my beautiful friend.

          Thank you for your light. ;)

  7. Robert

    Lovely idea for a way out of a messy meditaion Allison. Accept it and free- write, which we all know is a cathartic experience!

    I think the root of the problem of getting into a mess in meditation is the monkey mind ego trying to be a control freak. It doesn’t help if we need a particular place, routine, method or ritual to get into meditation. If we get hung up in the ‘method’ it can sometimes be difficult to let go.

    It fell into place for me some time ago after much study and practice. One realisation came some time after in trying to find a ‘method’ for meditation in Eckart Tolles books, there isn’t one as such. What we need to do is be in ‘meditation’ as often as we can, in the now of the present moment, eyes open. If you are truly in the present moment then you are meditating! As in my comment for your Sunday piece, it was ‘the heart’ which provided the answer in an ‘ah-ha’ moment :)

    Love and blessings


    1. Allison Marie Post author

      Thank you so much, dearest Robert, for your beautiful words and insights. Isn’t free writing fantastic?! ;)

      You nailed it – that control thing is a bugger, man. Letting go is the key, however you get to it, that’s the idea. Funny how rituals can work for you and sometimes against you in a certain way, tying you to a ‘right way’ if you forget what you are meant to do in the first place.

      I love your realization and thank you so much for sharing it. Love the heartfelt ‘ah-has’!

      Blessings, love, light and peace to you, in this moment and always,



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