I used to live with the belief that meditation was only for yogis or monks. I didn’t think I needed it and I didn’t believe in it.
In fact, when someone suggested I give it a try, I rolled my eyes. Thankfully that suggestion stayed with me. After hearing it enough times replay in the back of my mind, I decided that maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try it just once. I bought a guided meditation CD (this was back in the day of buying CD's), popped it into the CD player one evening, closed my eyes, allowed a few deep breaths as I was being instructed to, then fell asleep.
This pattern continued for many months. I knew that I wasn’t actually meditating and that I was using this CD as a tool to fall asleep. And I was fine with that. Fine with that because at the time I was accomplishing a huge victory - I was falling asleep with ease and staying asleep throughout the night. Before this, when the lights went out and all was quiet, I found it nearly impossible to shut off the constant chatter that went on inside my brain.
I didn’t know how to bring calm to my body. I didn't know how to relax into the softness of my bed.
What I now know,
is that my daily actions played a huge role in creating this. I made a point of keeping myself busy all day. In fact, I was addicted to being busy and this caused a continuous flow of adrenaline to course through me. My mind, along with my body, raced all day long trying to keep up with the endless tasks, appointments, errands, and so on, that I ‘just needed to do.’ When I crawled into bed at night, my body was restless and my thoughts were never-ending. They went on and on and on and on. I ruminated over past events, wishing I had, 'done this differently,' or, 'said that instead.' And I spent countless, sleepless hours worried about future events, my mind living in the 'land of what if’s.'
Over time I began to learn how to stay awake and BE with my meditation time. I began to feel true enjoyment from it. Not only was I witnessing the difference it was making in my life, more importantly, I was feeling it. I wanted more so I began taking courses to learn all I could about this ancient practice. I immersed myself in the learning. It was enjoyable for me to experiment with different meditation styles. Eventually this lead into finding a practice that best suited me.
Meditation has been life-changing for me and is a part of my daily ritual.
I need that time every day to just BE. To be still and allow my body time to breathe. To breathe with a breath that comes from deep within my belly, rather than shallow breaths coming from my chest. Meditation has taught me to slow down and to release my addiction to living in adrenaline. Not only do I receive the physical benefits of meditation, I know that when I give myself this time each day, I contribute to filling myself up and becoming a better person.
My meditation practice has expanded my creativity and given me the opportunity to become connected with parts of me I had long forgotten existed. It makes me a kinder and a more compassionate Amanda because it opens my heart.
When I meditate I am able to get out of my own head. It serves as a gentle reminder that, Yes the world is indeed revolving and Not around me. That whatever perceived tragedy I may be going through at that time, it’s really not that tragic. Meditation reminds me that I'm never alone, that there's always a bigger picture, and another side to every story. That we're all in this world together and everyone has to wait in line at the grocery store sometimes.
Meditation helps me wake up in the morning and unwind from the day in the evening, while providing a valuable tool for managing stress in between. It guides me away from the past that no longer exists and keeps me from being immersed in the worry of the future events I make up in my mind. It helps to anchor me into the present moment.
It’s a fairly safe bet that my life will always be busy. However, I've learned to undo the pattern of busying myself. Now I easily recognize the early signs of adrenaline and know that this is when I need to stop and breathe. I understand that my thoughts will naturally wander into unnecessary territories. I know that I hold the power to release them and their ability to keep me up half the night. I've learned how to detach from my thoughts, recognizing that they are simply that, thoughts.
I'm grateful for the suggestion to try meditation. I'm also grateful that the suggestion stayed with me. More importantly, I'm grateful that I decided to do something about it. One of the most important things I've done was act upon the voice in the back of my mind telling me to, 'Give meditation a try.’
For me meditation is a simple, yet profound practice that I choose to have in my life. It continues to help me to become a better person each day and this is why I meditate.
Why do you meditate? Leave a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!
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If you'd like to learn more about how to create your own meditation practice and how you can live healthier, happier and feeling more fulfilled, join my Mentoring Program. I'd love to assist you.