I have heard so many comments some with merit and some totally bizarre when I have shared my meditation practice journey. I remember when I first began to practice I couldn't wait to spread the word on how life saving it had been for me and all the benefits I was gaining with my practice. Can I just say I got a lot of rolling eyes.
I slowly learned to keep it to myself and only address it when it came up which oddly enough comes up more often than not if you are discussing trying to live stress free in New York City. Everyone always points to how rushed we are or how we don't have enough time in the day or how people just plain ole piss them off. My response...I don't feel that at all. What?! You are lying is the response I get back.
illustration by USATodaycollege
But I am not. I don't feel those things because I don't allow those negative events to take up too much space in my head or in my heart. Of course I feel something but I don't sit in that something for too long. I breathe.
There was a time when in a split second I could go from calm to chaos. One wrong word would bring a barrage of F bombs and attitude. There was just no way you were going to "get away" with disrespecting me. I am not confrontational to be clear, that is to say I will not and am not about going out looking for drama or trouble but if you bought it you best have been prepared for the outcome. I am no ones punching bag but I totally handle things differently today.
Meditation, what is it exactly? Well in summary it is a practice of calming and silencing your mind. It encourages the development of concentration and emotional positivity. With that being said let me tell you that our minds are never calm or silent.
We are constantly thinking, planning, remembering. But when you practice Meditation you learn to slow things down, acknowledge what is happening and better cope with things.
illustration by affirmyourlife
Let me share one of my sit down sessions:
I am home in front of my mantle, water fall on, cushion on the ground, legs crossed, door closed and timer set. I close my eyes take a few deep breaths and begin to clear my mind. I hear the birds, I am slowing my breaths, I hear the birds I am slowing my breaths. Out of no where this guy comes out and says "B**** I am tired of you looking through my things. Who the F*** do you think you are? I am tired of your S***." Pause...I open my eyes and think what the H***. He is having and argument over the phone standing right outside my window! I take a deeper breath close my eyes and try again. But now I'm like geez what the heck is happening in that convo now? He walked away so I have no idea. How is it going to end? OMG...endless thoughts. I say to myself "Ok, I know you are totally interested in that gossip but stop. Wish them well and lets keep going." I reset my timer, close my eyes take a couple of deep breaths and begin again. That was over four years ago but I remember it clear as day. Meditation is easy...Not.
That is real honest Meditation. Acknowledge the chaos around you but stay calm in your space.
It is never easy. I am almost five years in and still have my rough days but that is the beauty of Meditation. I am always learning always growing in my practice. I have gained more than I have lost and through difficult transitions in my life it has been this practice that has given me strength to make my messes my message.
illustration by lovelifediy.com
There are several types of Meditation and in my journey I have tried them all at some point. The one I love the most and practice most often is Mindful Meditation. After my last breakup when all I saw was darkness it was Mantra Meditation that helped me find my way back to the light. But I stick with Mindfulness because it helps me remain aware at all times of my words, my actions, my thoughts and my purpose. I go about my daily life with the intention of doing the best I can under all circumstances. Yes even when I get cut off while driving or my daughter says something outrageous like "I hate people"(in connection with a bad day at work). Some days are better than others but doesn't that go for everything in life? Do I still curse? Of course! But less frequently and even less with no intent or necessary substance. Now when I drop an F bomb it has more of a kick to it lol.
Here's a link for those of you who may want to read up more on my share chopra.com and I will also be taking part in Deepak Chopra & Oprah's 21 Day Meditation Challenge here's the link in case you would like to get more information on it chopracentermeditation and remember it is never to late to make a change until it is.
Have any of you tried Meditation or any other tools to calm your mind and slow the fast pace lifestyle you may live or have lived in? Would love to chat on it, share your thoughts.
Always stress free xo,