Have you ever heard the term, “take your power back”? Perhaps unintentionally and to some degree, you have given some of your personal power away to your bosses, coworkers, spouse or to just situations in your life. These days the world can be a noisy and needy environment and working on trying to find peace of mind and balance is something that most of us seem to constantly strive for. Sometimes we may even have to experience traumatic situations or go through a dramatic life change that requires us to take inventory of what is causing our stress or anxiety. If you read one of my recent posts, The Magic of Solitude, then you know that I suggested finding time alone as a means to not only find inner peace but to listen to that voice inside of you. Today we are taking it a step further. As an additional tool to that alone time, I have found that meditation can be an effective aid in seeking tranquility and even wisdom. I remember the very first time I was introduced to meditation and it was at a high school retreat. I attended an all-girls private school and recall sitting in a large, quiet room with all my classmates. One of the guest speakers took us through a guided meditation class using only soft background music, visualization, and breathing techniques. It was an incredible experience at the time but I did also learn that it’s not something that you can turn on or off so quickly. Meditation does take focus and significant practice – but at that very young age, there was a part of me that did find this experience to be so profound. Many years have gone by since that retreat day. A couple of years ago I found myself in an odd place in my life and the passing of my father took me in a different direction on so many levels. It produced a mix of emotions from anxiety, depression and this void was more than I could process or handle. Perhaps that deep sense of loss ignited another part of me that was dormant. I was trying to desperately make sense of what I needed in order to find some balance. So I took moments of solitude and allowed myself take some time for reflection. I learned that I needed to breathe. That is where it all began for me. Before I knew it, conscious inhaling and exhaling became my companion on many occasions. I began to find myself listening to guided meditations or just doing them on my own when I didn’t have much time during the day accompanied by some yoga.
So often we don’t realize how much we tend to hold our breath when we are stressed or anxious. We also tend to bury uncomfortable and painful experiences. Our soul becomes this storage unit where we just keep piles of untapped feelings or unpleasant memories that we decide to put away in a box under lock and key. What can happen is that these unacknowledged emotions begin to creep up and show up in forms of stress, illness or just a sense of unbalance in many parts of our lives and even in our relationships.
Now, I am not here to push meditation on anyone or to tell you exactly what is the best way to practice it. I am only here to share my personal experience. Meditation has been around for centuries but with today’s heightened interest in new age, holistic and wellness lifestyles, it’s no surprise that this has become a very popular self-care practice. If you are in a place in your life where you feel you need answers or are feeling overwhelmed with life decisions then meditating just a few minutes a day can make a difference. It’s a step towards self-empowerment. Think about how much time you dedicate to listening to everyone around you and filtering through so much online information. Don’t you think you deserve to listen to what YOU’RE feeling or thinking? Believe me, the mindfulness that comes with this practice is something that can be challenging but also very healing and therapeutic. Even going for a walk and focusing on your steps can be meditative. Also, while taking a shower you can simply close your eyes, focusing on your breath can help with quieting the racing thoughts. In turn, this can shift your energy and bring some form of calming effect and who knows maybe new ideas may even be born. Remember, you deserve to give yourself just a few moments a day to connect with your true self. It’s not just about eating a clean diet, hitting the gym or drinking that green juice. Wellness and self-care begin from the inside…it is truly mind, body and soul.
So friends, have you engaged in any style of meditation practice? If so, how often and what techniques do you find work best?
Photo by: Jose Cartagena
“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” – Voltaire