Meditation is literal medicine to me. I know it’s amazing for me, but sometimes I put it’s just no a priority. I usually use the excuse “I’m too busy” or “I’ll do it tomorrow.” This is when one of my favourite Gandhi quotes pops into my head, “I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one.”
If you’re interested in the benefits of meditation there’s an array of resources out there, so I suggest researching more deeply if you’re interested. There’s so many positive effects I couldn’t possibly list them here. It helps with your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.
I was first introduced to meditation by my mom without really knowing it. As a child I was a little anxious, I would get dizzy or feel faint during certain situations. My mom suggested I do some breathing exercises, and try to focus on relaxing. This was my first introduction to meditation, and it helped me refocus myself during times of distress. I was later exposed to Buddhism, with help from my sister and my high school teachers, they gave me the drive to research more about this amazing religion. I was able to connect on a deeper level to the teachings of this religion, as well as the methods (yoga, meditation) they use to spiritually grow. I applied this to my own life, and became devoted to yoga as well. I saw yoga not simply as a way to become more flexible or to strengthen myself, but to relieve stress and gain positivity. It made me aware of not only my body, but my deepest self.
I’d like to share some experiences I’ve had with meditation…
I have the five-minute journal, one of the greatest tools I have used for success in many areas of my life. It’s a sort of diary, with identical prompts to be completed each morning and night, you can read more about it here. So one of the weekly challenges outlined in my journal was this: Smile at yourself in the mirror for at least 10 seconds. Now, beforehand I had always completed these challenges with ease (e.g call a friend you haven’t seen in a while, leave your phone off all day, etc) but for some reason I could never remember to complete this challenge. The days rolled by and each night I would say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” I mean, how often do we pass a mirror? I look in one every day. Yet I couldn’t find the time to smile at myself in it. I felt like I wasn’t ready yet, and so I kept forgetting.
After a particularly challenging day I sat down to do a five minute meditation. I pulled out my yoga mat and faced my mirrored closet doors, dimming the lights. I wasn’t wearing any fancy workout clothes, I was wearing my fuzzy Christmas socks with my wet hair still wrapped in a towel. I set my timer to five minutes, short and sweet. When it rang I continued to mediate; it felt that good. As soon as I opened my eyes, I remembered! I saw myself, frazzled yet at peace in that mirror, and I remembered, “Smile.” So I did.
Another occasion was when I was lying in my bed, ready to sleep, dreaming about the recent hot for food episode I had just watched and feeling cold. I’m cold all of the time. It’s normal for me to glide through the house with a quilt on as an extra bathrobe. Feeling particularly chilly at bedtime is not unusual for me. I crossed my legs and formed my hands into a meditation position. After about five minutes, I literally felt heat radiating from my fingertips, right between my pointer fingers and thumbs; the symbol of om. It felt like there were vibrations of energy just beneath the skin. Not only do you have the ability to create energy, you are energy itself.
Meditation doesn’t have to be as limited as sitting on the floor and listening to your breathing. It can be as simple as going for a walk without any particular intentions in mind. Listen to the sounds you hear especially coming from the natural world, but don’t feel the need to tune out kids laughing or cars driving by. Just be conscious of where you are and center yourself. Wander and appreciate your five senses.
If I ever feel like life is getting out of control, I try to lose myself in meditation.