I am a busy single mom. For the past year I have been waking up before my son (and often before the sun!), dragging myself out of bed and finding my way to my cushion in front of my alter. I light a candle and meditate for 30-45 minutes. It has made a tremendous difference in my life and in my entire being. If I can do it, anyone can. We all know that countless studies have proven the benefits of meditation but here are some tangible and embodied reasons that I have found through my own practice:
- Deeper connection to your body: This includes better digestion, improved posture, and palpable awareness of heightened sensations through rooting down into your sits bones and rising up on the cushion. Couple this with intentional breath and there is the opportunity to feel a profound sense of embodiment.
- Improved coping skills for living: One gains greater opportunity to respond to what life throws at you from an embodied and integrated place. With a regular practice you cultivate the ability to come back to your breath and respond from that place of ground and empowerment when life throws less-than-desirable situations at you. My experience is that it simply becomes more natural to do so, with less effort. You are essentially re-patterning your entire way of being.
- Feel more confident and empowered: Stepping out of the space of allowing the mind to dictate your life is very empowering. You start to see all of the many, many choices available to you and are able to discern what is truth and ignore the deception of the mind; or at least shift how you respond to what it is telling you.
- It becomes a sanctuary from the chaos of life: When I first began it did feel like yet another obligation that I had to endure, but now, I look forward to it and crave it. The outer quiet and stillness allows me to drop into myself in a unique way. There is something very important about doing so first thing in the morning rather than in the evening. The sanctity of the time when the sun is just rising, our minds and bodies are empty after a nights rest is conducive for a profound time of connection to self. What my ego named as a chore all those months ago, has become my temple and the stillness and quiet that I crave before jumping into the chaos of motherhood and the varying tasks ahead.
- Calms the entire system: The technique that I use is that of focusing on a single point. I use a candle and a simple mantra. I fluctuate between several including: So Hum (I Am), Sat Nam (I Am Truth), I Am Worthy, I Am Love, I Am (you fill in the blank as to what serves you). The single pointedness gives my busy eyes something to focus on and the repetition of the mantra gives my overly active mind something to grasp onto. It is a win-win.