I began practicing yoga while I was an undergrad in 1997. I was introduced to meditation then and for many years afterwards I attempted to cultivate a regular practice. I use the word “attempted” loosely as I was not convinced that sitting in meditation was all that it was touted to be. I had a storyline running through my busy mind along the lines of:
Why on earth would I want to sit on a cushion for 20 minutes?
How is it even possible that that could do anything for me?
How can staring at a candle make me happier?
I don’t have time to meditate!
How can repeating a mantra train my mind to be calm?
I would so much rather do about anything else rather than take the time to sit in silence!
I was not allured by meditation in the slightest and truly could not find it in me to sit on a cushion with any semblance of regularity.
Then the shift happens.
Over 3 years ago…I dig deep…very deep….and commit to myself that I am going to get up at the ungodly hour of 5:00am everyday and drag myself downstairs to sit and meditate in front of my alter. It truly happened overnight for me. I made the commitment and then I just did it. Some mornings were harder than others but now I crave that morning quiet time of meditation. I look forward to it and on the rare mornings when I am unable to due to a sick child or travel or other circumstance, I miss it. It has become my home base – an ultimate act of self-care – and a lifeline.
Benefits of regular meditation from my personal experience:
~ A Focused Mind: This is not easy but much more possible when you are meditating regularly. I notice when I begin to scatter my thoughts and allow the monkey mind to take over almost immediately and can bring myself back to center.
~Deeper Connection To My Breath: This can serve in so many ways and I will share an extreme example from my recent life: I went through what could have been a terrifying experience while travelling alone in Mexico a few short months ago. I was witness to a “hit” by the Mexican drug cartel that involved the murdering of 5 people with an AK. I noticed immediately how deeply connected I was to my breath throughout this experience and it kept me anchored in the present moment and out of the place of panic. I stayed embodied in my breath and in my body and I believe that it was as a result of my years of practice that I was able to put into action. Staying connected to the breath throughout the day keeps one grounded and present, attuned and alive, connected and at peace.
~Profound Connection To My Body: This includes my true hunger signs, various sensations (both pleasurable and not-so-much), my actual needs for movement and how much (HUGE for me!) and the recognition if and when I am in need of rest rather than forced activity. I find that when I start out my day with a morning sit, I am much more attuned to my bodies needs throughout the day. I am aware on the few days when I do not (I allow myself one morning a week to stay in bed), my level of disconnection is higher and it takes more effort to make embodied choices for my body.
~I Am HAPPIER! What they say is true – you do become happier when you are sitting regularly.
~I Have Greater Perspective: What once seemed monumental in magnitude of stressful importance has been put into perspective.
~My Ability To Respond More Appropriately Has Heightened: Life as a single mom has been stressful -- I will not lie. I will say, however, that sitting regularly has provided me with the opportunity and the pause to respond rather than react. Game changer for this mama!
~My Vision Is Clearer: Truly both physically and metaphorically – I feel like I can see clearer through my eyes and into my etheric body and vision my future full of possibilities.
The above are my own personal discoveries in my meditation practice. Of course, these are not absolutes that are in effect every single moment of every day. I am human, which my meditation practice is constantly reminding me, and I still fumble and fall. What I can say is that I am more resilient than ever and I account my devoted practice to this incredible quality of being.
Going on a retreat is a perfect opportunity to jump-start your practice and receive the benefits of meditation!
I have two unique and special women’s restorative retreats this year in magical Taos, NM that will be a delicious time of quiet and introspection through various practices mindfulness and embodiment practices – including meditation.
Click here to register.
I am available for private sessions and offer a free 20-minute consultation.
Please contact me to sign up: firstname.lastname@example.org
I always say….
“If I can do it, anyone can!”