Do you find yourself saying “I’ll be happy when XYZ happens”? When I get that job. When this relationship works out. When I have this much money saved up. When I get that car. When I go on that vacation. Unfortunately, we know that none of that is true. You’ll be happy when you make the decision to be happy. But how? No doubt life can be overwhelming sometimes. At times, it can be overwhelmingly crappy.
This is where meditation and mindfulness come in. And no, they are not to be used interchangeably.
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your awareness into the present moment. It allows for the stresses of today to lose some energy, and allows you to focus on the now. Through breath work, guided meditations, visualizations and other techniques, we get better at directing our focus. In doing so, we create space between our thoughts; I call it white space. These are moments of clarity, where the busy human mind is not travelling into the past or busy anticipating the future, but is rooted in the present moment.
Meditation allows us to be that person that was there, before all the stress, before all the stories we were told and all the stories we tell ourselves. Meditation is not about reaching some form of “enlightenment” (woo woo!) Its about surrendering, healing, resting deeply, and letting go of baggage from our past. Meditation is hard work; it’s like an emotional detox. Letting go isn’t easy. Matter of fact, that’s why most of us choose to hold onto our stories, our anger, our self-doubt, our prejudices, all that stuff we grew up being told, or telling ourselves.
Meditation helps to balance you. If you tend to be high strung, meditation can be grounding. If you tend to me more lethargic, meditation can be energizing. If you allow yourself to get over the “woo woo” factor (like this is something for hippies, or something for rich executives that have time to just sit there), you’ll discover that even a few minutes a day can help regular people like you and I to react from a much more balanced state of mind.
We don’t meditate to get good at meditation. We meditate to get better at life.
Whether you want to read up on the scientific studies first, or you want to feel the practice in your own body and mind, it’s worth the investment of time.
Again, letting go can be difficult. We don’t practice to feel good. We practice to feel. Period. Because what we ignore, doesn’t go away. It’s stored in our cells. It creates tension, pain, and dis-ease.
We are all works in progress. If you’re interested in getting better at life, give this “woo woo” stuff a try.