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MY JOURNEY & INSIGHTS ON MEDITATION

My journey & insights on meditation 

Someone sat opposite me at a wedding said to me ‘I don’t believe in meditation, it’s the biggest con’. I spent a minute trying to sway her but then thought fair enough. Sometimes I forget what it must look like from the outside if you have no interest. Being told to sit still for 10 - 30 minutes NO THANKS. 

I started meditation when I was 24, 7 years ago. I did the 10 day free trial on the Headspace app and I loved it. It was a profound experience. I realised that underneath everything going on in my life I was happy and calm somewhere within. And it only took me 10 minutes (at the time) to come to the realisation that everything was ok as it is. I was not drowning under the weight of everything going on, I was not treading water, which I often thought I was. I was just fine. I committed to the 10 days and did it each morning before work. I’ve had moments when I’ve struggled with the practice and moments when I could sit for 40 minutes. There have been times when I feel like I haven’t gotten anything out of it and days when it really helps me land in my body and quieten the noise. 

I have stuck with the practice (albeit at times with a struggle) because I can feel the difference in how I treat myself, and how I react to situations. If I don’t practice and allow things to build up, and don’t allow things to process and filter through, my tone is much harsher. My practice has taught me to notice when my inner critic is fully engaged and that niggly inner voice is getting the better of me. It’s how we interact with our thoughts that is important, how we allow them to manifest and affect us. How we interplay with ourselves affects how we are with others. 

I was chatting to a friend the other day who was upset as a girlfriend of hers said a flippant and hurtful comment that clearly wasn’t thought through. However it was how the girl dealt with the comment after that was most hurtful for my friend. We might say things and think things out of our control (saying is of course more in our control) but it’s how we grab the moment and react to these things, which is important. 

I have random insecure moments when my mind is telling me crazy things, which I know are utterly insane. I have to work hard to accept my insecurity with compassion and then consciously not allow those thoughts to manifest. It might sound unbelievable but only through my practice have I been given the tools to do this. (Not to say that this is the only practice that works but it’s what has served me).

Giving yourself the time to sit allows us the chance to observe what is going on. You might even write some things down that come naturally after meditation. Writing things down in itself is an incredible process for healing and working through stuff. 

Give meditation ago, it takes time so don’t beat yourself. If it’s not for you that’s ok. Figure out what does help you get out of the mind and into the body and in to the present and do that. 

N:B photo taken on the stunning Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe where I meditated each morning to the sunrise. 

CONNECT & LISTEN

 

|| CONNECT & LISTEN ||

In modern society we are never taught to listen and observe what’s going on within ourselves. Everything is clouded by something else. Our emotions are clouded by our inner voice, which is affected by cultural boundaries, brand influences, newspaper headlines, what people say do, what they don’t do, opinion after opinion - no wonder it’s hard to hear what's really going on inside. Some days we feel so on top of it and other days it feels like everything is spinning. Sometimes it's hard to let go of thoughts and feelings we don’t desire. As B.K.S Iyengar says in Light on Yoga - The ‘Mind is the product of thoughts which are difficult to restrain for they are subtle and fickle. A thought which is well guarded by a controlled mind brings happiness. To get the best of an instrument, one must know how it works.’ The mind is our instrument and we can retune it through our practice.

Yoga gives us the space and opportunity to connect and listen internally. Through a well-rounded practice of asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation the mind becomes more focused and less distracted. Yoga helps us find moments of deeper connection to self, which we lose in this disconnect modern world. We become better listeners internally and therefore we become better listeners for those around us.

Additionally, when we have a greater connection to ourself we become more aware. Awareness of self is key to our output, to the energy we give off. When we become more aware of our thought patterns, our reactions and root cause of emotions - we can take action and let go of feelings that do not serve us. With continuous practice we learn to manage our mind and we can only do this through a deeper rooted connection to our body and self, which we gain through our practice.

So give yourself the time to connect and listen to the body. It will make a huge difference to your well-being and continued happiness.