Meditation…… I’m curious about what comes to mind for you when you hear that word.
Does it sound like it would be a chore?
Do you find comfort in the process?
Are you unsure how to meditate, where to even begin?
If you are asked about it, do you think, “Oh, that would be nice but I don’t have time. Maybe tomorrow.”?
Here is a little experience I have had of late that may peak your interest about the practice of meditation. It was 2005, 14 years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I started investigating simple practices that would assist and comfort me.
I began a daily meditation practice. I found meditations on YouTube and on cd’s I collected. Some meditations were guided and the gentle voice would give me pictures to create in my mind’s eye. Other examples were sounds that were meant to quiet the monkey brain and bring me to Theta waves where the mind can relax. It was such a useful tool in all of these forms, especially as I was managing a year of surgeries and cancer treatments. It quieted my thoughts and reduced my anxiety. Meditation contributed to my healing on a substantial level. Then, for some reason, I stopped……
I came up with all kinds of excuses. “It was too noisy at my house with two barking dogs, I’d rather be outside and be active, I could no longer sit and do something so passive….”
Well, I found other sources of creativity because that was another reason I was meditating, to tap into ideas and wisdom that I could access from my brain and intuition. However, these other processes I was using to access my inner being, as of late, have become very busy and overwhelming. My head is quite the resource! My connection to consciousness has also intensified so much so that ideas and thoughts have been flooding my awareness almost constantly. A few weeks ago I acknowledged that all of this creativity was creating havoc in the sense that I was aware of so much I could not keep up with it all. It threw me into a spiral. I couldn’t choose what to focus on so I was all over the place. I was not accomplishing anything to completion. Months of 100’s of ideas in notebooks and on my computer. All vying to be heard and expressed. To be put out into the world. It all became so much noise. I froze not knowing which direction to turn. Lost. Tired. Brain fried. Until last week……..
Last week I began meditating again. The relief has been like a gift from heaven. My soul is so grateful. My brain is delighted. And my ideas and creative sources are just giddy with excitement. Why? When all of my dreams and desires and ideas want to speak at the same time, as exciting as that is, I close my eyes, breathe deeply, listen to some soft music, the frenzy stops, and the calm begins. I do not open my eyes until my mind has had at least 5 minutes of quiet time. This is a practiced knowing of how long it has been. Five minutes of peace to rest the brain, just as you would a muscle during a workout, and then each idea takes a turn to gently unfold. From this space of centered peace, I write down each one. Then, quietly and with ease, I can choose which one to work with first as the others are beautifully stored on my phone ;-).
Meditation, quieting of the mind, giving you a chance to center and regain control. The thoughts will not fly away! If you think they might, write them down before you close your eyes. Then, after the stillness, you can return to them, one by one, when you are ready.
If you would like a taste of some quiet time, feel free to download this gentle guided meditation I’ve created after one of my meditations. Fresh from the calm stillness of my mind to you…. Enjoy!