Meditation. Thats what this post is about my friends.
Don't leave me yet----- I know what you are thinking.
As a productivity junkie and heavy efficiency analyst from birth, meditation looked like a whole lotta NOTHING to me too.
5 years ago thats what I honestly thought.
Why does sitting there breathing deeply and maybe moaning and "OOOOOHM" HELP ANYTHING??
Made zero sense in my mind.
But.... just like my body and mind 5 years ago didn't understand why running a 5k would be bring me a huge burst of joy and happiness, since I'd never done it at that time, I didn't know why meditation would be useful since I just had never done it.
But---- then I was seeking to serve the world more, and I jumped into entrepreneurship in the health industry 5 years ago. My ever efficient self read a LOT of books to shorten my learning curve. I read about building businesses online, leadership- team and self, revolutionary nutrition and fitness studies, healing the body from the inside, and this idea of personal development starting to make sense and I learned to love it.
And in every single dang book aimed at helping me become a better version of myself, someone, somehow, in some way, weaseled this meditation stuff into their notes. I really think it was mentioned in every single personal development book I read.
But..... really? Sitting there?
It just didn't make sense!
BUT----- again------ I had never tried it.
About 4 years ago I tried meditation for the first time in my life.
I clicked a free version on a smartphone app for a guided 2 minute meditation. I determined I was going to see what this meditation stuff was all about.
ha. ha. 2 minutes. One time. I laugh at it now.
I literally couldn't do 2 minutes.
I had SO many thoughts going through my mind I was going crazy.
I was like, "this just isn't for me."
I didn't get it.
3 years ago I decided to try again, after yet ANOTHER manifestation of a large amount of people sharing about it in books and online in groups I was learning from in that season of my life.
I made it through 3 free sessions.
About 3 minutes each, over a 10 day period.
And I admit- I actually felt something.
I felt like I was forcing my mind to be quiet, and to actually think in the PRESENT.
It was hard. But something about it spoke to me... telling me this was a GOOD thing.
It was honestly SO hard for me though.
I don't recall EVER thinking about JUST the present moment, ever in my life.
After that little seed was planted, life happened. I got pregnant, had severe complications and I just didn't pursue anything new.... for a long time. I was surviving.
1 year ago I decided I was ready to pick up my adventurous self again and start building my future anew.
In a BIG way. Not just my businesses I'd need to rebuild, but my newly scarred soul and mind from the events surrounding the past few years.
I was ready to really examine my belief systems and start the revolution I felt rising in my soul after the experience with my last baby being born early in 2017, resulting in me almost losing my life.
I knew that I needed to make a total reformation of my belief systems as I moved forward into truly becoming my best self, an open self, someone that can truly love unconditionally and influence the world for good. Late 2017 I symbolically threw all my beliefs on the table.
Like dumping a box of old things out, and really examining them each one by one, turning them over, determining where they came from, and then determining if they needed to stay.
This took a LONG TIME.
MONTHS and months, into a year.
A lot of heartache, anxiety, even slight depression periods resulted from this process, this need.
I read a book called "Mastering Your Mean Girl" by Melissa Ambrosini in August 2018 after hearing a woman speak about her life shift after reading this book, that felt a lot like my life at the moment. This book truly changed my thought processes and helped alleviate a lot of the stress I felt from this self belief exploration I was doing. In the book she talks about meditation a lot. The author talks about the benefits of silence and how meditation, just twice a day for 20 minutes gives the brain almost the same amount of rest as a full nights sleep, in addition to the calm and present joy it brings into each day when we practice it.
At that time I NEEDED my soul to be calm. I NEEDED help seeing all the joy daily.
I read another book a few months after that called, "The Miracle Morning," by Hal Elrod. He also spoke of meditation literally changing his life, due to the calming affect it had for his thoughts, and ability to focus in the present day. These two voices came to me when I was READY to hear. As I mentioned above... I had heard this information MANY times before. But my ears weren't open to it.
I should mention that my belief systems were falling into place by this time. I had let many things go, and new things were planted, and some old things remained.
Peace was returning to my life.
My new foundation of core beliefs and values were shakily taking form.
I determined that enough was enough in this meditation department. I felt there was something there that would bless my life, and I was ready to find out what it was.
I tried a few free trials of different meditation apps, talked with some wonderful mentors and friends who had suggestions for me, and set a goal to meditate once a day in the morning. Starting small.
After just two weeks of free versions, and meditating for about 2-4 minutes a day, I started to see my social media posts change to more gracious and truly meaningful thought shares. I had a few people reach out to me and say they could tell something was different. My "energy" I was putting out was bright and positive.
This was a big deal!
Then I invested the money and got a full version of an app that I was loving. It is the CALM meditation app. It was SO many options and I'm loving it right now.
I now meditate for 12-15 minutes every morning and my life is changing. JUST LIKE THOSE AUTHORS SAID IT WOULD.
Amazing how that works. ;)
The science it out there my friend, as for the reasons meditation "works." I'm no expert in all of the whys and hows. But if you want that information, it's out there. One article I'll link here is Forbes magazine just for a first grab at the phenomenal changes that meditation potentially can bring.
My point in sharing this with you, is that I KNOW that you are like me. Or you wouldn't be reading this blog post. I KNOW the you love productivity and that you love being a DOER. I know also, that you have a mind that is FULL. A brain that is always planning, and scheming and thinking of new ideas.
BUT HERE IS THE IDEA I WANT YOU TO consider:
Science tells us that the rest the brain acquires during wakeful hours, as in during meditation, is different than the rest we get while sleeping, but equally important! When we are in the present state, totally aware of our body and it's functions at the moment, we can actually connect with the body in a way we don't do while sleeping. Through guided meditations, we can consider ideas readily that the narrator instructs on, whereas if we weren't in a meditative state, we would hardly take it in. Unguided meditations, are harder. I'm still working up to these. One if the skills I have now, that has made a HUGE difference in my life is the skill of being able to view my thoughts. Instead of having my thoughts just swirl around and around in my head all day- I can now, in my minds eye, see them separately. I have learned to journal my thoughts to give them space OUTSIDE my mind after separating them out in meditation. My mind has SO much more space now. That will sound STRANGE to those of you who haven't done this yet. I get it.
But I want to share this testimonial with you, that meditation has created a calmness in my life I have not preciously known. A SPACE for thoughts, emotions, frustrations, and self appreciation that I have not previously created for myself well. Without this space I was prone to emotional eating episodes, emotional burn out, losing my temper, selfishness from feeling overwhelm from ideas past and future! I am living SO much more in the present and it has propelled my productivity through the roof, it has propelled my capacity to learn, love and serve into a realm I didn't even know I had.
And I'm only spending 12-15 minutes a day using guided meditations.
This is something that takes time to learn. It's been months now of learning this, and putting effort into understanding what I'm doing and making it a priority.
But it has been WORTH it 100x over.
My mind spirit connection is something that has also increased that I didn't know would be an outcome of meditation.
One last thought I'd love for you to hear- comes from my husband.
My husband is someone who rolled his eyes at meditation until these last few months when we has seen the change its made in my life. He just happened to be in our bedroom with me during one of my meditation sessions that was teaching about JOY and how we only truly feel joy through our body in the present. After the meditation session, he said, "That makes so much sense. That is why drugs, porn, tv, and even foods we love are so addictive. They give us PRESENT (immediate) pleasure feelings that we don't have to work for, and they KEEP US in that feeling, because it stops our brains from thinking forward or backward."
We can remember and reminisce of moments we felt JOY (our wedding day, a trip we took, that one night we kissed on the beach, when a baby was born, etc), and wish to re-live them. Of course our bodies would register JOY with those things. So with meditation daily, I am literally creating a present moment with my body, and create a meaningful moment that WILL register as a peaceful, joyful moment with my soul and mind. For 12-15 minutes EVERY DAY. Without needing food, a reason, another person, an event, an addictive substance, etc. This is kinda amazing. Want to try a short guided meditation? Try this one:
If you find your mind always spinning, and your find that you feel your life doesn't have the peace you wish it did, I highly suggest you give meditation a try. And then stick with it for at least a few months as your mind and body get used to it. I added yoga into my daily schedule as well in late 2018 and this pairing proved to literally change my entire energy within my body. I'll share that journey in the post coming next week along with some videos for you to try! Stay tuned.
It's too bad it's such a foreign thing to the general public.
But to the highly successful, the highly spiritual, and the exceptionally joyful, it is a daily essential and priority.
Love and belief,