As you can probably gather I am a massive fan of meditation. It has helped me through my darkest times, and is always there to ground and balance me when I need it. It’s free and it’s wonderful and I think everyone should try it at least once.
Spending twenty minutes per day listening to my breath has been a daily practice for me since March 1997. That twenty years (how is that possible?) has flown by and I still feel that I am a beginner in many ways.
At the heart of my practice is a compassion for myself – a willingness to sit with myself and just BE with whatever arises. There are many layers to this process and I have discovered many parts of myself (both good and bad) that I didn’t know were there. Knowing and acknowledging myself unconditionally has been one of the greatest gifts that meditation has offered me.
As a highly sensitive and empathetic person it is often hard for me to deal with the energies of those around me, as I can be a psychic sponge for all the feelings in a room. And the problems and pain in our world can often seem overwhelming to me.
That's where meditation helps. It gives me back to myself daily. It helps me to protect myself in a loving way, so that I can find my balance and fill my own tank, before I offer my energy to the world.
It helps me to know what boundaries I need and helps me to set them without guilt.
It’s endlessly fascinating to me how meditation is able to turn my day around. For example, I find that if I miss meditation in the morning I will undoubtedly be contacted by someone I would rather not speak to, or lock my keys in the car, or get a parking ticket, or have a fight with my husband.
The list goes on and on.
Just by giving myself the time I need to balance, ground and centre myself, I am sending that message out to the world ahead of me. When I can relate to the world from this calm place it is much easier to let life unfold as the gracious dance it can be.
That is not to say that meditation has made my life easy, it’s just that when I meditate I make better decisions. I am more focused and grounded and I attract the people and circumstances that fit with the way I am now feeling. Life seems to flow better.
I think meditation also gives me a chance to put some space around those things that make me angry and push my buttons. After meditation I can take situations less personally, and understand them in a more heart-centred way, without letting my reactions and judgments run ahead of me.
When my beloved mother Pamela was dying we meditated together as much as we could. This was a beautiful way of coming together in a place not dependent on the material world. In this place we realized we are connected in ways that are not limited to these bodies we wear, and we found peace, even through the darkest of our days.
Since her death I have started to meditate twice a day, once in the morning and again at the end of the day. This practice has been a great help in navigating the intense grief that has come with the loss of my mum.
Our relationship continues in a spiritual way. She is always close when I need her and I hear her advice coming from my heart whenever I tune in to listen but I still miss her physical presence deeply every day.
Meditation is my port in a storm, my willow, my place of centring, the heart of humility, humour and love.
Just try it once and see what you think.