Life has certainly changed- in one sentence. But the credit doesn’t go to meditation exclusively.
I am sure you have heard the saying, we wait for something major to happen in our life to start making changes- be that good or bad.
We arrive at cross roads. We look at all directions, feeling completely lost and defeated. We could decide to go further downhill. We may also try to convince ourselves that nothing life changing has happened, so we pretend or fake it and move along the same road we are familiar with. Then there is the high road- meaning a refusal to accept the tragedy that has just befallen to define our spirit and personality and choose to turn around your life in a good way. Then there are also few others who simply stop living. Oh yes, they are there physically but their souls are no longer there. They just go through the motions of living counting days and minutes until it is all over.
Our world today is filled with fear, anxiety and uncertainty. A lot of that has to do with COVID 19. Life as we knew it has ceased to exist back in March. We are forced to reprogram ourselves and relearn what we know about living. The world we inhabit is in a crisis, hell we are in a crisis. Media is filled with doom and gloom these days. Numbers and statistics determine our peace of mind and the future. Every morning brings hopelessness and dread. Is this what life is all about now? As we reel through it all, we think this cannot get any worse.
What I Learned After Half a Year of Meditation
Oh yes, but it does. It can get a LOT worse. Your loved one is dead. Suddenly. Just on the other side of the world. Unexpectedly. Shockingly. Some 7000 miles away.
You freeze. Denial. Anger. Darkness.
You are not allowed to travel. You can’t book any ticket because there are no flights and there are lockdowns between countries. You are not going anywhere, not anytime soon. So you stare in the abyss, clutching on to what is left of memories, refusing to move on from grief, from this pain. Guilt. That is the worst. You think of all the times, you could have made that trip- when there was no COVID, when there was no restrictions, when that person you loved more than anything else in the world was alive…
You find refuge on the floor lying down in a heap of sorry state, in the dark, in the light, again turning dark. You see days passing through the window. But you aren’t planning anything. Because there is nothing to plan. You sift through the emotions that are churning inside 24X7. They are relentless. They keep you awake at night. But you welcome them. For some reason you believe you owe that to them.
All of a sudden, you realize you have just become an orphan. Oh, didn’t that hurt? Life was lonely before. Living away from that person, but there was a consolation that he was just a phone call away, or a text away. The contact was priceless, but now you are stripped off that too. How much more this soul can handle? You question expecting no answers.
Now let’s talk about meditation- in first person.
This was my situation when I began practicing meditation the very first time. Yes, I had my run ins with it in the past but it didn’t stick. Mainly because to me, it was a waste of time and I was a Type A Personality. I always had important things to do. Life was on a schedule- work. kids, blog, social media- you know how it is. So if you remember that saying I shared in the beginning- something major to happen in life for us to rethink things or make changes– applied big time when my Dad left me when he died alone in a hospital bed thousands of miles away.
That was MY moment- A shake up inside happened. It began with emptiness. Despair and guilt. Then unbeknown to myself, it changed shape along the way. One night, I saw myself closing my eyes in deep thinking. Cannot say if it was thinking or listening or simply watching or waiting. I don’t know what it was. But I do know that it left me feeling good for the first time in months. I began by doing this 5-10 minutes at a time every day. Then it increased in length. These days, I meditate for over an hour.
If you will, Meditation from grief was my personal Big Bang. Yes, the same one that created this world billions of years ago. It created my world too, approximately 6 months ago. Not quite 6 months, some 2 weeks short from there. I couldn’t help myself but notice the changes that meditation brought along the way.
1. I am Sleeping Better
I was a pill taker for years. I needed assistance in getting a good night’s sleep. But I no longer do that. I sleep soundly and deeply. I have proper sleep cycles, I know this how? Yes, I do track them with my Oura ring. So this is not fabrication, but a claim made from facts.
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2. Bye bye Social Media
Being a blogger, half of my day went to social media. My follower counts and interactions and statistics were all a big deal to me. It mattered more than it should have in hindsight. After being a regular meditator, the first thing I did was to drop out from irrelevant social channels. The chatter wasn’t doing me any good and the one person I was looking forward to being connected is no longer there anyway. The silence that followed was bliss! I still keep some accounts, that are necessary for my blog exposure but I know that I am only giving them the importance that it deserves. No more no less. I am happy with that decision.
3. Treasure the Relationships that Matters
Yes, this is a big one. No more pleasing everyone. No more trying to be everything for everyone. This was a principle I adopted a few years ago and I was already seeing good outcomes from it but with meditation, I am able to fine tune it more. It makes me happy to spend time with my children, playing with them and listen to what they have to say even if I am in the middle of something that I deem “important”. I don’t think twice to drop everything and go play Lego with my son or dress up with my daughter if that’s what they wanted me to do at that moment in time. Simple Pleasures is my new motto!
4. I am a Health Junkie- both Mental and Physical
I thought I would never say this, but yet here I am. Meditation has taught me the value of taking care of myself. Think about it. We take our body for granted, don’t we? We eat what we want, do what we want with it. We eat junk, we don’t do exercise to burn those extra calories that we helped gain. We put our body through stress day in and day out, totally leaving the body to fend for itself and do its functions without any help from us. We think out bodies owe it to us. Please know, our body does not owe shit. But we owe it to it, big time. So start treating your body with respect and care. Do your part and I promise, it will do its part. You can start by watching what you eat, read books on healthy habits and diets if you don’t know where to begin, go for long walks if you are not really into heavy work outs etc. Start small, we all are heading in the same direction. Watch for the rewards that will start coming in, in terms of ideal weight gain, good vitals, great sleep, general happiness all around. I can vouch totally!
5. A Taste of Divine
I can’t end this post without touching up on this. Meditation is a journey to the unknown. It is a free fall into the spiritual world without expectations and judgements. So get ready to change your perspectives on what you know. Be willing and open to accept the divine. Side effects? None. But only satisfaction and bliss. And what will surprise you is the fact that all of this is hidden deep inside you. No need to search for a power outside to solve all your problems or answer all your questions. For the answers you seek can be discovered within. No amount of explanations I give you here can prepare you for what needs to happen if you are willing to give meditation a try. Come on, begin by closing your eyes. Just 5 minutes.
Learning to trust myself more than anything else or anyone is the most wonderful thing Meditation offered me. And that trumps it all.
You might have already decided that Meditation is not for you. It could be that you think you are not worthy for the goodness it offers or that you just don’t have the time for that extra 5 minutes of quietness. But take it from me, as someone who had all the excuses in the world for why meditation isn’t a good idea- this will show you a new world. Only if you are willing to see. Don’t wait for a life changing event to happen to you to go inward. An inward journey can be taken anytime. Anywhere.
As for my progress, I will continue along this journey and may post an update again some time in future.
Take care everyone.