Updated: Oct 11, 2021
I have found meditation/mindfulness to be the most powerful self transformation tool. On a daily basis, it supports me to keep bringing myself back to the present moment when I get lost in thought. As we tend to have 80% of the same thoughts on a daily basis, we are at risk of recreating our past over and over again. Meditation, mindfulness or stillness helps bring in more awareness to support changing this.
When I remain in the present moment I am more effective and happier in work and life. The key is to become still & become the awareness that sits behind the mind. The awareness that notices the constant stream of thoughts and sensations in the body without judging them, just watching everything happen. When we are the witness of our experience, rather than lost in it we can shine a light on what is happening within us, see what we need to let go and change and that is where peace and possibility lies.
And it is from that space that we connect with our true essence. From there healing is possible, as the consciousness within us connects with universal consciousness. That's where we can tap into wisdom, ideas and creative potential. It supports us in shedding some light on some of the conditioning of our minds that may need to be redefined, released or re-imagined. This is necessary to propel us forward in realizing the dreams and goals of our hearts.
The world and its ways and our conditioned compliance can lead us to live in ways that ultimately do not serve us. The more we disconnect from our true selves and allow our lives to be ruled by our mind and external influences, the unhappier we are. If we are to live our lives based on fearful conditioning, striving to achieve, accumulate and attain what really is not our highest calling, we end up unhappy in unfulfilling careers or relationships. Because somewhere along the way we had got caught up and lost in "thought" and what we "should" be focusing on rather than being connected fully to our authentic selves, our hearts desire and intuition.
How many of us end up living our lives based on fearful conditioning that causes us to go against our true nature of love for ourselves and others? We see this often with the pursuit of wealth, fame or status. Nothing wrong with these if built upon a loving intention rather than a false sense of self. Because, in that case they cannot bring happiness. If we are not connected to our true essence and peace as the basis for our intentions and creation, what we create will not be fulfilling.
So, to come back to ourselves, we need to give ourselves the space to be still. And our mind will resist that, it will come up with excuses as to why “meditation is not for me” or “I don’t have the time” or whatever, the mind is very clever at avoiding being quietened. Just be aware of that. A good place to start might be in nature, if that helps you to feel calm. Start gently with yourself, 5 minutes here and there whenever you can. Build it up, so what if you miss a day, start again in every moment.
Watch the thoughts go by as if they are on a conveyor belt, notice the ones that your mind wants to attach to. You will even find your mind takes over without you even noticing and that’s ok. Just keep bringing yourself back to being the observer. Don’t judge, be gentle and speak to yourself kindly.
You don’t have to sit cross legged and be in a space of complete quietness either. I sometimes most need to be still when I’m multi-tasking and overwhelmed. When I become aware that I'm feeling stressed and lost in thought, I take a few breaths to center myself, observe what’s going on with me, what am I thinking and bring myself back to relative calm and continue whatever I’m doing.
I’m not zen all the time and that’s ok. It’s ok to just do your best and it’s ok sometimes if you are not at your best. But the one thing I’ll say as you grow your practice, is that every day you will start to feel better and better. You will have those moments of such deep beautiful peace. You'll start to love sitting by yourself and become happier and more joyful.
What meditation has allowed me to do is become more aware. With that awareness, I've been able to understand the conditioning, patterns or trauma that I needed to face. That allowed me to change, to consciously feel, heal, release and let go of what no longer served me. And with that came more joy, peace, happiness and self confidence. There are lots of resources out there to take a step towards a meditative practice. Experiment, with what you think will work best for you. You might prefer to start with Yin Yoga or a walking practice, perhaps a guided meditation on an app or there are lots of meditations on Youtube. See how you go and remember to go gently with yourself if your new to it.