After my last blog about reducing stress, MEDITATION seemed like the most natural topic to follow up with.
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There is an old Zen saying that goes like this: You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you are too busy; then you should sit for an hour.
I love it. Anyone who has practiced meditation for any length of time will know the wisdom in this and while it sounds ridiculous, there is an unexplainable yet undeniable truth that not meditating for 20 minutes a day is actually making your life more hectic than you realise.
I can hear you say you’re busy and that you’ve heard it all before. So why waste precious time going through it all again? You’ve got places to go and people to see and no one else is going to take care of those things for you right? You might have even tried meditation before and feel it did nothing for you, or you might even feel guilty when you see or hear the word meditation because while you don’t know why, a part of you knows that you should be doing it.
I know what it is like to be a busy mum. I have raised three children, and while they are mostly independent now, there was a time not so long ago when I was everything to them and my whole world revolved around their needs. It was during this busy time that I most needed to practice meditation and used to call it medication instead of meditation because it truly saved my sanity at times.
I had no idea when I started meditating 25 or more years ago just how beneficial it was to my health. I didn’t know it helped to balance my body’s hormones, kept my blood pressure down, restored my body to the relaxed response after a fight or flight response or that it helped with digestion and the elimination of toxins and waste products from my body.
What I did know about meditation was the way in which it impacted on my mental health. I felt it. As a result of regular meditation, my ability to parent 3 children, to help run a small business, to study, to volunteer, to communicate with others and to keep several balls in the air at once, as they say, was greatly enhanced, and these benefits have to be experienced to be believed.
It’s a strange phenomenon, but when you meditate regularly it is like stepping in to a time warp where everything flows smoothly and falls in to place effortlessly, day in and day out; where things get done and you don’t know how; where a 10 second buffer suddenly exists between your external world and your internal world so you can respond to circumstances and events rather than react to them. And within the calm there rests a deep sense of joy – a buzzing that bubbles up and over in to everything you say and do.
Buddha was asked: What have you gained from meditation? He said: Nothing, but let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.
As a Counsellor, if I could teach just one tool to each of my clients to help them in their lives, I would choose meditation. You don’t have to sit cross legged and hold your fingers in any particular place. There are just 4 things you need to do:
- Find or create a space that you can easily go to every day where you won’t be disturbed and where you will be inspired to get in to a still space within (this can be a fun, creative exercise within itself),
- Show up every day (very important),
- Sit comfortably with you back straight, then
- Inhale, exhale and repeat for 20 minutes.
I encourage you to commit to the process and find out for yourself how powerful it is. In my next blog I will give you what I believe to be the top 5 meditation styles for beginners to try.
Also, you can download a free guided Progressive Relaxation Meditation when you subscribe to The Juice. Fill in your details in the form at the bottom of the page.
Much love to you
Deborah Fay xx
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