I have played around with meditation for years, but quite honestly, the word “dabbling” is just barely an honest assessment of my commitment to the practice.
Don’t get me wrong; I am fascinated by this age-old habit. I read EVERYTHING under the sun on the topic, I attended trainings, I listened to podcasts, I espoused its benefits, I had even TAUGHT meditation. But actually meditating on a daily basis? Well….
Until about 2 years ago.
What happened? I had the profound realization that stress makes you stupid. I have always nurtured an intimate, behind closed doors relationship with stress. Don’t we all? We work so hard to make it look pretty on the outside, but the inside feels like a pressure cooker, a precariously balanced stack of plates, a juggling act with bowling balls and knives. Welcome to modern-day living. In fact, we’ve become so desensitized to stress that many of us wear it like a badge of honor.
Gut check on that: If you’ve found yourself droning on about your endless task list to a friend or bragging about your Herculean feat of getting 3 kids to different practices while finishing a work assignment and planning a meal – you may be a stress addict.
Hello. My name is Laura. And I am an adrenaline junkie. There. It’s said.
Stress has taken a fairly big toll on my life; most notably my health. 9 years ago, my body nearly shut down, and had it not been for the loving guidance of my doctor & support of my family, I would have suffered much more. Maybe thick-headed, but that was not enough for me to step into a daily practice of meditation. I toyed with it, practiced haphazardly, meditated for months on end and then matched it with months OFF end.
Until 2 years ago when I realized that stress made me stupid. I have high value for critical thinking, creative problem solving, & articulate communication. These are “success virtues” in my book, and it took realizing that stress compromised my critical thinking, stymied my creativity, and chopped up my communication before I decided to get serious about meditation. Health impairment I can live with. Stupidity? No way. (Subject of another blog).
Here’s the simple truth: meditation is the fastest route to less stress. Period. Those of us who think we can’t sit still, can’t calm down, can’t relax enough to meditate are the PERFECT CANDIDATES for this easy but quite messy practice. All you have to do is sit, close your eyes, and follow your breath. Witness yourself in stillness. Stay in the discomfort. Breathe. Breathe Again. 10 Minutes: voila!
Do I meditate every day? NO! Even now, I find a day (and sometimes days) slide by without intentional effort on my part. Be gentle with yourself but disciplined. Try it for 60 days @ 10 minutes a day. (I promise you – you can carve out 10 minutes). Meditation doesn’t take time – it creates time. It creates a calmer mind, a warmer heart, and a more open and reception you. You are worth it!