5:30 a.m., the alarm goes off. Half-awake I make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth. Reorganized, I make my way to the clear corner of my room where my meditation space awaits. I sit down on my meditation block. Thoughts begin to make their presence known. Cluttering my mind and fogging my brain. The decision to return to the coziness and comfort of my bed plague today’s mind chatter. Other thoughts start narrating stories as if I could possibly do anything about it in this moment. I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and regather myself. It isn’t long before I can see my thoughts passing over my mind like waves washing over a barren coastline. At this point, I begin to cultivate gratitude. I begin to deepen my awareness by checking in with my physical body, my energies, my emotions, and my breath. A deep sense of calmness, serenity, and peace engulf the space that was once relentless chatter. Now there is clarity, purpose, and life.
This simple tool has been an awakening to greater fulfillment in all aspects of my life. However, to sit in stillness and observe is not so easy. Many of us are afraid to be with ourselves in silence for even a few moments let alone several minutes. How is it that some may sit in reverent silence and others are quick to leave the aspects of their mind? For one, it’s is frightening. Think to be alone with the object that has caused past pain, trauma, suffering, and destruction is intimidating. To face your thoughts takes courage! Think of the last time you were quiet. How many thoughts raced uninterrupted through your mind? How many times were these thoughts destructive in nature or worse yet, manifested into a negative emotional state or other forms of altercation. We are wired to react. The sympathetic nervous system, or often referred to as the fight, flight, or freeze state is the dominant force behind many of our daily struggles. This state can cause anxiety, self-doubt, frustration, anger, impulsivity, and depression. This system is critical for our survival, but on average we over rely on this system to create everyday thoughts, decisions, and actions. The majority of us are trapped in this sympathetic state, unaware, and our quality of life is suffering.
A simple meditative practice can begin to reengineer your thinking practice. It will allow you to rediscover inner workings that will allow more soundness in judgement and an overall sense of wellbeing. Many believe that meditation can’t be achieved. Only those locked in caves or secluded from society can achieve the benefits of meditation. The answer is far from that. Meditation is the most accessible, cost effective, empowering tool that is available to us. This practice will help gain an overall sense of purpose and fulfillment that will spill into your relationships, career, body, emotions, and life.
Below are 5 Fruits I have learned from my daily practice:
1) Meditation increases and improves awareness (physical, emotional, spiritual, and energetic). Meditation allows one to examine the intent of their actions rather than react to the survival flight, flight, or freeze instinct.
2) Meditation cultivates a sense of wellbeing throughout your day and life. Rather than reacting to situations, you begin to respond to situations with greater clarity of intention, mindfulness, and emotion. Mediation can create a sense of purpose, direction, and ease.
3) Mediation creates space in a cluttered mind. The moment stillness is achieved, awareness begins. This is when the journey begins.
4) Meditate anywhere! Seated, in the shower, walking, driving, in line for coffee. The beauty is this tool is available to us all at any time without restriction. Being aware of your thoughts in the presence of nature is one of the most powerful and healing practices that you can offer to yourself.
5) Meditation is a daily practice. The practice might change as insights grow, or may change on a daily basis. Like any skill, it will take practice to learn how to use it. There is no end, nor beginning for a matter of fact. This being said, do not become discouraged if you can’t sit for more than 5 minutes. If your intent is to sit still for 1 minute. Then that’s your practice. Over time your awareness will improve and your tolerance will increase
This practice even works well with many physical practices: yoga, running, weightlifting, and many sport activities. Find your intention, find stillness, clarity, and respond with awareness. Practice daily anytime anywhere. Happy training!