I think about my life as MLBM (my life Before meditation), and MLAM (my life After meditation).
MLBM – drifting, reactionary, relatively unhappy, proving myself, anxious, and feeling empty.
MLAM – grounded, responsive, centered, fulfilled, calm, peaceful, really happy, content, purposeful.
That’s how impact-ful it’s been. And it’s why meditation is the foundation of everything I offer in my business.
After leaving the Catholic church at 16 yrs old, dabbling in Christianity, and finally being an Atheist with no direction, I found myself at a ten-day meditation retreat at the age of 32.
“What the hell am I doing here?” I asked myself as I sat down with 50 other people I didn’t know. What was I thinking spending the next ten days not talking, not looking at others, not reading or writing, no movies, no music, no exercise – just sitting and watching my thoughts?
It sounded like some kind of torture device – and I was choosing to do it!
I made it through – and it changed everything.
It changed the way I look at the world (and continues to do so), how I view my thoughts, my relationship with myself and others, living my purpose, feeling joy, and above all – feeling peaceful.
Meditation can be a loaded word – meaning it can have all sorts of interpretations depending on what you’ve read, who you’ve talked to, and what you believe about religion.
There is a form of meditation in every religion and meditation can also not be attached to any religion. You may hear it called, “present moment awareness” or mindfulness based stress reduction” as well.
It has it’s roots in the Eastern Traditions, with Buddhism being the most well-known.
What I hear the most is: “I can’t meditate because I can’t stop my thoughts – it’s crazy up there!” (as they point to their head).
Let’s look at the 3 most common myths or beliefs about meditation and see what is actually true.
- I can’t meditate because I can’t stop my thoughts. Here’s the truth: the brain was born to think – that’s it’s job. To believe you can stop your thoughts for anything longer then a nano-second is about as realistic as believing you can grow wings and fly into your neighborhood tree. Accept this fact and you CAN meditate.
Meditation is about changing the relationship to your thoughts, not stopping your thoughts. It’s about seeing your thoughts as thoughts and not reality (notice how much you suffer because of assumptions, judgments, beliefs, perceptions, shoulds, etc.)
- I have to sit on the floor to meditate and it has to be for at least 30 minutes. False. You can sit wherever you’d like and you can start with 5 minutes. My only suggestion is to not do it lying down as it will be harder to stay focused as you’ll begin falling asleep!
I sit on my couch cushions turned sideways, some people meditate upright in bed or on the side of their bed, others meditate on a chair. The point is: have your spine relatively upright whether you are leaning against a wall or chair or not. And set a timer for 5 min. – there’s some great itunes apps out there!
- Meditation is for religious people. Big False. Meditation can be for anyone, whether you are affiliated with a religion, are spiritual but not religious, or not spiritual in any sense of the word. Meditation is all encompassing crossing all continents.
It is becoming more main stream (yay!), and I directly witness the changes I see in people every class I teach and person I work with privately. It is the foundation of every 1-on-1 program I offer, and continues to be an integral part of my day – every day. It can be for you too…
Categories: Meditation & Mindfulness