Meditation: its benefits are scientifically proven.
Meditation relieves everything from insomnia to depression; enhances immune system and helps to prevent arthritis; increases mental strength and focus; and helps cognitive skills and creative thinking. If you could package the benefits of meditation in a pill and sell it, it would be a BILLION dollar industry. And yet, so many people resist it. I know, I personally avoided it like the plague. When I enrolled in my first Yoga Teacher Training Course I would do anything I could think of to avoid going and sitting in meditation. It made my skin crawl. It made me want to run away. It made me want to hide. What was it about meditation that caused such a strong reaction in me? I didn’t want to look at myself.
I didn’t want to take a good, hard, honest look at myself because, at the time, I didn’t like myself or my life. I was in denial. I blamed my circumstances (you name it, parents, hormones, friends, my body, the list was endless). I didn’t know how, or at least, that’s what I told myself. So instead, I busied myself. I found many ways to do this: overworking, overeating, obsessing over my weight, pills, and lots of other creative outlets. Then came the day I finally found the courage to face myself. I had been working about 90 hours a week, at the time. I barely slept. I had, what I believe at the time, was undiagnosed IBS, gastrointestinal comfort, and extreme anxiety. This life wasn’t cutting it for me anymore and my desperate need for peace outweighed my fear of sitting with myself. So, the journey within began.
I started with 5 minutes. It was all I could do at the time and it was hard. I was so unfocused. I cried all the time. I beat myself in my mind. I didn’t like spending time with myself, and no wonder! I was so mean and harsh to myself. So, I started writing out my thoughts. I started taking a good hard look at myself and I started to accept responsibility that I was creating my own terrible life. I started journaling. I started spending more time in my yoga postures, and I started coaching myself through my thoughts to explore them. I started to notice that I was feeling better. My business started taking off. Relationships seemed closer and more satisfying. I started to lose weight. My overall quality of life started improving. Imagine that.
The way meditation has changed my life is invaluable. It is now a part of my everyday life. I now meditate twice a day for just shy of 30 minutes, each time – once in the morning and once at night. There’s such a deep peace and connection I feel with myself and my life. My inner dialogue is more kind. I have my moments, but I like spending time with myself now, and because of that I have established a deep intimate relationship with myself. I love myself now. I’m still working on the “unconditional” factor, but meditation made love possible for me. Commit to it and see how your life can open up for you.