Learn how the Simple Practice of Meditation Amazingly changed my life
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Learning the practice of meditation and how it AMAZINGLY changed my life has been transforming. And with an open mind and a desire for true peace, it can change yours too!
Nearly 4 years ago, the passing of my mother (and my last parent… I lost my father unexpectedly from a heart attack in 2009) left me completely in a place that was unexpected, unchartered and, if I’m being honest, completely debilitating.
My mother had quite a hard life physically. She lived with scoliosis from adolescence and though surpassing her doctors expectations considering the severity of her spinal curvature, I have not one memory of her ever living pain free.
I am the oldest of her 4 children…. One sister is 13 months younger than me, and twin siblings that are 4 1/2 years younger.
I grew up in a home where my mom was a stay at home mom.
She was caring, patient, and gentle however, her style of parenting was also a life of codependency and enabling of her kids, that I believe in my heart, came from a place of losing her mother at a fairly young age.
How is this all relevant here?
Well, that enabling and codependency caught up with her as 2 of my 3 siblings became adults. It literally surfaced in unimaginable ways the last few years before my mother’s death.
Her passing was not peaceful. In fact, one of my 2 sisters got so out of control the last year of my mother’s life that my mom suffered a rare heart attack called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. This is otherwise known as “broken-heart syndrome.”
That’s an entirely different blog post in itself. Though it does bear relevance because I was my mom’s caretaker after my father passed away in 2009. And the events leading up to my mother’s death were suppressed and tucked away without me even consciously knowing I was doing so.
All hell broke loose immediately after her passing.
Her estate that I was the executor of was thrown into probate, over an outdated will, and an updated one that I would later find out was destroyed my sister.
Both sisters resurfaced a year later when the life insurance policy had matured, after abandoning my mother prior to her death.
They did everything they could to have me removed as my mother’s executor, though they ultimately failed. 3 1/2 years of battling that, on top of never really being able to grieve the loss of my mom, had taken its toll.
Watching her die a long heart-breaking death left me depleted, broken, and fearful.
My health started to quickly and noticeably decline.
By this time I had developed EXTREME anxiety, and then I started suffering frequent panic attacks.
No longer was I able to sleep. I have struggled on and off with insomnia since the birth of my first child, but nothing like this!!
Eating meals was literally a constant struggle and I sunk into such a deep depression. Daily, I would wake up truly feeling like there was absolutely ZERO chance that I would ever experience peace.
Quickly, I had dropped down to 114lbs. My family and friends were a constant source of love and support. But I could see the worry and concern in their eyes, realizing there was nothing they could do to help me really.
There is no other way to describe it other than complete and utter despair. I felt like an abandoned orphan that was literally terrified to leave my room.
And though I logically knew my fears were irrational, I was unable to overcome them. I was convinced after months of suggestions from my doctor to finally try antidepressants.
After 3 years of all these things progressing, I was desperate to do ANYTHING to escape the same repetitive thoughts of despair, sadness and fear.
The truth is, there are some things in life that only we, ourselves are meant to sort through. Sure support is important, but ultimately self love starts with self help, so I was on a mission to find some sort of mental relief.
In enters meditation.
What is Meditation?
Simply put, meditation is the practice of quieting your mind, and focusing your attention on the present moment.
It is dissolving your busy conscious thoughts that often overtake us in everyday life.
Getting to a calming subconscious level by shifting our focus from conscious analytical thinking to subconscious auto-pilot, where calmness and clarity can take place.
Meditation by definition of the Medical Dictionary is: a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
Though I had always been interested in meditation, I knew it required quieting the mind. Anyone that knows me can tell you me and “quiet” never are in the same sentence!
I did make a few attempts over the years, but could never get past 5 minutes without frustration and giving up. For me, it was a last option in an attempt to escape, anxiety, grief and find peace. Even if only temporarily.
It does take practice at first. It also takes a willingness to want a better way of living a life of calm and peace.
Since learning simple practices of meditation, in just a few short months I have noticed several benefits:
- a reduced amount of stress and anxiety
- less frequent insomnia
- sharper clarity and insight
- the ability to concentrate on everyday tasks
- a more positive perspective
- an increase in endorphins
- a desire to be more committed and self-integral
- fewer mood swings
- increased energy
There are many different meditation practices.
Mindful meditation is probably the most commonly used. It is simply a focused meditation on being fully present to your thoughts and emotions, usually focusing on breathing techniques.
Guided meditation,is taking a small word, sound or short statement and repeating it while slowly easing into a relaxed restful state of calmness without effort, which happens to be my favorite meditation, is using a recorded guide or teacher that leads your mind into visualization, often using all the senses as a guide.
These 3 are probably the easiest to learn when just beginning.
There are many more advanced meditations once you become comfortable with the practice. I have just recently started learning and practicing kundalini meditation, which is awakening energy that lies dormant in the spine. It’s often used to often heighten your spiritual experience.
My favorite guided one I have found thus far and I am a bit obsessed with is by Gabby Bernstein on YouTube. I’ve included the video below if you’re curious about kundalini meditation.
Gabby is NO JOKE if you want to learn all the great techniques of meditation. I recently did a 21 day challenge of hers, and it really was inspiring and incredibly helpful in fueling the desire to learn more.
I cannot say enough about Gabby Bernstein and how her passion and gifts have inspired me.
She has been such a huge part of my meditation journey thus far, and a constant source of motivation to make it a lifelong practice.
Her ability to connect with her following, and allow you to truly feel the change inside is AMAZING and addicting!!
You can learn more about her work and meditations at https://gabbybernstein.com/ You can also check out her books that are available for Audio, Kindle and paperback by clicking here.
To be intentional while concentrating on what’s important to us, and what ignites our soul is essentially what meditation is. It brings awareness to what’s hiding secretly in our hearts.
Meditation has truly changed the way I look at many things in life now. It’s how I start my day, and often how I end it as well.
My moods are overall happier, more positive and for the first time in a LONG time I wake up excited to start my day in a positive relaxed way. I am always seeking new meditations and practices to add.
If you’re an avid meditator I wanna hear from you!
If you’re curious about meditation and where to start I also want to hear from you.
I will do my best to help, or find the answer you’re looking for.
And if you’re just beginning the meditation journey, I have put together 5 great beginner meditations that will help you get started! You can check out my post “5 INCREDIBLE and SIMPLE Meditations for the New Beginner” to get started.