This weekend marked 33 days of gratitude that I was encouraged to do after attending the meditation retreat I wrote about. We were taught different pressure points on our hands to use to work on different things for example letting go of ego, releasing emotions that aren’t yours, igniting child-like innocence among others. Most of us were new to meditating and the thought of meditating daily was daunting. After an entire weekend spent meditating, it became much easier!
At first I thought that it was going to be hard to do once I got home. Sure in the confines of that rustic house that was full of adults silently practicing mindfulness was easy. What would it be like at home? When I had to get up 45 minutes early just to have quiet in the house? Would I be able to wake up and pull myself out of the warm bed early? Would the baby stir because she subconsciously knew someone was up? Would I be able to stick to it? Would I be able to ground and center myself? I had so many questions running through my head.
None of those questions mattered once I lit my candles, put some soft meditative inducing music on YouTube and sat in my designated spot. My mind immediately went to that quiet place. A place very new and unfamiliar to me. A place full of peace, happiness, a state of perfection within my mind. A place that made my insides feel warm like there was a small fire burning within. A place that must be full of light because I felt like the sun itself was shining on my face and felt a warmth over me like I was sun bathing on a warm spring day.
It’s such a strange feeling because on the one hand I can’t believe that it’s already been over a month since I went to the retreat, it seems like just last weekend I was there. On the other hand I can’t believe it’s been only over a month! So much has happened since that weekend! I’ve discovered a lot about myself, who I am, what I want. I have also changed. I’ve become more patient, tolerant, understanding, accepting both of myself and others. I’m so surprised to see results so quickly. I went from not being able to meditate for 5 minutes with a guided meditation to being able to quiet my mind and enjoy the moment for over an hour.
The benefits of meditation are amazing. One of the things I love the most is that anyone and everyone can incorporate this into their life. It’s not a religious thing, it won’t contradict or interfere with your beliefs. It’s a way of finding peace, clarity and slowing down your life enough to hear things you would otherwise miss.
I encourage you to give meditation a try. If you have and think it’s not for you, I know how you feel. Guided meditation might work for you. You close your eyes and listen to the words letting your mind follow the prompt eventually you stop listening and your mind slowly wonders off. Let it go to where it may, you’ll be surprised by where it ends up. If the thought of hearing someone coax your thoughts to streams and pastures isn’t for you, you can try sounds of nature, or soft meditation music, try some deep breathing exercises, or even light a candle and just gaze at it. Be creative, think of things that give you peace and try and incorporate that into a way to enjoy the moment. At first it can be difficult to slow down your mind when you aren’t used to doing it, but with practice it becomes easier. Try smaller sessions a few times a day until you can build up the time you dedicate to practicing at length in one session.Most importantly don’t be too hard on yourself.
Do you meditate? How long have you been doing it? Do you remember what it was like when you started? What tips do you have for newbies? How often do you meditate? What do you like most about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!