Meditation came in to my life at an early age, 15 to be exact. I was severely sick with Glandular Fever, Ross River Fever and appendicitis all at the same time. Basically my immune system was completely shot and I had absolutely no drive, no get up and go and I was slowly wasting away. I could not stay awake for more then a couple of hours at a time and my body was in constant pain, all day everyday. As my grandfather would say I was ‘pretty much buggered’.
There is no real medical treatment you can do for any of these conditions and the Doctors told my parents to take me home and feed me ice cream (which was the worst possible thing for me at the time due to a dairy allergy & high sugar content that completely depletes the immune system even further). However after a couple of months in bed and no real improvement in my health Mum knew there had to be a better way at healing this. She took me to see a homeopath, my first foray into the field of alternative health care. I started on a whole bunch of immune supporting remedies and was introduced to meditation.
I was told to close my eyes and watch my breathing and visualize the cells of my body healing. I did it; it was easy and within record time I was well again.
As I got older meditation was not a priority in my life anymore. It suddenly took a backseat to having fun, chasing boys and all things that teenage life in the late 90’s entailed.
I forgot all about it and didn’t rediscover it until I was a stressed out, completely derailed, partying too hard, desperate 20 something looking for peace, answers, understanding and healing.
I went to meditation classes and used to spend the time thinking about all the things I had to do inside my head. I could not, for the life of me, find that stillness that was so attainable once upon a time. I tried sitting down every morning to ‘be quiet’ and I just ended up feeling irritated and pissed off as the monkey chatter in my mind was on high speed full voltage and nothing was slowing it down.
I used to get so jealous when people would tell me they meditate everyday and that’s what leads them to peace and happiness.
WTF? How? What’s the secret?
I didn’t know whether there was some kind of gene I was missing or whether I just downright sucked at this whole meditation thing. It used to really give me the shits and no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t switch off the chatter party going off inside my head.
When I was about to give up on my whole meditation dream I rediscovered guided visualization in Guatemala.
I attended a class where the teacher led us through a visualization and I was present and focused the entire time. Afterwards she actually had to come and ‘bring me out’ of the meditation I was in because I was still sitting there in silence 20 minutes after the class had finished and everyone had left.
I felt like I had returned home.
I felt so light and free and deeply connected afterwards and I actually cried of relief because I had been trying so desperately to get to that space.
It was then I realized that meditation is not about sitting still and turning your mind off like a switch for all of us. If you are a monk, or have been practicing for 20 + years this might be the case but it’s not that way for everyone. How could it be? We are so heavily stimulated internally and externally and most people need sedatives to just slow down let alone completely switch off.
I personally redefined the act of Meditation within myself as the act of getting out of your headspace and into your heart space. Anything that gives you some reprieve from the mental chatter of your head and brings about peace, insight and presence.
I started seeing different practices that took me out of the monkey mind rut to be a meditation like yoga, cooking, dancing, surfing and walking. I started to feel that deep sense of peace everyone had been talking about when I did these activities with complete presence.
Now I can sit down and meditate easily, anywhere, anytime, like I did when I was 15 years old. I can easily get to the stillness, the space in between the space. It has become a permanent fixture in my life and something I attribute to balance and wellness and my overall health.
I have also learnt that it is ONLY by getting out of our monkey minds and return back into our hearts that true healing occurs. If you spend too much time in your head you will be constantly exhausted and the vicious cycle goes around and around leaving very little space for healing to occur.
So I ask you;
- What is your meditation practice?
- What does meditation mean to you?
- How can you incorporate more time out of your head and more time spent in your heart within your life?
- What activities do you do with complete presence that brings you peace and takes you out of the mental chatter going off inside your head?
If you do all things with love, presence and breath then your whole life becomes a meditation and you will flow harmoniously along its ebbs and flows with ease and grace.
Much Love & Gratitude