This happy dog picture is actually very suited for a blog post about meditation. According to Jill Bolte, Ph.D. in neuroanatomy, meditation helps you connect to the emotional- and thinking tissue of your right brain hemisphere, and this is the place where joy and gratitude are to be found. Joy and gratitude can't occupy the same space as fear and worry, which live in the emotional tissue of your left brain hemisphere. So, I will give you a picture of a happy dog. It's how I feel about life most days. Even if I spend a vast amount of time thinking about today's challenges, I'm in a good place.
About five years ago, I got the notion that I should get started with meditation from somewhere inside of me. Meditation was not a part of my environment, not private or professional. I had a lot of preconceived ideas about meditation and meditators. The stereotype meditator —from my narrow-minded point of view— was a person that no longer valued achievements and accomplishments in life. It was a person that no longer desired to live life in the fast line. To me, a meditator was someone that no longer wanted to participate fully, who simply surrendered to the role of being the silent observer to life.
I was very ignorant and not aligned with my intuition, so I ignored the message and kept running (now we know how that went)
I wish I could say that mindfulness was a deliberate action guided by curiosity. But it was not. It felt more like my only option and last resort out of my depression.
I started mindfulness that quickly deepened to meditation That was two years ago. Today I am a daily practitioner. I have deepened my practice and individualized it to my needs.
Here are a few things I wish I would have known five years ago:
Meditation is no longer just for monks
Meditation is not religion
You do not have to study this beautiful ancient philosophy at its core to allow yourself to try it
You do not have to learn Sanskrit and end every sentence with Namaste if you don't want to
You do not need to light candles or incense. It's nice sometimes, but not necessary
You don't need to put dream catchers on the wall or sit on a small round pillow with exotic patterns, a regular pillow works fine
You do not have to change every corner of your lifestyle and pretend that you like batik-patterned pants to become a true meditation practitioner
Meditation is a tool that will de-excite your nervous system, potentially rebuild brain matter, enhance your neurotransmitters and improve the collaboration between your left and right brain
When meditation works, it will start your healing process on a cellular level, and when years of accumulated stress leave your body, you are bound to become uncomfortable, don't stop, push through and above the pain.
In 2022 I will offer you an introduction to meditation for deep healing, authentic living, and high performance. I could not be more excited. Let me know if you want me to help you get started.
I no longer have time not to meditate