A practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness,
and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.
Before I got sick, I had no real concept of what mediation was all about. And to be honest, I had no intention of learning more. I was all about daily sweaty workouts and very physical outdoor adventures. Slowing down, mindfulness, breathing exercises... all of this was foreign to me. And... I really didn’t have an interest or feel a need to learn more.
Then I got sick and I found myself with a big empty whole in each day - my workout time. This gap haunted me daily. I finally decided I had to fill the hole or this loss would be in my face day after day and remind me of my workout loss. So, I chose to explore meditation because it fit all the criteria I was suppose to be doing - pacing, becoming more stress-free, moderating my rapidly fluctuating heart rate...
So, I tried listening to a meditation DVD. During the sessions though, I found myself thinking of anything and everything but.... I completely failed to focus on meditating. This went on day after day - my mind going a million places except for how I was being guided through the meditation session. I felt like I was failing with no chance of success in sight.
Then, things changed a bit. Soon I found I was simply falling asleep in the middle of meditation. Apparently, I went from a brain on high speed during these sessions to one that was out cold during them. I wasn’t sure if this meant I was a meditation rock star or that I was just failing in a new way.
Eventually I hit what I call phase three. I not only learned to meditate but I could do it without any guidance. Besides using it in life in general, I quickly found it to be a huge help in easing my anxiety during medical procedures. By focusing on my breathing, my body relaxed making the procedure physically go better and mentally it also went smoother and was less stress-free for me. Success!
Admittedly I don’t make as much time for it as I should. And I know personally I would be so much better off if I did. Perhaps I would even sleep a bit better. Knowing I have this gem in my back pocket though for when I really need it has been a gift and a relief.
So that’s my meditation story.... I went in completely blind and I ended up finding some great success with it!
I would love to hear how others first journeyed into it and how they use it. I know I definitely could expand my use of it and reap more benefits from it. Baby steps for now, bigger steps on the way.