A conversation with a friend the other day opened a dialogue that I was all too familiar with. You know, that conversation of being so flat out that you are suffering from overload, stress and everything you do seems to bring in even more stuff to do. You find yourself searching for opportunities that will bring in down time. Sometimes you may wish you were ill in order to give you permission to check out of life for a few days and just breathe again.
I know this very well, in fact, it was what and who I was for much of my adult life. Living in the manic society where I would silently scream about wanting to get off this out of control train. I was losing grip over purpose, goals and why I was alive. I knew that I had to do something, but it meant doing something different. I knew that meditation would help, as I had heard that this was very effective in getting the clarity I so desperately needed, but my mind was telling me that I didn’t have time. It was coming home from FILEX in 2008 that I simply decided that I just had to give it a go – I was desperate.
I smile now at the ‘Marietta’ that I once was. Meditation almost daily and sometimes more than once a day (when my mind is getting the better of me) has not only given me the clarity that I needed, but also given me the time that I was searching for. It might seem odd that taking 15 to 20 minutes of your day to sit quietly would actually increase the amount of time you have to get things done, but it really does.
‘How?’ you might ask – well, it starts by allowing you to slowly get rid of the noise. The mental conversations that you have with yourself constantly that serve no purpose, other than cause you more stress. In fact, meditation has helped me challenge some of the thoughts that pop up and ask them, ‘really, why would that happen?’ especially when a self-sabotaging thought is threatening to become a repeating line in my mind. Challenging thoughts and beliefs is not as violent as I thought it would be, in fact, it has been quite humorous and then I find myself listening to what I say out loud, as well as what others say.
So you are thinking – maybe I will give this a go, but how do I do it? Well, it doesn’t really require anything. I like meditating in different ways – usually first thing in the morning is good, but when I notice that my heart rate has increased or my breathing has changed because I am feeling a little stressed (becoming much more sensitive to this now), I will just find somewhere that I can have 5 or 10 minutes to myself. Sometimes I do it to a guided mediation (there are hundreds you can purchase or download for free), or some meditation music that I like or sometimes I simply want silence. What do I think about – well you have to think about something. I can’t not think, so I focus on my breath, or chant the words I AM, or I have a phrase that helps me get through the issue, like ‘I find solutions, I can find solutions, I know the solution’ etc. My friends, this is not rocket science and everyone can do it and in fact, everyone needs to do it.
Perhaps consider doing this on New Year’s day and start 2015 with a different outlook. I know that is exactly what I will be doing!