hy am I sharing my perspective on Meditation? Honestly, because it is different. Not that I want to persuade you to change the reasons why you’re seeking meditation … but maybe I can add a few things that hadn’t crossed your Mind. Maybe it is something that resonates deeply within you … something that speaks to that long-hidden, but ever-present part of you seeking to grow, which responds with a “Yes! This is someone who hears and understands me!”
Ultimately, meditation is a practice … a discipline, if you will. I prefer to think of it as a commitment to the MORE that I want to experience in life, which is why I share my personal inspiration for meditating.
eople seek meditation for many different reasons. Some people are up all night with insomnia and they have heard that it can help them sleep better. Some people want to lower their blood pressure. Other people have chronic pain and they have heard that meditation can help with that too. Other people have read Elizabeth Gilbert’s, Eat, Pray, Love and they are longing to have that same transcendental experience that she describes in her book.
For me, my reason has always been different. For years, the words were just beyond my grasp, and then I read Geneen Roth’s Women, Food & God and this quote shot through me with a resounding “Yes!”. I’ve included part of the quote on my homepage, but it really is the three full sentences that perfectly describes why I choose to meditate: “Meditation is a tool to shake yourself awake. A way to discover what you love. A practice to return yourself to your Body when the Mind medleys threaten to usurp your sanity.” Even as I write and re-read those words, goosebumps race along my back. A way for me to discover what I love! A way for me to come back to what what’s real when my Mind creates “worthy of a soap opera” stories that threaten to derail me! That is what I was seeking … only I didn’t know it when I first sought out meditation!
You see, when I was in Corporate America I would look around me and would see people working 80 hours a week … sacrificing their health and their family time in order to meet a deadline. These colleagues excel at what they do in their careers, but so many meaningful things were being abandoned for the sake of that career. I myself was experiencing that too, because the only example I knew was what I saw around me. Worse, I would find that I could not leave work at work. Work would follow me home through phone calls, through emails, and if that wasn’t bad enough, work would follow me into bed in the middle of the night. You know what I mean! It’s 2 am and you are lying awake, Mind racing with thoughts like “Oh, my gosh! I have to do this. I forgot to do that!” Deep within, I knew that there was more to life. I just did not know how to make that change.T
hen I stumbled across yoga therapy and I learned the importance, and the value, of what it is that my Body tells me at any point in time. I learned that my Body, not my Mind, communicates what is really important to me — what it is that I love. My Body invites me to stop and play with that cooing baby, rather than going back to my TO DO list. My Body invites me, when I am going for a morning walk, to pay close attention, rather than getting caught up in planning my day, “Oh! Listen to those birds. Look at the colors in the sky. Look at the sunlight. Oh! What is that fragrance that I am smelling right now? Something new must be blooming right now!” My Body informs me of what is real and true in this moment. My Body validates what I am excited about. My Body warns me when something does not feel right … that I need to pay closer attention because, maybe, I am going down a path that does not make sense for me. This path might be right for other people, but maybe it is not just right for me.
My Body tells me when I am in a state of Stress or if you’re like me, maybe you feel Overwhelmed. More importantly, my Body also accurately tells me when I am not Overwhelmed. My Body communicates in a rich language that is there for me to hear at any time … I just needed to learn how to understand that communication. In learning the Body-Focused Meditations that I teach, I learned how to first recognize what it is that I love and then come back to it when I drift. I learned to recognize how I feel deep within when I am in Balance: really appreciating and savoring life, and yet still getting things done. Progress doesn’t fall off my TO DO list, but it comes from a different place within me: of being grounded in what I love, and what brings me joy, and pleasure, and appreciating life, rather than continuing to be a pattern of sacrificing myself.
If what I share intrigues you, know that this shift is what I seek to bring to other people through my programs. My programs highlight the very best of the tools that have worked for me, that taught me to understand my Body’s communication, that slide seamlessly into my busy day, that have allowed me to shake myself awake so I can get out of my head and back into my life. What I share with you are the ways that I have learned to discover what it is I love and to keep coming back to them when those Mind medleys do get in my way.
Because let’s be honest! If you have a strong Mind, like I do, the Mind medleys will return. After all, having a strong Mind is one thing you’ve become really good at. Absolutely no need to give up something you’re good at … this is about adding to your repertoire of what you’re really good at, so that YOU can pick and choose what works best for you in any moment. In that moment when you are taking your morning walk … or walking in the house after work … you can choose to savor what’s alive and special around you.
~ Geneen Roth