Of all the habits that I’ve adopted over the years, meditation is without a doubt the one that I’ve noticed has had the greatest, most noticeable impact on my day to day life.
I started only a little over a year ago, at the end of December 2014. I actually can’t recall what precisely prompted me to try meditation, but I picked up some books from the library and devoured them:
- The Lotus Still Blooms by Joan Gattuso
- Buddha Is As Buddha Does by Lama Surya Das
- 10% Happier by Dan Harris
- Patience by Allan Lokos
Some people swear that since they can’t sit still and can’t quiet their minds, meditation must not be for them. But that’s a total misconception about meditation — yes, it does involve sitting still (unless it’s a walking meditation, but I don’t do that), but quieting your mind is absolutely impossible. There’s just no way to expect yourself to sit for 5, 10, 20, 30 minutes and have zero thoughts come into your mind.
Rather, meditation is the art of letting thoughts come, but not indulging in them. I sometimes picture it like the ocean…the waves will always keep rolling in, but if you’re standing on the shore, they don’t touch you.
No one who is close to me would have ever described me as a particularly patient individual — I’ve been known to leave shopping carts in the middle of the grocery store if the lines are too long. But after only a few weeks of a daily meditation practice, my husband and I took off for a two week honeymoon in Thailand. During the arduous journey across the world, our flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok (a three hour flight) was delayed for four hours. Meaning we ate our in flight meal on the ground, were stuck on the plane for hours, and were going to get to our hotel in the middle of the night.
The old me would have probably flown into a blind rage, huffed and puffed about the inconvenience, and complained the whole time. But I can honestly say that not once during the entire time we were stuck did I get annoyed, mad, or even a little frustrated. Rather, I sat, watched a movie, read my book, ate a yummy snack, and figured that we’d take off whenever we could.
Who was I!? I think that in the crazy, hectic, over-stimulated world that we live in, we’ve lost a deeper connection to ourselves. Humans aren’t meant to be in a constant state of stress. It takes a toll on your body physically, mentally, and emotionally. By adopting a daily meditation practice, I can almost guarantee that you’ll feel a colossal shift in your mindset, in how you handle daily interactions, and in your overall approach to life.
*steps down off soapbox*
I’d encourage you to at least explore it, or just consider exploring it, and read a few of the following articles to get a sense for the major science behind meditation, because I’d surely butcher the explanation.
The Science Behind Meditation & Headspace *sidenote, this is the free app that I used to start meditation and honestly could not recommend it more highly*