I recently started meditating daily. I am one of those people who for years said “But I can’t turn my brain off,” or “I’m just too busy.” Both of these things are still true, but I have discovered something major: By taking the time to rest and take a bit of time, every day, for myself I am so much more effective in all areas of life. I have started working out every morning before work. I am finding time for other things that are important to me, such as the structure of my coaching practice. And, I am noticing a greater clarity.
The biggest thing I learned that helped me to meditate was to not even try to slow down my thought process. It’s not going to happen, so why stress myself out about it? When I let that go, everything else fell into place. Now when I meditate I know my mind will continue racing for the first 10 minutes, so I let that happen. Then the real meditation can begin.
If you are in the midst of any upheaval or change in your life, it might not be the best time to seek out strategies above and beyond survival. Be kind to yourself. If you focus on what’s in front of you, what’s in front of you will eventually broaden.
When I had my stroke, I just had to try and get through each moment, each minute, until I knew I would live. Until then, I was enduring. I somehow knew I had to let go of expectations in order to move forward. The same occurred when I was in treatment for cancer. I counted ceiling tiles to pass the time and to distract myself from frequently painful procedures. I read easy fiction like The Hunger Games, because I simply could not concentrate on anything. And I played a lot of solitaire in silence. I was missing out on so much (work, time with friends, going out to movies, you name it), but my only choice was to focus inwards on myself to get through it all.
When you’re just surviving, your focus shifts and can even shrink. I know mine did both. Thankfully, I had a very understanding and supportive employer, so I was able to take the time I needed in order to emerge on the other side of just surviving.
Healing takes the time it takes. It’s not just the body that needs to heal, our hearts, minds, and souls take their own time as well. And that’s OK.
I’ve been through a lot that should have taught me this lesson, but it was meditation that helped me to understand how to give myself the time I need.
What are you learning about your path in life? What events and/or practices facilitate this learning for you? Feel free to reach out in the comments or by using the contact page of my website.