Blogs, magazines and health gurus often discuss the positives of meditation, but the process of getting there isn't always easy. My first meditation experience happened about a year ago and was just that - not easy. It involved a non-stop racing mind, some giggles, A LOT of judgement and one impatient woman - ME.
Let me take a step back and touch briefly on the reason why I decided to bring a mediation practice into my life. One word - anxiety. Many of us deal with this disorder and it was something that came on abruptly for me around the age of 25. It scared me and being the type of person who likes to heal things a bit more naturally, I decided to take my anxiety into my own hands by using meditation and other holistic approaches (which I'll go into further detail in another post) to help me deal with it - and so my meditation journey began.
During my first practice, I found myself not only having absolutely INSANE thoughts (that made me think I was cray cray), I was thinking about what errands I had to run, how ridiculous and silly I felt sitting in silence, I kept asking myself 'Am I done yet?' - my list went on and on. I even laid back on my chair and dozed off for a minute only to wake up to my alarm that informed me my five minute mediation practice was up. What?! I'm done? Let me tell you, I did not feel refreshed or enlightened.
It's mind-blowing how mighty our mind is, isn't it? Being new to this practice, I realized I needed to be patient, keep my meditation simple and to not be so judgmental and hard on myself.
I began by focusing on my breathing and counting up to ten - whenever my mind began to wander. I brought myself back to earth and back to numero uno. Soon, I became more comfortable with this type of mediation and now I am able to play around with it by:
Introducing mantras and affirmations (for example, 'I am enough', 'I am open to abundance of love' or 'I radiate beauty, confidence and grace' (one of my favorites!)
Focusing on different chakras (crown, third-eye, throat, heart, solar, sacral and root)
Envisioning imagery and different environments
Listening to soothing background music
Adding more minutes to my practice
I have also come to the realization that not every meditation experience is the same. There are times where I feel a total mess and the next day I might feel completely relieved. Instead of judging my practices I'm thankful and proud of myself for making the effort and taking the time to meditate, which you should be too.
I can honestly say that after adopting meditation into my life not only have I been able to control my anxiety, but I am more aware and have a new appreciation for the present, I have a deeper understanding of myself and I'm at ease - about everything! Mediation has helped me realize that whatever issue or bump in the road I'm facing, it is not the end of the world. I will overcome it - just like I have been doing for the past 27 years.
How was your first mediation experience?