This all began one day, when I decided to make meditation a daily practice; to really see the benefits it provides as it has been claimed by spiritual guru’s, and recently by neuro-scientists all across the globe.
What better way to try it out on yourself first before I go around and preaching it…right?
Why I wanted to get into it in the first place? …is a great question! and I have a very convincing answer to that 🙂 – here it is – I live in a metropolitan, a very fast paced city called Toronto. I love the place, but you need to flow with it to work it for you. Be it the daily commute, busy traffic, hunting for a parking spot, and just the general busy vibe every place you visit in the city. It can be exhausting, and sometimes very taxing on your mind and body! Second reason – being a mom of two very active 4 years old twins, who keep me on my toes both physically and mentally! I love answering all of their “but why questions”, however, that does carve into my mental energies. Last but not the least, I have a full-time corporate job that involves analytical and investigative work. I love it, but like any other demanding job, it comes with it’s own share of daily challenges and stressors that I need to field. To add to the list – my overall household responsibilities, although my husband plays a super supporting role and we are equal partners in carrying out our daily household duties; I do have my share of responsibilities and duties to manage 🙂
There is no way I am complaining of the life I have, It is great and I have immense gratitude for it! but I think we must accept that we do live in a world that stretches us in gazillion directions on a daily basis. Your life might be similar to mine or different in some ways, but we are all looking to strike a balance amongst all that we try to accomplish in a day .
The Honest truth is – We can’t be all and do all! and even if we slightly attempt to be all and do all, we need some serious life-style tools to cope up!
So a long story short – My busy life and many roles that I am required to play, demands me to figure out a game plan – A game plan that allows me to keep my sanity in order, to stay healthy and happy. To not being a complainer but being an adventurous, a fan of life, a lover of every moment that I get to experience, to live life with peace and harmony and bring it to the world around me.
So, with this convinced mind, I was on a journey to explore different meditation practices, rituals, read up recommended books on meditation, watch famous podcasts on this topic etc… After absorbing all that information and trying out a few techniques myself, I had a game plan in place. Now, was the execution part! Execution is where most of us fail, but with a determined heart and mind, I stuck to my practice!
and here is a run down of how I faired in this challenge and how it changed my life –
- Getting in the groove of meditating – After being in the practice for 3 months, with an exception of a few days while on vacation or being sick a few days. I stuck to my daily practice for the most part – practice of waking up 15 mins earlier than my usual time, going to my meditation corner, putting my head phones on, and just simply sitting there. It started with 5 min, than gradually increased to 10 min, then to 20 min, to now 25 min of my daily morning routine. Before even I figured out what meditation is, I started enjoying the habit of just sitting quietly every morning for 5 – 10 min. My first few weeks of meditation went into developing this habit of starting my days with solace and peace.
- Establishing my practice – After a few weeks of getting into the groove of siting idle in a corner of my house, I started to experiment with different meditative practices I was familiar with. I found the one that I was most comfortable with – I made a self meditating routine of starting with putting my head phones on and listening to calming music, then following pranayama breathing technique (alternate nostril breathing), then a bit of guided meditation, finally ending with self-meditation without any props. The routine lasts for 25 min.
- Finally feeling the magic – And then one day, I felt the magic! Yes, it sounds clichéd, and it always did in the past when I use to hear it from people who meditate. At that time, I always thought it my head, that they were lying and exaggerating! but honestly and truthfully, there is magic in the practice. It just comes to you and you feel it and then you want to go back to that oasis again and again for more. The pleasure of thoughtlessness, the void you experience, the Zen like feeling is really real! You get addicted, you get hooked on. I think I am totally hooked on 🙂
- How it changed me – First of, let me clarify that if you are expecting meditation will solve your problems, you are going in for disappointment. It won’t take your problems away. Instead, it gives you a perspective, and a more calmer and relaxed mind to see things the way they are! These changes happen in a very subtle way. It is not overnight phenomenon; and it goes away when you stop practicing for a few days. I re-call that when I took a few days of gap in between while on a vacation and noticed I was going back to my old thinking patterns and overanalyzing things the way I used to. With my practice back in place, I felt the serenity and creativity flowing back in to my life.
- People notice the change – This is the most amazing part! So just recently a coworker gave me the biggest compliment by saying that he feels relaxed every time he is around me! wow, I was so flattered to hear that. Just a few weeks ago, another co-worker of mine came to me for advice on stress management (another flattering moment!). My family members and close friends are also reaching out for advice, which was never the case a few years ago. I am so glad to help them all in whichever way I can. It is the most gratifying feeling, and I truly believe that it has to do something with me practicing meditation.
- It’s just the beginning – I still consider myself fairly new at meditation, I think there is lot for me to learn, explore and experience. I like the benefits so far and I love sharing it with as many people as I can. I know that we are all in need of lifestyle tools that will give us that edge to be more present as a parent, to perform better as an employee and to be more wise and aware as a citizen of this community called World! All I say is just go an experience it for yourself! And feel the magic 🙂