Recently, I have been reading and listening to lots of articles, interviews and speakers sharing about meditation. You may have noticed it too. Popular news anchor Dan Harris published a book called 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Fopund Self-Help That Actually Works –A True Story . I have seen him speak about his book and his meditation practice on a couple of occasions. And, while I am a self-professed self-help proponent for my self, this is not a review of his book! I haven’t even really thought about buying it. It seems, though, that this book has brought on even more discussion in the media and the health world about meditation and all of its benefits.
I have actually thought about meditation in the past. For a very short and fleeting moment. The thought of attempting to rid my mind of all thoughts always sounded absolutely preposterous. Definitely not my cup of tea. I couldn’t even see what the true benefit could ever be for me if I could ever get to the point of making my brain a blank slate. Could not see how that would make me a healthier person, happier person, more energized and focused person. Nope. Not for me. In fact, it took me two years of practicing yoga to be able to lie in savasana at the end of class without bolting. I thought that the only way a person could really still their mind and rid it of all thought would be to be dead or comatose. Then, guess what happened? I heard Deepak Chopra say the very same thing.
What? What did he say? The guru of all meditation gurus just uttered what I had been thinking all along? He did say it. This morning on Good Morning America, on a segment about meditation, he actually said that we would have to be dead or comatose to rid our minds of all thoughts. You might have seen it, too. That just blew away all my reasons for not entering into the quiet, rid your mind of all thoughts and chant world of meditation.
After some thought about this world of meditation and how so many people use this practice of quiet stillness to bring calm, focus and happiness to their worlds, I had a small “aha” moment. I realized I had been meditating all along.
Every morning I make it a practice to rise before the rest of my family. Whether I do it naturally or set my alarm I always begin my day with my own personal quiet time. I begin by enjoying three devotionals that I receive straight into my inbox. Then I may do some reading on my own. Afterwards, I sit very quietly. I may have a warm cup of coffee, or hot water with lemon in my hands. I may have a dog on my lap, sometimes two dogs. This is my time of quiet and stillness. This is not my time to look through my Instagram feed or check out Facebook. I do not look at all the overnight emails screaming at me to buy something at thirty percent off. I am not looking at emails regarding practice times, school meetings, luncheons, prom meetings, and as much as I love fitness and nutritional questions from clients, this is not when I read and respond.
I pray quietly for my family, for each person individually, and for what I know is going on in their life, and especially for what I do not know. I meditate on these people. I meditate on their problems, obstacles, successes, stresses and decisions. When I am through with these people I may include the world, our country, other needs of other people I know of.
Sometimes this time is only three minutes. Sometimes it is fifteen minutes or more. Sometimes I include familiar scripture that I know and that speaks to me and helps me and lifts me.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13
All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for his people. 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18
I will meditate on these verses and pray them over others.
Meditation is described as a state of deep peace when the mind is calm and silent. When I looked up the actual definition of meditate it is:
think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation
So, there you go. I have been meditating all along. I have been reaping the benefit from this quiet time for a really long time. It begins my day positively, peacefully and with purpose. It does not require chanting – don’t let that part throw you! And you do not have to sit cross legged on a hard floor making little circles with your fingers. You see my spot in the photo. It is not fancy. It is an old chair from Pottery Barn with new cushions. It is beside a table from that really high end store, TJ Maxx. The throw on the back was a wedding gift from over twenty years ago. I still remember who gave it to us and can call them out by name. This is my spot and this is where you can find me each morning anytime between 6 am to 6:50 am. This is my meditation spot and time.
What about you? Have you tried meditation? Or have you been meditating all along? How do you meditate? What benefits have you found? Have you read Dan Harris’ book? I’d love to hear a review . . .
Enjoy Your Day!