I was fortunate enough to work at lululemon in my late teens/early 20s, and through the company was introduced to many things: yoga, goal setting, giving and receiving feedback, accountability, visualization and meditation being just a few of them.
When I was first introduced to meditation in a yoga class I have to admit I thought it was pretty “out there” and didn’t connect with the process. As a 19-year-old I thought I already knew everything. I knew what I wanted out of life and was sure I was on the right path to achieve it. I didn’t need to be enlightened! Ha – oh, how wrong I was. It makes me laugh now to think of my assuredness then. Now, I practice being actively conscious around letting go of my perceptions of what my life “should be” and instead accepting what is.
I love Gandhi for his quotes on perception and guidance, and this one quote always speaks to me when thinking about meditation.
“The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom we have grown at any given moment” – GANDHI
If we continuously look into ourselves we can find beauty and acceptance within and around us. We can then try to help others do the same. This process has helped me so much over the years of being a trainer. We all have times in our lives when we feel disconnected from our true selves and it is in these moments we usually feel uncomfortable and out of balance. We might be unhappy with our job, or relationship, or body. I find for myself that it is especially in these moments of transition that meditation really helps me. I use it as a tool to let go of my present reality and accept the fact that an alternate reality is possible if I am open to receiving the messages the universe sends to me.
I truly believe that there are no coincidences in life. The more present you are, the more perceptive you become, which then allows you to feel more in control of your life’s trajectory. This is a huge concept, and we have only touched on the tip of the iceberg here, but what I want to emphasize is that meditation is a tool you can use to help guide you in your life.
There are many ways to practice meditation, from lying on the floor and taking 10 deep breaths with your eyes closed, to doing a full guided meditation that completely lets you disconnect from your reality and step into another. Meditation is about stimulating your mind in a different way.
According to Daniels & Daniels, the authors of Matrix Meditations there are four types of practice:
Mindfulness Meditation: involves noticing whats going on inside or outside yourself. It sharpens your awareness of whatever is occurring in your mind, emotions, body, and environment.
Concentrative meditation: shows you how to focus and and control your attention more effectively. It develops your ability to pay attention and to keep your attention where you want it.
Adventures in awareness: offers ways of taking what you learn in meditation into your daily life by exploring aspects of life as you move through your world.
Contemplative meditation: helps you examine how you are handling various aspects of your life, using methods that are more penetrating than our usual forms of thinking.
I will try to share with you different ways to meditate through this blog, but what works for me might not work for you. You will have to discover your own balance.
I try to have meditative moments every day, whether it is just practicing being present in a moment or actually guiding myself into a full meditative journey. As a creative person, meditation helps me to clarify ideas and insights I might have into concrete plans. It is through exploring my inner thoughts I find I can realize and visualise my dreams. I truly believe that you are what you focus on and meditation helps to guide and navigate me towards my goals. In a world obsessed with doing, it is sometimes in the moments of non-doing that you have your most productive ideas. Life holds joys and struggles, amazing successes and huge obstacles. Sometimes your life will go exactly as planned and other times nothing will go as planned. When the latter happens, it can be hard to see beyond the pain and hardship to the doorways opening to new possibilities.
I encourage you to try meditation if you don’t already practice. I have found that meditation helps me let go of the past and move forward with peace and clarity. We all struggle at times with holding on to people or things longer then we should or dwelling on issues that hold us back. In order to make the decisions we need to to let go we need to have clarity of thought and depth of thinking, and meditation, if used effectively, can help you get there. You might be skeptical (I was!) but if meditation can help you work through life’s struggles, shouldn’t you give it a try?