If my younger self could see present me, I think she’d be mindblown. Especially to know that I’m an avid meditation practitioner — and that it’s helped me find peace as an adult. Meditation is something I was introduced to when I worked at lululemon in my late teens/early 20s. Working there exposed me to so many things that have helped me in my career. Along with meditation, I learned about yoga, goal setting, accountability, giving and receiving feedback, and visualization.
When I was first introduced to meditation in a yoga class at work, I have to admit I thought it was pretty “out there”. And I really 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. That would be the confidence and naivety of youth speaking — and oh how wrong I was. It makes me laugh now to think of my assuredness then. A big difference in my perspective is that I now practice being actively conscious of letting go of my perceptions of what life “should be”. Instead, I focus on what is.
There’s particular Ghandi quote I love that always speaks to me when I think 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.”
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. Over the years, this process has helped me so much as a trainer. We all have times in our lives when we feel disconnected from our true selves. In these moments, we usually feel uncomfortable and out of balance. We might be unhappy with our job, or relationship, or body. For myself I find that it’s 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. The key to this is being 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. This allows you to feel more in control of your life’s trajectory. It’s a huge concept, and I’ve only only touched on the tip of the iceberg in this post. But what I want to emphasize is that meditation is a tool you can use to help guide you in your life.
The different types of meditation
Meditation is about stimulating your mind in a different way. There are many ways to practice meditation, from lying on the floor and taking 10 deep breaths with your eyes closed, to a fully guided meditation that completely lets you disconnect from your reality and step into another.
According to Daniels & Daniels, the authors of Matrix Meditations there are four types of practice:
- Mindfulness Meditation: Noticing what’s 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 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 in future posts. But please remember that what works for me might not work for you. You will have to discover your own balance.
Meditation in my everyday
I try to have meditative moments every day — whether it’s practicing being present in a moment or actually guiding myself into a full meditative journey. As a creative person, meditation also helps me to clarify ideas and insights I might have into concrete plans. By exploring my inner thoughts I find I can realize and visualize my dreams and goals. In a world obsessed with *doing*, it is sometimes in the moments of non-doing that you have your most productive ideas. Meditation also helps me raise my vibration.
Life holds joys and struggles, amazing successes and huge obstacles. Sometimes things 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 that to new possibilities. But those insights are what come with meditation.
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 than we should or dwelling on issues that hold us back. Clarity of thought and depth of thinking help with these decisions and realizations, and if used effectively, meditation 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?