Well-Being//

Meditation: A Thoughtful Gift

The practice has become my way to reset and center my thoughts.

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Jun3/ Shutterstock
Jun3/ Shutterstock

I used to have the wrong perception about meditation. I assumed it was people in a quiet room, sitting on the floor and “humming” in unison. I’d always been interested however in at least trying it. Although I didn’t quite understand it, the people I envisioned in that quiet room had something I desired: calmness.

Meditation for me started in a small meeting room with my co-worker, Jordan. She shared with me her experience with meditation and I told her I’d always been interested in trying it, so she agreed to help me start. Aside from my interest in wanting to try it, at that point in my life I felt like I needed it. I was going through a difficult time, and I needed something to handle my emotions. I remember the first several times feeling silly, awkward, and questioning whether I was even “doing it right,” but after every session, I felt calm. It could have been Jordan’s comforting voice or her focus on guiding the meditation based on how I was feeling and seemed to need that day. Some days, I needed reassurance that I could make it through the day, while other days I needed to be grateful I made it through the prior day. I’ve been meditating for about a year now and I don’t do it every day, but it undoubtedly makes my days better when I’m consistent.

As humans, we can become consumed with our day-to-day and it’s easy to ignore what our minds and bodies are telling us. Meditation to me is no longer about being in a quiet room and humming. Now, I envision meditation as a way to reset and center my thoughts. I’ve learned it’s about acknowledging the thoughts that have been taking up space in my mind and either deciding to hold on to them, discard or simply letting them be.

Something else I noticed recently during a session was my heartbeat. The meditation was a guided one I had randomly selected online, and the guide asked us to place our hand over our chest and take a few moments to feel our heartbeat. As I felt my heart, I learned in that moment the true reason why I started to meditate. It wasn’t only to help me get through a difficult time, but it was also to remind myself that as long as I felt a beat, I was alive. This may sound obvious, but in that moment, being alive took on a different meaning for me. I realized I had to continue being aware, mindful and to live with intention.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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