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Meditation and my well-being

A journey towards insight, increased confidence, a calmer me and an increased vigor for life

My journey with mindfulness and meditation started in late 2015. I was dissatisfied in most areas of my life, on anti-depressants , and really not sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go (metaphorically speaking). To the outside world ,I had it all, I was married, had two lovely boys, a job, a great social life etc etc. I knew I needed to do something for me and that I needed to be actively involved in making decisions to make me happier and more confident. I happened across a local mindfulness meditation teacher on Facebook and decided to get in touch. It was a decision that proved to profoundly change my life. I was not happy in my relationship and meditation and mindfulness helped me to develop the understanding and self belief that it was OK to put me first, that I deserved to be put first, to be happy and not to feel guilty about this. My practice, over time, enabled me to have conversations about separation and to work the separation out in a compassionate and positive way. The negative judgments that I had on myself, which were many and frequent, are now less frequent and no way near as strong. I am able to question the judgments or the stories that I create for myself about what other people think, feel and say about me, by asking for the evidence to support the judgement or thought, and to focus on what I know and what I can control. This way, I am now spending less energy on rumination, worry (and sometimes despair) and I have more energy for me; to appreciate the good that I have in my life and to be grateful for what I have and can see around me. I just didn’t see this or took it all for granted before, but meditation and mindfulness has shown me there is another side to my life and it is so much better! It isn’t just within my personal life that this change has happened though. My practice means that I am less stressed and overwhelmed at work, but when those feelings do show up (and they still do because they are a normal part of life), I am able to accept them and work with them in a more effective way, focusing on what I can control and what is happening right now. The overthinking about that meeting that I just had where I said something silly in front of senior management or the presentation I have coming up, are now not focuses of my thinking, but are set to one side so I can focus on the here and now. During frustrating conversations at work, I am able to take a moment, realise that they are just trying their best. Meditation and mindfulness have increased my ability to be patient; I don’t know what’s going on in their life, and my practice helps me to be less judgmental about them and the tone of voice they are using in that moment. The result is often an easier, more positive conversation which can result in both sides benefiting from the situation. I now spend time meditating with my children as well. Without my meditation and mindfulness practice, I am certain I wouldn’t be where I am today so I ensure I get at least 5 minutes of practice in a day to ensure that I can continue to live my best life.
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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.

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