Here I am waving my big, fat hypocrite flag. You see, I am a trained yoga and meditation teacher! I continually preach the importance of a Mind Body Connection and using meditation as a tool to provide clarity and focus in your life. So… what made me stop meditating?
It’s probably the reason most people don’t start or continue with the practice; I got “too busy.” I know, I know. You can see the benefits of meditation in as little as 30 seconds a day so that is not a valid excuse, but that is what I told myself.
After having a baby my meditation practice looked a lot different than it did when I was only worrying about myself. I let my practice go for a while after birth, but always found ways to carve out a chunk of time here or there to reconnect with myself.
When my daughter was a few months old, I got into a pretty solid routine. For me meditation isn’t only a time to calm my mind, but it is a process of taking a deeper look into myself and how I am relating to what is happening around me. I had just left my decade-long career in Corporate America. I was feeling good. I was happy, fulfilled and enjoying the little moments of everyday life we tend to miss when we are scurrying around from one place to the next.
So, I’m embarrassed to say that I thought I didn’t need it. I thought my time could be better utilized building my entrepreneurial business. Every kid-free moment I had I plopped myself in front of the computer or my planner to see what else I could check off of my to do list. The thought of taking a 20-30 minute “break” to work on myself was laughable. The little voice in the back of my head told me that because I was resisting, I probably DESPERATELY needed a meditation session, but I just couldn’t bring myself to sit down.
It wasn’t until I found myself in basically a full breakdown that I knew I needed to do the work. I was sobbing uncontrollably without a tangible reason as to why. I felt sad, overwhelmed, disappointed and guilty for feeling this way since I had so much in my life to be grateful for.
So, I let it out. I sobbed until I had no tears left. I laid in bed until my body ached to move. And then I pulled out my meditation cushion, sat down and journaled. No prompt, just pen to paper continuous stream journaling. Oftentimes when I put the pen to paper I uncover that what I thought was bothering me is actually just the tip of the iceberg. Journaling allows me to go deeper and face the reasons behind my actions and thoughts. After countless pages were filled, I let the pen fall, grabbed my favorite crystals and settled… inviting the silence to meet me.
Now, meditation is powerful, but it is not a one-and-done cure all. I hadn’t put in the effort for months, so now I needed to be patient, open and willing to do the work on myself. I learned an important lesson and I learned it the hard way. In order to function at my best I need to take the time to work on myself. Period. My relationships, businesses and mental health suffered when I didn’t see myself as a priority. The good thing about a meditation practice is that it is always there waiting for you; like an old friend you haven’t seen in awhile… once you get to chatting you pick back up right where you left off.