Life can get pretty stressful for us busy women, juggling life, jobs, family, routines that shape our lives on a daily basis and that’s without even factoring in the almost elusive “me time”. Does this sound familiar ? In my never ending quest to find an inner calm that I can draw down on in times of stress, the unanimous mantra that seems to be thrown back at me in answer to this questions is “Meditation”.
What is meditation all about and is this really achievable for the likes of you and I ? As I started thinking about this post my immediate answer was “hell no” it’s sooooo hard and at this point you may be thinking “Oh no not another lecture on some new age things we all have to get stuck into….”, I hear you, I really do. Everywhere we go we are told that meditation is the key to all our problems and if we only stuck too it it would change our lives for the better on so many levels. Gaining an inner sense of calm, reduced anxiety levels, better heart health, improved quality of our sleep etc.. it sounds like a no-brainer doesn’t it but why does it prove to be so tricky for many of us ?
I have to hold my hands up at this point and fes up that I been down this road before, several times in fact and have had rather a lot of epic fails where meditation is concerned. I firstly started with the notion that I would add in a 20 minute meditation first thing every morning… big mistake, that lasted all of three days as getting up 20 minutes earlier than my usual crazy-a-clock wake up time was just too big a shock for my body and as it turned out I am not a morning person, who knew ! (my family would exclaim why the surprise on that score, you are grumpy as heck first thing Mum).. Next I tried chanting for 12 minutes every evening before dinner time (notice change of time and rapidly reducing timescale going on here..) and that fell by the wayside after less than a week as family life, kit bags, homework, emails, dinner threw my schedule off as no two nights were the same. Added to the fact that I just couldn’t get used to making all that noise, especially as my kids would stand outside my bedroom door mimicking me and I couldn’t control the laughter – clearly I was not taking this research seriously enough.
No matter how hard I tried to factor this good habit into my life it just did not sit well with me, if I am honest up until now I have not even been able to stick to it for more than 7 days in a row, not very habit forming is it ? Being too busy a personality type and trying to tell my brain to pipe down for a bit just felt like a mountain to climb. Anyone else out there nodding their heads round about now ? But the honest truth is that if you are that sort of personality then the daily practice of meditation is actually just what your busy, noisy brain is craving. When I read that “The goal of Meditation is not to control your thoughts but to stop your thoughts controlling you.” I thought now that is an idea worth giving the benefit of the doubt too.
One thing I have learned on my own journey to better wellness is that there is no right or wrong way of doing anything when it comes to our bodies and minds as we are all put together differently. It is a journey of discovery to find what sits best with each of us. And, in complete respect for this very idea I am prepared to give it one more go..
Ironically as I type fate has lent a helping hand as I find I am now going on a family holiday next week to Sri Lanka (completely be accident, it was decided upon only recently by democratic vote purely because it was on the same latitude as somewhere we had been hoping to go but couldn’t get flights..) so we are off to immerse ourselves in this fabulous culture that Sri Lanka has too offer us. While others in our gang will be seeking out orphan elephants, fabulous beaches and cool markets I find I am heading for the heart land of ayurveda, yoga, tea plantations, spice markets and all things meditative, purely in the name of research you understand.
I will report back when I find some answers and in the meantime if you feel inspired to try giving the daily practice of meditation a go I would really recommend Cindy Johns at The Modern Goddess who I have been trying recently and she has a lovely calming voice and very short meditations !
So ladies, nirvana could be just round the corner and I going to jump in with both feet first, anyone else going to join me for the ride ?? Come on, you know you want to and do post your comments on how you get on. Xo