In one word, present. I found the present moment through meditation. I keep finding it throughout my day, week after week. Meditation has brought me back to this moment. The now. I started meditating about two years ago after I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I always wanted a meditation practice in my life but never fell into it until recently. At first I was on it, meditating daily for about four months but I was still working my full time 9-5er then. I started missing a day here and there. Inconsistency set in but I somehow always came back to it. Since leaving my corporate career to follow my passion as an entrepreneur and life coach I have dedicated each morning to meditation time. It’s now habitual for me to meditate upon awakening. I like being in the present moment. I love noticing when I get caught up in my never ending cycle of thoughts because when I notice I then have the opportunity to come back to the moment.
Meditation has done three major things for me and each one of them is a priceless gift. Those things are learning compassion for myself, recognizing the “story” I tell myself and taking my power back to tame my thoughts. When I sit down to meditate every morning I have a new chance to see what comes up for me, acknowledge it, allow it be what it is and stay present in the moment instead of allowing my story to run amuck. Some days I am able to come back to the moment again and again, noticing without judgment when my thoughts take over and give myself space to connect back to the breath. I say to myself silently “thinking” which signals me to come back to the now. Other days I sit down and focus on my breath and then I hear the ‘ding’ from my meditation app and I realize I was lost in my thoughts the entire time. But as I practice, I see the changes throughout my day not just on the cushion.
My compassion for myself has grown immensely with meditation. I don’t beat myself up as much when I get stuck in my story. I simply notice my mind is getting carried away with “what ifs” and “should haves”. I don’t judge. I don’t try to change. I notice and silently say “thinking” and I let it go. The sheer peace and acceptance I feel for myself in these moments helps me to know that I am on my path.
Meditation has illuminated my story. Recognizing my “story” has been huge for me. You know the story I’m talking about. The one where you relive past events and create some reason as to why it happened the way it did. Or the story you tell yourself about what is going to happen in the future. Our stories are our egos way of trying to control the situation. Our stories are about the past or the future, not the now. It’s our thinking gone overboard. Being able to recognize when I’m in my story has allowed me the chance to determine what is true versus what is my ego.
When I meditate I am training myself to take back power over my thoughts. Meditation isn’t about getting rid of our thoughts. It’s about recognizing what comes up for us when we sit down on the cushion. Are we stressed out? Are we daydreaming about the new guy we had a date with? Are we thinking about the soccer mom in the minivan who cut us off yesterday? Where does our mind go? Once I see where my mind is going I then have the choice to escape it or look at why it went there in the first place. I regain my power by acknowledging what is coming up and why. I regain my power when I allow it to be what it is. I regain my power by making a conscious choice to be present.
Each of these gifts from meditation bring about a sense of calm in my life. I feel empowered and like I have a practice that will only strengthen over time. It is giving me tools to use throughout my day and I’m so grateful. This is a daily process and opportunity for learning. So I embrace it and take it as it comes.
I would love to know if you meditate or are curious about starting a practice. Let me know how and if meditation is changing you. Leave your comments below.