A small change that makes a big difference…
Over 16 years ago (wow that makes me feel old!) I began a spiritual journey at a time when I felt a pressing need for change. I was running on empty and with hindsight can see that way too much thinking was invested in dwelling on past events or future goals. I was rarely ‘present’ and enjoying the moment. I can see now how much I wanted approval and was losing self respect in attempts to gain it, and feeling rubbish when I didn’t. Aware I was travelling in the wrong direction, I didn’t know how to switch. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin, find some kind of purpose and a practical method to help me deal with life’s ups and downs more effectively.
Like lots of people I have a mind that doesn’t want to stop! Back then there was an incessant stream of inner chatter which was quite exhausting. Anyone relate to that? I didn’t recognise at the time that my thoughts were the source of a lot of my tiredness and stress. How on earth do you begin to take control your thoughts? Taking pity on me, the Universe kindly flagged up a Positive Thinking class just down the road from our flat, which turned out to be very inspiring and led me to meditation.
When I first sat to meditate it was difficult to concentrate. I felt fidgety, sometimes bored, sometimes downright uncomfortable. But in between this were moments when everything went quiet to reveal a glimpse of something deeper, something I’d had been searching for. I noticed after meditating I felt almost physically lighter and my mind felt clear and clean, so I stuck with it and worked on developing the habit of a little meditation every day, reinforcing the motivation by attending a weekly class.
Over time real benefits began to emerge; feeling calmer, happier, more connected to my truth and to other people. Ups and downs became less dramatic, I was finally getting on purpose. Gradually self respect improved as I became aware of, and slowly able to change some of the negative thinking patterns that had built up for years and had been sucking the life out of me.
A little meditation at the start and end of the day creates a space to take a breather and detach from the multitude of roles we juggle with; parent, partner, carer, housekeeper, friend and many labels associated with work and leisure. It is time spent reinforcing positive thoughts, reaffirming goals and connecting with self and Source; something more loving and joyful than I could ever have imagined. In the moments we connect fully with that truth, there is freedom from fear and deep contentment. Every spiritual journey is a lifetime’s work, there are always deeper levels of understanding to explore and layers of unconscious and negative behaviours to peel away. Some of the hardest to shift are those relating to our most precious companions such as our children, who in particular can present our biggest challenges and be our greatest teachers.
But it’s a fascinating journey and I recommend everyone give meditation a go. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and listen to a meditation commentary, light a candle, listen to gentle music, join a class, whatever appeals to you. What you lose in sleep you will more than make up for in a calmer and more positive outlook, which will in turn energise you. Don’t give up when the going gets tough. Form a new habit that will set you on a path to making whatever changes you need in your life. Your patience and persistence will undoubtedly reap rewards!