This week, I want to talk about another tool in my toolbox which is meditation. When thinking about what to share I began to think about my journey with meditation so far and how it started. The truth is..I can’t really pinpoint that. See, I didn’t set out to meditate. In fact, I thought of people that meditated as kinda weird. They were posting on social media with their pics of burning sage, crystals and talking about how at peace they were and I was like, ya, that’s SO not me!
The meditation thing for me started off really gradually, and was never really a conscious decision per se. I got my first real personal exposure to it way back when I started taking Body Flow classes at Goodlife. At the end of each Yoga/Thai Chi/Pilates fusion class, there was a 3-5 min savasana with a guided meditation. I didn’t think of it as a meditation. I thought of it as positive messaging and a nice relaxing end to a tough class. When I stopped going to Goodlife, I essentially stopped meditating.
Years later, anxiety crept in again and I tried meditation as a way to try and relax and ease it, not really understanding that mediation is more about your active mind in the present, rather than having a time to not think. Because of that, after a few sessions on an app, I got frustrated (and more anxious) so I dropped it.
When I lost Kayla, I struggled with a number of things. I spoke last week about the physical release that exercise gave me, but that alone was not enough to help me.
When I was at my Mighty Moms session, someone said that I was still in denial about Kayla being gone. They were mostly right, but it was more that I was afraid to face that. I couldn’t let my brain come out of the past. I was terrified that if I did that, I would completely lose my mind and I would be gone forever, locked up in the nuthouse, rocking in the corner and be useless to the rest of the people that desperately need me to be “ok”. Whenever I pictured in my mind what that fear looked like, this is what I saw:
I saw this type of bridge but more rickety. I was mentally picturing that if I started across here, with a healed self on the other side, that I would get halfway across and it would either fall and kill me, or I would be stuck there. Some deep ass shit for sure. So I stayed on the edge.
One day, I fucking lost my shit. I was home alone for one of the first times and I had a bad day-I think it was Kayla’s birthday or something, I don’t know those days are pretty foggy to me. But when I say I lost my shit….let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty BUT it allowed me to start crossing that mental bridge.
After that, I started researching tons of things to try to help me. I found books and groups and websites(I’ll talk about that stuff next week) and really started to look into meditation.
I’m going to shamelessly plug the calm app because it helped me so much with guided meditation. They literally have a meditation for everything. Check them out – there is a free version to their app.
Turns out, meditation is not about turning off your brain. It’s more about turning it on. You tune into THAT present moment that you’re in, allowing you to feel your emotions and physical self without judging it, or trying to fix it. I am not an expert, I don’t make up my own meditations and I don’t know if I ever will. I use the guided meditations and they have created in me a peace that I didn’t think was possible. I discover something new about myself every time I sit and participate in a meditation. I have learned not to judge my emotions and that I will be OK. Some sessions are better than others, but I never ever regret sitting in meditation.
Daily meditations have helped me to be more focused, less judgmental of other people, and understand all of my emotions. It is helping me be less reactive and take pause before getting upset. It’s been an integral part of getting across the rickety bridge. I do truly believe that I’m on the other side of the bridge now. I’m not fully healed, never will be, but I’m in such a good place mentally because of this amazing tool.
I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever tried meditating? What is/was your experience? Let me know in the comments or on social.
Next week, I’ll post part 3 of my toolbox. Until then, I’m off to use tools 1 & 2. Have an amazing week!