I often hear clients say that they’re keen to adopt a meditation practice but they don’t know where to start? Clients tell me that they simply don’t have time to work it into their schedule or they’ve tried and they just can’t shut their mind off.
These excuses are so familiar because up until three years ago, they are the exact words that came out of my mouth.
But the good news is that meditation is the quickest, easiest and most cost effective way to enhance your health and wellness.
It’s a sure fire way to live an extraordinary life. (For real).
I’ve always been a doer. I would pride myself on the fact that I was constantly on the go and that my mind never stopped. If it stopped, I would actually worry and think there was something wrong with me….and the viscous cycle would start all over again!
As a result I became anxious and stressed about everything. Sometimes panic attacks would come from nowhere, like that time I was on the bus on my way to The Big Day Out and I literally thought my heart was going to stop.
My mind would constantly race with everything I had to get done (often things that were weeks in advance) but mostly all the trivial tasks I had to get down in the day (like buy groceries, cook dinner, pay bills, run a business etc…that’s called ‘Life’ Ainslie!).
I also found myself being so pre-occupied with past events and I’d over analyse them to the point where I would go nuts (and I probably wasn’t a very nice person to be around!).
Did I ever just enjoy the moment?
Um, no. Never.
This crazy ‘Monkey Mind’ was literally doing my head in and seriously affecting my health. But thankfully I decided to do something about it.
I found Meditation and it was life changing.
What is meditation exactly?
Meditation is simply a structured period of time where you stop ‘doing’ and you simply ‘be.’
For some, meditation is taking a walk, being out in nature or a morning surf.
For me, meditation is closing my eyes and letting my mind be still and clear.
I know the idea of just ‘being’ sounds a bit ‘woo-woo’ but it really means you stop processing information and you avoid exciting your nervous system.
We live in a ridiculously fast-paced world, where we are constantly ‘switched on’ thanks to social media and the internet. As a result we are always in ‘doing’ mode and our nervous system is over-stimulated and rapidly trying to process a barrage of information.
We become frazzled, irritated and unhappy.
This is where the healing modality of meditation comes into play.
There are a number of reasons why you should incorporate meditation into your daily routine. If you’re still skeptical and maybe thinking ‘I’ve tried and it didn’t work’, here’s how meditation has helped me:
1. Reduces Stress & Anxiety
By making space and prioritising meditation I’ve been able to significantly decrease the stress and anxiety I used to experience in my life. I now have a much calmer disposition and things that would usually stress me (big and small things) don’t effect me as much as they would in the past. I just keep rolling!
2. Overcome Insomnia
I had a bad habit of taking sleeping tablets there for a while and I even got to the point where they didn’t work! Once I started meditating and journal writing before I went to bed I found I could drift off to sleep unaided. (Woohoo!).
3. Increases Self-Awareness
Meditation has really helped me shut off that annoying and overbearing ‘monkey mind’ so I can actually tune into my intuition. When you’re able to listen to your inner voice you find yourself making better decisions and you feel a deep connected to yourself.
4. Enhances Productivity and Concentration
When I start my day with a meditation I’m setting a clear intention and I’m actively engaged in how I would like my day to unfold. My mind is clear and focused and this has a ripple effect across other aspects of my life. I’m more like to whip through my work and I’m not as prone to resorting to Facebook!
5. Cultivates Creativity
Similar to enhancing productivity, I also find that meditation helps to spark my creativity. By creating space and allowing myself to just ‘be’ I find that all these great ideas start to drop in and they aren’t forced . (A much better situation than sitting at your desk waiting for a brilliant idea to pop into your head…..does that ever happen?)
I know this is a big call but meditation can help you create an extraordinary life where you simply thrive.
In Part II of this blog series I’ll share with you practical strategies of how you can create a meditation practice that works for you and your lifestyle.
I’ll also share my own meditation practice so you can get an insider’s glimpse of what works for me!
In the meantime, I’d love for you to share in the comments below – what is your current mindset about meditation? What is it that’s holding you back and what’s one positive thing you can do to make a shift during the week?
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