“If you cant find the time to meditate once a day, you should meditate twice.” Deepak Chopra.
I love this quote, if we can’t find the time to sit with ourselves even for three minutes and focus on our breath; there is something not quite right. Perhaps the question to be asked is, what am I not wanting to face? For many, myself included when I first began my practice, there is a real sense of fear when it comes to just sitting and focusing on being with oneself—whether that be just focusing on the breath or listening to a guided meditation.
The beautiful and more tangible benefits of creating a consistent meditation practice are the psychosomatic effects that can be felt and witnessed. Feelings of anxiety and how it manifests in the body will begin to lessen, tension and stress felt in the body will begin to decrease, and sleep and hormonal imbalances will improve over time. There are so many benefits to having a meditation practice and there is science to back it and more that is being done. One benefit that stands out for me, which I have personally experienced, is the feeling of getting to know myself better and on a deeper level. Many of us are fearful of what may rise to our level of consciousness, and what it will mean when we are presented with a certain thought or feeling—what should be done about it? A little reminder, there is no rush to act straight away or at all. But, what you will find when you begin to meditate is that you will begin to shift in gentle ways that are being guided from deep within your knowing. I would be lying if I said it didn’t at first scare the crap out of me to sit in stillness and silence with me, myself and I. It took a lot of courage, perseverance and discipline to build a consistent practice, but the more I have sat in stillness the more a wisdom beyond what I thought I knew to be true comes knocking—sometimes it’s a very welcomed opening of the door and at other times resistance shows up. But, with in all the feelings and emotions and lack of focus or numbness that arise, there is an opportunity for us to allow and surrender—trusting and letting the body sink a little deeper into the present moment, and for the mind even just for a split second to be in that state of pure consciousness, where no thought is present and a pure clear channel can be experienced. It is at this point things stored in our subconscious can begin to rise, surfacing up to our conscious mind, bringing an opportunity for the deeper parts of our self to be explored, understood and ultimately for the answers within to be brought to our attention.
Even though this begins to unfold there is no time limit, it will most likely happen organically—so drop any attachment to the ‘end goal’ of your meditation before you take your seat. Here are some benefits to remind yourself of:
· Meditation helps to manage symptoms of hypertension and hypotension; it slows heart rate and slows the systemic circulation along with the Sino atrial node.
· Meditation causes vasodilation aiding the blood to better perfuse the skin
· Meditation helps to lower stress and anxiety levels, which lends to being in a more parasympathetic state rather than a sympathetic state where adrenaline and cortisol are increased.
· Meditation helps to decrease the stress response which aids in rectifying a deregulated the HPA-Axis.
· Meditation helps our respiratory health as it increases diaphragmatic breathing allowing for lowered respiration rate, inducing a parasympathetic state within the body. This parasympathetic state helps on a cellular level to help improve digestion and the removal of waste products from the body.
· Breath work and meditation helps our lymphatic system because, every time we deeply inhale and exhale this also helps support the elimination of waste from the body.
· Meditation helps relieve tense muscles due to increased oxygen saturation throughout the muscles.
· We have over 100 million neurons housed within in our gut, when we meditate this helps to bring us into a more calm and relaxed state, which also aids in the digestion of our food but also the digestion of our emotions.
· Whilst meditation helps to lower cortisol levels this in turn lowers chronic inflammation, which then in turn helps with bone health, reducing the loss of calcium from bones.
· Meditation helps regulate sleep/wake cycles
· Meditation decreases pain
· Meditation helps to lower anxiety
(Moksha Yoga, MMTT Booklet, 2018).
The above shows us that, there are so many reasons to begin meditating—anything else that is meant to unfold will in due time. The other beautiful thing about meditation is the act of consistently showing up for ourselves—we are opening our hearts, we are showing ourselves the tenderness and compassion we deserve, and in order for it to be experienced fully and indefinitely it is required to come from within first. This heart opening experience that can present itself to you and for you, also allows more room for love and compassion to be felt and expressed towards others, even beyond those you are close to and know intimately.
So my sweet, what have you got to lose? I invite you to get real and honest with yourself—where might you be running from stilling your mind and body in fear of what may show up for you? Is your body pleading for more stillness and rest but your mind is saying, “no, there is too much work to be done?” Regardless of your answer, meditation can be your missing empowerment piece—the piece that can bring more balance and pleasure to your life in all areas, but only if you allow space for it.
P.S – I would love to hear your experience with meditation, what has been of most benefit to you? And, if you don’t yet have a meditation practice click the link below for my free guided meditation to get you started.
P.P.S – I also offer support around your meditation practice in my program ‘Unleashing her inner radiance.’ This program is for women who are ready to show up for themselves and are willing to go on a deep exploration of self mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually and rebirth their true, radiant self.