I woke up at 7am. Brushed my teeth. Sat in my meditation spot. Set the meditation timer (calm app) for 20 minutes and closed my eyes. The same routine I’ve done for the last 3 years of my life.
After completing my 1304th+ session (252 hours 44+ minutes), I received a text from my long time friend, Kevin.
“Happy World Meditation Day” he said.
I didn’t even know this day existed. But to honour what it has done for my life, it is only fair that I share with you how it has saved mine.
It has become a daily ritual that I must do everyday. Just like physical training has changed my body, meditation has strengthened my mind. Learning to find the calm amidst the noise has helped me with my anger, depression and anxiety, the most.
By helping me become present in the moment, where the past and future don’t matter. I used to live in the past AND present. I would relive painful situations/memories and recreate the same emotions over and over and over. Sometimes still do.
But what is that actually doing for me except create disease of the body and mind? We aren’t truly living until we can be present. In this moment. Right now. I learned when the Dr. told us that my father had 4 weeks to live. Sitting in the hospital with him, everything became so clear. Nothing else mattered, the money, recognition and material things. The only thing that mattered was each moment that we had left with him.
You are not your thoughts,
You have thoughts
This really changed my world: I am not my thoughts. Meditation gave me the space to seperate myself from the thoughts in my head. Learning to let them pass by like the wind and not let them take me away and spin crazy (untrue) made up stories in my head.
It has also really helped me tone down my anger. I am by no means perfect and have lots of work to do, but I have come a very long way. And for that I am so proud of myself. It has helped me build a buffer around my thoughts so that I can respond, instead of react to situations or things that would normally have made me explode in anger.
It also really helped me slow down. To be present with each conversation, each task without trying to multi-task 5 different things at once.
There are some good sessions. Some really hard sessions. Some sessions where I wasn’t present at all. But what I learned is that it is not about how ‘good’ you are at meditating and understanding that everyday is different. The most important part is just the simple act of sitting down and spending time with yourself. Building self awareness through quieting the mind.
I used to get mad at myself. Ruminating about the past. Worrying about the future. Then the timer goes off. But now I know that it is part of the practice. Just like anything, it’s the consistent, disciplined repetition of a simple habit that has profound change.
The stats of my meditation practice I mentioned up above is to not brag. It is to show you how one simple act, everyday, adds up. Daily training of the mind compounds and can truly rewire the brain and change it for the good.
It doesn’t take much:
- Set it in your calender: Same time everyday. I do it first thing in the morning, which I found works best for me. All you need is 5 minutes.
- Make it easy: have a spot set up for you to do it, so there’s no excuses.
- Start with guided meditation – Apps like (calm, headspace, waking up) are amazing to get you started.
- Have an intention and purpose of why you’re doing it – Commit yourself to it.
Now here we are, 3 years later, after my first 2 minute meditation session. And I haven’t looked back. Again, by no means am I perfect. I have my good days and my bad. But I’m human. And as humans we all make mistakes but, in my opinion, it is our duty to learn from them and make this world a better place. Internally and externally.
I am beyond grateful for meditation. It is hard at times, very hard, but this is a practice I am dedicated to continue, everyday, for the rest of my life.
The best part of it. It’s FREE.