Mind on Overdrive
I’ve always had a busy mind. I tend to multi-task quite a bit and often struggle with completing one task before moving on to the next. While I do have some techniques I use if I have an exceptionally long to-do list or otherwise hectic day, I don’t want to employ that level of structure on a day-to-day basis; I personally prefer the idea of allowing my day to unfold a little more naturally if feasible.
Many of you do not know this, but in addition to running Vibe Elevated, I also work a separate full-time job. Although this duality is just temporary, I like the balance of moving from one field to the other and can say that I’ve successfully managed to juggle both careers over the past year in addition to having a life. That said, this past January I really started to notice the mental and emotional wear of trying to keep everything moving and working 7 days a week in one way or another. I try to practice most of what I preach, but to be fair, simply keeping a gratitude journal or saying affirmations may not be the biggest aid you when you are on the brink of mental exhaustion.
After three different and completely random conversations brought the idea of getting back into a regular and consistent meditation practice to me, I decided to give it a try. I have traditionally practiced a mindfulness-style of meditation and never really got into a consistent practice; I would sit for a few minutes here and there as needed but don’t recall a time that I stuck to a practice every single day. As of late, I’d landed at place where meditation felt virtually impossible—I couldn’t sit still for more than a few minutes without feeling like I was going to internally combust. So, I dedicated the last few weeks of January to learning and practicing a mantra-based mediation technique that was completely new to me. I am a believer in meditation, aware of the benefits, and felt like it was the perfect time to slow things down on the inside.
I am intentionally not going to mention the specific name of mediation training I completed because I am a firm believer that, with regards to any type of mindfulness or spiritual practice, there is not a one-size-fits all approach. If you are interested in learning something new, mediation or not, do your research—get curious, ask questions, talk to people that have been doing it long enough to give you quality feedback. Something that works well for me might not resonate at all with you, and that is completely fine. If after reading this post you are still curious and want to know more about what I am doing, drop me a line and we can chat about it.
It has been about two weeks since I began my regular mediation practice, which consists of a morning and evening mediation every day. I’m going to share with you what I’ve experienced these first two weeks and will check in again in a separate post a few months from now so you can see my progress. I promise to be honest and will keep things real for you.
» I immediately noticed that my mind has actually slowed down. It had gotten to the point where I was unable to sit by myself in a quiet room without feeling like I absolutely HAD to get on my phone, computer, or get up and task, so this is a huge benefit for me. It is much easier to think complete and coherent thoughts and move through my day. I certainly have room for improvement, but this minor shift is a big relief.
» I’m more patient. I’ve noticed lately that my patience was wearing; I would get short, frustrated, and agitated way too easily with those closest to me and that’s just not cool. I know that I do have patience somewhere in there—I used to teach preschool so I did not miss the patient boat. After just two weeks on meditation, I still can feel impatience grow, but I don’t necessarily feel like I need to act on anything and can let it go with much more ease.
» My anxiety has decreased. One of the reasons I do what I do is because I have carried a reasonable amount of anxiety with me throughout my adult life and I want to help other people manage theirs with some of the techniques I use and teach. I have been on prescription anti-anxiety mediation in the past and, while there’s no doubt it can be helpful for some with doctor supervision, it wasn’t right for me. I’ve been off anxiety meds for several years now, but the anxiety lingers, usually barely noticeable, sometimes not, and it grew to be more pronounced as life expanded. Since I’ve been meditating, I have noticed things that would normally cause anxiety to spike just felt like a small blip and passed quickly. If you have ever dealt with anxiety, clinically diagnosed or not, you can probably appreciate the weight that is lifted once you find something to help alleviate the feeling. If mediation offers that, believe you me I will do this every day for the rest of my life.
I’m also seeing my sleep quality improve and have been able to treat mid-day headaches with a quick 10-miute mediation session. To reiterate, my success thus far is not because I am a RMT or do energy work or am a life coach—it is because I am taking this practice seriously and doing it consistently. Anyone can learn meditation and, take it from me, it really can be easy and effortless. We have an obligation to ourselves and those around us to take good care of our emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being and if there is something you want to shift, change, or get rid of, why not now?