“You should meditate."
If there’s one thing that I think and want to say in almost all of my conversations with people, it’s this.
Stressed about work/family/finances/school? You should meditate.
Sad? Lonely? You should meditate.
Have a lot of feelings of anger or irritation? You should meditate.
Get upset easily? You should meditate.
Feel disconnected from people? You should meditate.
Not sure what you’re doing in life? You should meditate.
Feel a general sense of unease? You should meditate.
Happy and feeling good? You should meditate.
I could keep going.
I don’t like sounding as if I am a meditation evangelist. Meditation and mindfulness are big buzz words anymore, from Fortune 500 companies to the yoga studio down the block. I know buzz words tend to get a lot of eye rolling or people generally nay-saying for the sake of being nay-sayers. I might too if I hadn’t let myself experience things.
Before I practiced yoga and meditation, I was a full-time hater. I got irritated easily. I didn’t like people very much. I suffered from a lot of anxiety and depression. I had a lot of problems with insecurity and a general dislike for myself. I ran from feelings and attempted to “go robot” instead of dealing with things. I would never claim that meditation is everyone’s fix for all of their problems, but I can tell you that it has helped with a large majority of mine.
Instead of feeling irritable and tense all of the time, I can open up more. I can let stress roll off a little easier. I am able to offer more compassion and connection to others. I can see a bigger picture. I have been lucky to find an inner calm that acts as a resource even in the craziest of situations. Do I still freak out about things? Sure. I like to do it for about five seconds via text messages with friends. And then I breathe and it’s over. Do I still have some of those negative feelings? Certainly, but isn’t it a wonder to actually feel them instead of run from them? What a thing openness is! I don’t have to feel a lot of irritation at everyone I encounter. We carry around so much weight from the stories we tell ourselves and it’s nice to lighten that load. (But maybe our stories are for another blog.)
The point here is that my life is different and for the better. When I lived in seemingly endless stress and anger, I felt constricted. There was a tightness in my chest all the time. I felt separate. With meditation, yoga, mindfulness, I can feel part of the bigger whole. I can breathe more freely and be part of all the aspects of life, whether I think they’re good or bad. Being truly part of each moment of your life is a really quite something.
So when I want to suggest meditation, it’s because I wish good things for you. I want you to experience life to the fullest in each minute. I want you to let go of the things that weigh you down. I want you to fly free and know that things are just fine. Maybe meditation isn’t what can achieve that for you. Maybe it’s something else. Either way, my wish for you is the same.