Think of life as one big test…a pop quiz that you don’t even have a pen for. By the grace of God, you either pass with flying colors or just as easily, you fail. If, by chance, you do fail… believe it’s for a reason and that life is whispering “You Have A Lesson To Learn”. So far, this year has been the most challenging yet. I’ve endured a break-up, I’ve lost my start-up company along with a business partner but more so a friend, I’ve suffered two grand-mal seizures in a six month span of time, one of which, caused me to split my forehead open… leaving me with eight stitches and a scar like Harry Potter’s. All set-backs for me, one after another. I was feeling insecure, and undeserving. I thought negatively, and I’d lash out verbally at close family due to anxiety and sadness of my own life path. I didn’t like the person I was becoming and I knew I needed to change. I knew this change had to come from deep down within.
Growing up… my stubborn, rambunctious soul was never able to master the practice of Meditation. As much as I wanted to induce calm serenity in my life, I’d sit there with my palms facing upward, eyes tightly closed, and still I’d have tons of thoughts running rampant throughout my mind. It was as if I was trying to force peace within me instead of allowing it to develop naturally with practice at ease.
The main goal of meditation is to train and self-regulate your mind internally, shifting your perspective towards a positive, empathetic, and accepting light. This isn’t going to happen overnight, and that’s partly why I felt I was never able to benefit from this free natural high. I wasn’t incorporating it into my life as often as I should have. Now, that is, whether it’s for five minutes or fifteen minutes, I make the time to meditate everyday because I see what a strong impact it’s having on my life.
If practiced daily, meditation rids the body of depression, anxiety, and negativity. It develops forgiveness, self-love, and cultivates compassion for not just others around you, but yourself as well because out of everyone, it’s YOU that needs it the most.
Here is how I am seeing my life change through daily practice of Meditation…
♦I’ve Embraced Silence♦
Hard to believe because I babble like a table full of girls at brunch, drunk off of bottomless mimosas. Meditation has helped me close my mouth and open my ears. You know how they say “Think before you speak.”? Yea…As a young lad, I never followed that rule. I’ve always been one to jump the gun, and overreact. Now, I really let what others say sink in, which allows me to translate my thoughts and emotions into a pro-active reaction, not resulting in a misunderstanding. I can almost admit that I used to have a “know it all” attitude and nobody likes a know it all! Come to terms with the fact that you yourself don’t know everything, no one does! Let others do the talking and teaching. I guarantee the more you step back and observe, the more you’ll learn about others, and about yourself.
Not only is it important that we embody silence externally but internally. We are so caught up in our everyday lives that we feel time is against us, and not on our side. We’re always racing to beat the clock. Internal silence while meditating, will bring life to a halt. It’s as if time is standing still as we ask the universe for what we desire. You may not believe it, but the universe IS in fact listening and absorbing the vibes and intentions we’re giving off. The stillness of our mind gives introspect and deep truth in discovering the person we really are, the person we want to become, and what we want to emulate as a human being.
♦I’ve Realized That I Don’t Owe Anybody Anything♦
I am one of those people that feels bad saying the word “NO”. For that matter, I am also one of those people that thinks of others happiness before my own (This trait is not good to have if you’re trying to get ahead in life). A great example would be what just happened to me last week. I currently work for a cosmetics company as a sales representative, it’s a desk job, a lot of order entry and paperwork. No further description needed. I was beginning to despise it. After HEAVY meditation, I started to grow content with my position, accepting it for what it was. In doing so, without even looking for another job, an amazing career opportunity came my way, an opportunity I had been hoping for. Here’s the clincher; I had anxiety at the thought of giving my two weeks notice to my current employer. I “felt bad” because of how nice this company has been to me. I thought of the time it would take for them to train another person and felt even worse. Then I realized… I am bettering my career, I’ll be doing something I am passionate about, AND the salary is MUCH higher! Why in the world should I feel bad because I am moving up in life? The anxiety I was creating, was completely unnecessary.
Going hand in hand, I am also one of those people that give reasoning or heavy explanation behind the choices I make. I’ve come to find that you should never have to defend your relationship decisions, religious views, living situations, food choices, or future priorities. If you’re happy with the decisions you make, that’s all that matters. Those choices are that of your own, and you should feel confident having made them. You don’t owe a “YES” to everybody… you can’t please everyone, so your number one priority should be pleasing yourself. YOU have control over the places you want to go, the people you want to date, and how you want your life to unfold. You should never have to “give in” to plans or agreements just because you feel bad saying the word “NO”. Time is precious and it shouldn’t be wasted doing things that you really don’t want to do.
Click here for an amazing article listing 15 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone At All… (Though You Think You Do.)
♦I Don’t Let Things That Are Out Of My Control Upset Me♦
There are reasons as to why people do the things they do, and the only person that knows why they do what they do, is that person and that person only. Don’t try and analyze or pick apart someones brain or intentions in any given situation. The time and energy spent doing so, is time and energy wasted that you won’t get back. This somewhat ties into the previous topic, you yourself aren’t owed an explanation or understanding of all situations. Instead of trying to figure out why things may have unfolded the way they did, simply look for the lesson through the midst of it all. Whether it’s a lesson of what to do or what not to do, what you want or don’t want, what your standards or boundaries should be, just breathe and use it as leverage for your future. Life is stressful enough as it is. What you give power to, has power over you, and there are some things that are just out of our hands. Accept it.
♦I’ve Let Go Of Grudges♦
The past is the past and if you’re living there you’re only harming yourself. People that you’d never expect to hurt you, WILL hurt you one way or another. After you have reflected on the situation, own up to and accept whatever it is that YOU could have done differently. Accepting your faults isn’t for the other person, it’s for yourself. Whatever he said, she said, or they said is irrelevant. If you dwell on pain from your past, you are only holding onto unnecessary anger for your future. Think of yourself, and think of others around you. If this grudge that you’re holding onto is affecting not only yourself, but people around you, it’s time to let it go and move on. You don’t have to be friends nor enemies with those that have hurt you but you can be the bigger person, put it behind you and be cordial.
♦I’ve Acquired Acceptance and Gratitude♦
I’ve come to the realization that I’ve poured too much of my energy focusing on things that I don’t have instead of being grateful and cherishing all the things that I do have. I’ll admit, I’m 26 and I still live at home. You have no idea how much this used to upset me. Don’t get me wrong, I still wish for the day that I am able to have a place of my own, but I don’t dwell on the thought because the time to move will eventually come. In this moment, I am where I need to be. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food on my plate. I have a Mother, Father, Sister and a handful of close friends that I can call family. I have a car, live in a safe neighborhood, and money in my savings account. There are people in other countries that don’t even have fresh water to drink or shoes on their feet. Why should I feel entitled to have more? Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting the finer things in life, but ask yourself, “Are those materialistic things really necessary to live or be happy?”.
With every dark cloud lies a silver lining, notice that silver lining and don’t ever take it for granted. After my second seizure, the neurologist told me that I couldn’t drive for at least six months. Understandable; I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I injured someone while driving- god forbid I have another seizure. At first, I huffed and puffed about it. Like having an apartment of my own, there are times that I wish I could drive to the places I want to go or to the people I want to see. The problem was, I was completely missing the bigger picture, and it’s now starting to become clear to me. I am more blessed than ever because my seizure could have injured me to a point where driving might not have been an option for my future. Six months is nothing compared to the rest of my life.
Be content- Don’t live in the past, don’t live in the future, work with what you have right now in this present moment.
♦There is NO LOVE without SELF LOVE♦
It’s very simple- you can have the most amazing man or woman in front of you but if you’re not happy with the person you are on the inside, this “perfect” person will never be good enough because you yourself don’t feel good enough. It’s really unfortunate that many people depend on others to supply them with happiness. If another person is the only reason for your happiness, there’s a problem. You should LOVE and be HAPPY with yourself without the actions of others. You should feel proud to be YOU. It’s highly important that you focus on your best attributes and even your worst. While meditating, think about what you like about yourself and what you don’t like about yourself. Repeat daily positive affirmations to yourself with confidence. You have to believe these affirmations for them to actually work. If you’re saying them to just say them, then it’s not gonna happen. Set attainable goals for yourself. When your cup is overflowing with self-love, it will be that much easier to give love and happiness to those around you.
Word To The Wise♥
Understand that it’s common when you first begin meditation, that various situations from your every day life will pop into mind. Do not try to force these thoughts out of your head. It will hinder your lack of concentration and guard you from reaching a state of enlightenment. It’s important, while in practice, that whatever thoughts come to mind are recognized and sent on their merry way with ease. You are allowed to acknowledge the thoughts that are there, but let them roll off your back with no decisions or solutions needing to be made.
When you start to feel your perspectives and actions come from a more mature, selfless, and non-judgmental place than before, that’s how you know your brain is benefiting from meditation and that you’re growing as a person.