Good morning all! I am sitting peacefully with my dog awaiting the arrival of the munchkins to come home from their sleepover at the grandparents. I had an amazing day yesterday and wanted to share what I learned with you mama's (or anyone, really) out there who may need a new way to de-stress. This goes out to my friends who have asked me for advice on Meditation and the calming effects it could play in your life.
My friend Stephanie Borrelli hosts Psychic Developement Workshops in her gorgeous home in my town. I call her home my little Oasis, she lives in a secluded area filled with trees, fields, farms, horses, and a beautiful reservoir. All of these things are quite uncommon to find in the majority of where I live. Picture more of the city life (the dirty city life). So going to her home is such a retreat from the lifestyle most of us live. She has five gorgeous kitties who surround you the moment you enter her home, begging for pets from every angle. Cats and I? We love each other, I don't think I will ever live my life without having a cat or two at all times. So needles to say (again) I love attending her workshops.
Stephanie teaches interested people the way to strengthen their psychic abilities. Something she an I both believe everyone has the power to do inside themselves, if they put a little practice into it. I myself have always had a gift of some sort and until lately kept it in the back of my head, I was busy busy busy with other things. Until one day out of the blue my abilities exploded into the forefront. To the point where I was deeply overwhelmed with what was happening, I needed to put an handle on the "knowledge" I had about people without them telling me. This among many other aspects of my ability bombarded me all at once and I called Stephanie shaken, asking her how I could control what was going on. She gave me a few pointers and I eagerly soaked them up. I wanted to go back to my motherly duties without being overwhelmed by other things I couldn't explain at the moment.
One of the ways to help control and calm me during this time was meditation, something I had done since childhood. I can clearly remember long trips to Quebec, sitting the back seat of my mothers car in the typical Buddhist monk meditation position, clearing my thoughts and just "being". At such a young age I had the feeling this exercise would bring me such calming satisfaction in what for me was an entirely all too stressful life. So for 9 hours I sat in (9 year old attempted) stillness letting thoughts come and go freely in my mind.
It took me quite some time and much help on Stephanie's part to find a meditation exercise that works for me and I would like to share with you in Stephanie's own words the way she meditates. Her skills have brought me great inner peace and helped me overcome parts of my past that were hurting so deeply. This without her even planning to. I am so thankful from the bottom of my heart to have met such a wonder soul, she is truly just a simply loving and gentle being. A wonderful teacher, and I look forward to so many more lessons with her. And hopefully more times overlooking gorgeous water and trees, laughing it up together enjoying the day.
Meditation does not have to be anything huge, over planned or extravagant. It does not have to be used the way I use it, for healing. It can be a simple way of de-stressing after a long day. A way to treat yourself to some inner peace. The calming of your frayed nerves after a fight. This is not some religious act that only certain faiths practice, it is not a spiritual journey into something unfamiliar, although it so could be if that is what you wish from it.More so meditation is becoming more familiar with yourself, and opening up doorways in yourself that could bring more peace to your every day life. Simply put- mediation is anything you make it to be. Don't picture it as a daunting task, look towards it excitedly and don't give up! Like everything, practice makes perfect. And the journey is well worth it.
Here is what my friend Stephanie has to say on how to get started if you are not quite sure where to begin:
The Basics of Meditation is relaxation, inner peace, harmony, concentration, improved performance, Inspiration and vision. You can improve your quality of life through relaxation therapy and meditation. To meditate on your own, all you need to find is 20 minutes a day to escape from your daily routine. When you practice meditation you are building good health.
Meditation takes time and effort and you should avoid being unrealistic with what you can achieve. Contrary to popular belief meditation is not only exclusive to religious ascetics or those that are spiritually advanced.
People who are in high pressured jobs or have a hectic lifestyle find that meditation helps release stress and tension.
Through relaxation therapy you gain the ability to focus allowing you to explore and develop your inner self. Meditation does not mean you are in a spaced out state. When practicing meditation your mind is alert and active at all times. The problem is we don’t put any time aside for ourselves, meditation is a form of expression and is a natural function just like breathing, eating and drinking.
You are likely to throw every possible objection in the way of meditation. No time, too busy, too noisy, not in the mood or worried about what other people may think. You might even feel you are abandoning your other commitments. You will find that you will have to overcome much resistance, but when you start to meditate you will have achieved so many things and be able to deal with life on a totally different level.
Once you practice meditation or visit a relaxation therapist on a regular basis, you will start to feel totally focused and connected, you will be in control of your life. You will become balanced and in harmony with your environment and destiny. Practicing regularly can give you a glimpse of a more spiritual dimension and will help you to understand your inner-self.
It can be said that to be in touch with reality is to worry about things that have happened or things we can not change. So because of this you would react with panic to daily events which can throw your day into chaos. Meditation is a way of escaping and depends greatly on your state of mind when you practice.
Meditation enhances reality which can be disturbing to you if you work and live on high adrenalin levels. Often you cannot imagine being relaxed whilst awake. It’s as if your body has only an on and off button. You need to stand back and watch what's going on in your life. Meditation will help you see clearly and fully without being swept away by emotions. The bottom line in all this is learn how to take away the negatives whenever they arise and boost the positives.
Do you find you are up-tight over silly things?
Meditating does not eliminate the difficulties in your life. If you are having trouble with someone in the family or you have financial problems using meditation does not make your problems disappear. What is does is help you react to the problem with a better frame of mind.
Meditation can not stop you having negative thoughts and you can not stop sensations arising any more than you can make the whole world a better place. What it can do is stop you throwing fuel on the fire. What meditation does is help you to look at situations clearly and calmly.
Try to watch your emotional response to a distraction and remember you cannot stop the flashes of anger but you can try to let them pass. If you do not externalize it, you may feel it within you perhaps as a hot flush or the hairs might stand on end at the back of your neck. This is unpleasant but you can let it dissipate. You can now feel pleased with yourself for remaining calm.
The art of meditation is to watch dispassionately anything that arises in your consciousness. With training you can stand back and watch the endless stream of thought, sensation and feelings that flow through you, without getting involved. Remember if you let everything go nothing will stick in your mind unless you want it to and no single thing will be a threat or a temptation. There can be serenity in the midst of chaos.
As human beings we love to play with our thoughts, chasing the good ones and battling with the bad ones. For some reason we don’t want to give up on our worries and fantasies, however frustrating they may be. Yet clearly you have to let go of this mental dogfight. Focusing or concentration is the basic technique of almost every meditation. Good concentration is almost effortless the essence of focusing is actually to let go. Focusing does not mean blocking out every thought, as this is impossible. Instead it is like looking through a camera lens. When you look at a nearby flower without the camera you will notice other things around it. When you look at the flower through the camera you just focus on the flower.
You might find it a surprise to know how little you control your inner world. This is true for almost everyone. Once you accept this you can start to drop many of the false expectations you have about yourself. So when you find that your mind is starting to wander bring it back to the problem in hand. Meditation can help you to do this by teaching you to focus on one thing at a time.
Before you start to practice any form of meditation ask yourself, is your mind focused or is it wandering. Remember when your mind is wandering you are not totally relaxed. Only when you are focused can you actually receive a good meditation session, this is because you are totally relaxed.