Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself. – Hermann Hesse
She plonks herself down, definitely in a sunny spot on the floor, table, chair or bed. And proceeds to wrap herself up into a tiny little fur ball before she quickly drifts off to Lalaland. One. Two. Three. As simple as pie. Max truly is my best teacher at be-ing instead of do-ing, as I often muse. We are after all human be-ings and not human do-ings.
For us two-leggeds, finding that sweet spot of silence is a touch more elusive. And I am referring to the active silence or be-ingness; not the passive stillness of sleep.
This is exactly why I meditate – to simply find my sweet spot, my silence, my inner peace, my be-ing-ness.
There are a multitude of studies and articles about the benefits of meditation (just ask Google, read the Huffington Post or notice the explosion of new mindfulness apps in your favourite online store) that prove all sorts of advantages gained from a regular meditation practice. Without a doubt, meditation leads to a healthier you and a less stressful overall lifestyle.
Here’s my personal little list of benefits from my practice to yours. It is still, and always will be, a practice for me.
- The more regularly I meditate, the more I feel in touch with myself, all of me, my body, mind, emotions and soul. When I sit or walk in meditation, I am able to connect to my wholeness in all my glorious messiness. Through being aware of all the parts of me, I can be more accepting of myself as I am. No judgment. This is a precious gift I can give to myself. And it takes a dedicated practice. Yet always being prepared to start over and over again.
- I light up. I begin to see each little spark of creativity that comes my way, especially when I can hear my self from this quiet space. Within my silent sweet spot, I listen so much better. Meditation brings me to a space where I can hear the divine and notice these little sparks. Sometimes, I am blessed with a long sought after answer or a secret message. Other times, I am more aware, I can purely observe. Mostly, I simply try to find that moment of stillness. Only this! Oh and of course, just like you, I struggle with my little monkey mind. It’s very active. This is why it is a continuous practice and I need to keep at it.
- On a physiological level, it helps me relax, enhances my well-being and supports my sleep. All huge bonuses in my book. Especially that sleep one, because as one ages gracefully, sleep becomes more elusive! Trust me, I gratefully celebrated the big 5-0, and along with my changing hormonal cycles, my sleep patterns have most definitely been in flux too. Any help I can give myself counts.
- Life is a flow, a sequence of ups and downs, calm and stress, yin and yang moments. Meditation makes it easier for me to navigate my life and transverse those hills and valleys more evenly. Most of all, it assists me in being more present in this moment. NOW = WOW!
- Meditation boosts my ability to practice gratitude and feel compassion, firstly towards my self, then towards you and ultimately towards others, spreading outwards to the whole wide world. If I am compassionate with myself, I am more compassionate with others. I am a kinder, happier person in my everyday world. I sure want to be kinder and happier, don’t you?
It isn’t really about the reasons to meditate, as I am sure mine are entirely different to yours. It’s all about actually meditating. Through my practice, I strive to be in that sweet spot of silence, as often as I possibly can, so as to know myself better (and reap my rewards too).
As a teenager, I was introduced to meditation, thanks to my dear soulsister C., and it has always played some role in my life. Over the years, I have drawn closer to it, studied it, read endlessly about it, moved away from it, found it again, practiced it, studied some more, attended courses, simply forgotten about it or even told myself that I didn’t have the time for it. There’s no straight path.
Now that I know what a difference it makes to me, it has become an integral part of my daily ritual. This is not to say I meditate every day or all the time or that I am a perfect practitioner of meditation. No! Far from it. I am purely a practitioner who desires to improve my life through meditation and share the joy of it forward. And sure, I fall off the horse too. I just get back up as quickly as I possibly can. Because through concerted effort and dedication, I have felt it’s positive influence. And so I try again. Every damn day.
There is no end goal; the goal is in the practice. We are all practicing. And we are all in this together.
Now back to Max, my dear little kitty love… she’s my biggest teacher and continually reminds me to find the silent sweet spot. I totally adore her and the little a-ha’s she gifts me. Let’s all be more like Max.
How does meditation make a difference to your day? Leave me a note here.
with gratitude, Delicia