For me, meditation has become an integral part of my daily life. It is absolutely crucial, vital. I don't feel the same without it. Meditation enables me to go into my day more connected to me, more present, more observant, and more aware of my emotions and triggers and how I want to respond to them.
It wasn't always like this. For years I dabbled with meditation - few minutes here, and then several days later another few minutes. I might put in a stint of a week or two managing it every day, and then abandon it for a few months. But what kept me coming back was how I felt when I meditated. Or perhaps more specifically, how I felt after it. I have this sense of peace, of calmness, of connection, of my truth.
Some days, meditation is a struggle not to let my thoughts run away with me. When we start to meditate we see how busy our minds are - how many thoughts are in there all of the time. The minute you stop and observe them, it's like they multiply like rabbits! And that can feel frustrating because you're like 'I'm here to meditate, to calm my mind and yet my mind seems to have other ideas here'. But push through. Allow the thoughts to come up, let them be but don't give them your focus, your attention. Focus on your breath, a mantra, how each part of your body in turn is feeling, visualising something - whatever approach you're taking in meditation and allow the thoughts to come and go, just observing them but not getting drawn into them and allowing them to take you off down a track.
And of course sometimes this happens too, but when you find yourself off somewhere, bring yourself back to the awareness of your breath, mantra, body, visualisation etc. And forgive yourself. It's only natural and one of the beautiful things about meditation is the opportunity to develop self compassion, self kindness and forgiveness. And in doing this for yourself, you will be more able to do this with others.
There are times when meditation is this amazing thing of beauty and you see colours, have visions, brilliant ideas that come out of nowhere, you suddenly see the thing you've been wanting your whole life and didn't know it...all of that happens too. And when it does it can revolutionise your life - bring you clarity, and revelation, inspiration and creativity. But it's not what meditation is only about.
And I find that when I go through this, out the other side, even if I've spent the entire time in meditation having thoughts and trying not to get pulled in by them, that I feel calmer, more centred, more grounded, more observant, clearer. And this helps me in my day.
Because meditation is really about clearing your sub-conscious, allowing all the dark murky thoughts to arise and to leave, allowing your mind time to sort, file, process. It helps us balance our sympathetic and parasympathetic systems - allowing fight and flight mode to switch off, and bringing our eat, rest, sleep mode online. It gives us the time and space from the constant chatter. Giving us a tool to gain distance and observation from our own mind's drama, so you can see a clearer route through it. And this reduces stress and pressure, eases anxiety and depression, brings calmness, peace, and happiness. Not all at once. It's a daily practice. A daily cleansing, daily maintenance, daily devotion. Devotion of yourself, to yourself, and to your wellbeing.
Why not give it a try today?