Getting grounded. Finding the calm that eludes so many of us. This is something that I learned from my wife Lisa – she’s the real expert after all. Her knowledge of alternative health has been a blessing and changed our lives as partners and parents for the better. She’s the one that formally introduced me to meditation, and while I’m a true believer now, it wasn’t always easy.
When something like meditation comes along, it’s a challenge. Think about it. You have to tune out to tune in. It’s certainly not something we’re taught. It’s a mental exercise that can frustrate you, and even bring you to an uncomfortable place. It’s in your most quiet moments when your brain unloads on you. How can you tell your brain what to do when it’s what tells you what to do? These were my reservations – and I don’t share them to deter you. I share them to encourage you to get past them. Meditation shows you that you never know everything. It unlocks areas of your brain and heart that you knew were there, but didn’t quite know how to access. This is what I’ve learned through my practice, and this is why, even if it’s for only five minutes a day, I find the time for it. Finding this time to slow down is essential.
Frankly, meditation is not the kind of “me-time” that most of us think about or are encouraged to persue. It’s not retail therapy. It’s not the day at the spa. It’s not about overindulging because you “deserve” it. In fact, it’s about the absence of all these things. As I already mentioned, you have to tune in to tune out. And while that may be hard, there’s not one of us out there who hasn’t yearned for that moment. It’s not about having no thought process at all; however, it’s about slowing your internal thought process and inviting the present in. It’s not about the past; it’s not about the future. It’s about finding peace in the now. This is what meditation allows you to do. This is how meditation achieves its goal.
A regular meditation practice can help bring clarity to your thoughts and purpose to your actions. By attaining both of these things, or at least working toward them, you may find that you are also revitalizing the body. Meditation has positive effects on immunity, stress management and sleep. The state of your body and the state of your mind are inextricably linked. If there’s anything to remember during your meditation practice, it’s this. For tips on where to start, click here.
If the internal, or less “concrete,” benefits are not selling points for you, meditation may even help you lose weight. As my friend Deepak Chopra points out, meditation restores self-regulation. As it requires intention, it expands your awareness of what's really going on in your body. Meditation brings your metabolism to a level where your mind is quiet and your metabolism optimizes. For more on that, click here.
While it’s true that meditation is not exactly the most communal of practices (it’s not impossible, but it’s hard enough to focus when you’re alone), the concept and benefits of meditation should be shared with your friends and loved ones. Try it, suggest it, practice it and preach it. Your mind and body, and the connection they share, will bring you the peace you crave. Seeing this process unfold in others may additionally bring you a sense of satisfaction you never knew you could find.