Becoming still in a world of turmoil
Do you yearn to feel more balanced and in control of your life?
Are you feeling lost or stuck?
Do you feel anxious about the future?
How I found peace and harmony from a world of turmoil…
In this article, I share my story of how learning to manage my mind and emotions through mediation helped me become calm, relaxed and excited about the future ahead. I share my story of how meditation helps me see more clearly and stay balanced during stressful times in life.
Back in the early 1980s, I was in the Army for 5 years, it is a long story how I got there so I won’t go into that now, but in my own internal world of mind and emotion I had this underlying drive to runaway, little did I know then that I was running away from myself, searching for something that was missing in my life. I felt like I wanted to belong and needed a structure to hold onto, the Army gave me what I needed at the time
It was when I left the Army and still lived out in Germany that I got a job as a civilian working as a practice manager for a well-respected GP. I will never forget Dr. Byron, he was in his early 60’s at the time, had come into General Practice late in life with a background in psychiatry. He taught me so much, but in a way that I did not really appreciate until years later. He introduced me to different natural health methods. I learned about herbal teas as depending on what he needed, I would make a brew every morning, from chamomile to peppermint, to fennel and all sorts of other concoctions. Dr. Byron’s approach to general practice was also different as patients would wait hours to see him (and I am not exaggerating). He prescribed a good old dose of empathy and listening rather than prescribe tablets, allowing patients to get their worries off their chests. I would often see patients walk out with a smile on their face and a spring in their step.
Feeling the pressure…
One day he could see I was under pressure and feeling stressed and invited me round to his home to meditate with him and his wife. Now at the time, I thought it was weird to be frank and had no experience with meditation, didn’t really understand why you would want to sit still quietly for ages. But as I did not want to offend and disrespect his kind offer I went along.
We sat in the front lounge of their Army quarters and the room was darkened, I had met his wife before so I felt comfortable in her company. We had a quick chat and then he lit the candle that was on the coffee table. The only instruction was to gaze at the candle and when my mind wandered or I felt like I wanted to get up and move, to bring my attention back to the candle. In the beginning, I was incredibly self-conscious and felt silly. Being an active person and always a bit of a fidget from a young child, sitting still like this was alien to me! So, I duly did what I was told and after a few attempts where my mind would wonder and I would bring my attention back to the candle, it became easier. It was probably about 5 minutes in total, at that time it felt like an hour! Afterward, when I got home, I noticed that I felt more relaxed and the stress I had been feeling was significantly reduced.
Anyway, I continued with the candle gazing practice intermittently at home, but it was just one of those things that I would do every now and then as it was hard for me and at the time I did not really understand the deeper value of the practice.
From weird to wonderful…
A few years later, life had changed and I was experiencing many different stresses in my life. I met someone who suggested I go along to a meditation circle and I was recommended to someone who ran a circle in their house once a week. The first time I went, I wanted to run straight back out the door as I saw a very eclectic mix of people, who I would never have dreamt of spending time with, but I gave it a go. I found myself in a darkened room, where the 9 of us sat around on chairs in a tight circle, in the centre a candle burning brightly. We were taken on a guided journey by this lovely angelic looking lady, using imagination as a method to calm and focus the mind and then left to be still for a while.
After this, we all had an opportunity to share our experiences. I was amazed at the difference, not one person’s experience was the same. The first time I didn’t see or sense anything during the meditation, I just followed the journey and sat still for the duration and I remembered my mind would drift off and I would feel a bit irritated as I wanted it to finish, but being in a group didn’t give me a choice.
I continued to go as I began to enjoy the lovely group of people that shared a common goal, we came from all walks of life and there were no judgments or criticism just a shared feeling of connection. As my skill increased, I found regular practice between the weekly sessions helped me greatly in everyday life and enabled me to manage stressful situations and see things more clearly.
Meditation is a big part of self-care…
I have since studied natural therapies, including Polarity therapy, NLP/Hypnotherapy, Huna, Shamanic healing, Lomi Lomi and Kinesiology and have been helping all kinds of people for over 20 years find a sense of purpose, balance and spiritual connection.
All of these modalities are different methods of clearing the body from pain, gaining clarity of mind and balancing emotions.
Meditation remains a big part of my own self-care for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual balance and I share this in a weekly live meditation group (at the time of writing currently virtually online) for those who are regular meditators.
In my next blog, I share the theory behind meditation and how meditation can help you to transform your life. In the meantime, if you want to get started I have created a short series of meditations (complimentary) which you can sign up for here.