When I began typing this post today I already had a topic of discussion planned but I ended up going in a completely different direction because of Amel Larriuex’s song We Can Be New. Her ethereal voice came through my speaker and I immediately became so distracted that I started singing along . I don’t mean just nodding my head, but I actually stopped typing, put my hand up to the ethers and started swaying back and forth like I was being sent on a wave back in time. All of the thoughts that had been racing around in my head came to a halt and I was completely rooted in the present moment and the music made me truly feel renewed.
“And we’ll shed our skin like trees do with leaves/We’ll glide together down on winter breeze/And rest in the earth intertwined at the roots/Until we have grown in one, me and you/And we can be new”
Woooo!!!! Talk about someone all in her feelings. I was in full on surrender within seconds of hearing her voice say those particular words. It was what I needed because I was on the brink of a downward spiral into one of my infamous spells of worry and over analysis of things that aren’t a big deal.
That instantaneous retreat into the calm spaces of my mind made me think about my journey into the practice of meditation. When I say meditation, I’m sure you think of Buddha sitting in the lotus position and chanting the sacred word Om. That’s what I use to think of when people would suggest meditation as something to add to my treasure chest of self-care tools. I’d immediately dismiss it because it was too daunting and it required commitment. I have a tendency toward excessive and almost debilitating worry and when I look back I realize how accustomed to the feeling that I had become. I was dealing with the kind of worry that would leave me wandering through life and going through the motions for months at a time. As I became even more clear about what I wanted to accomplish in life, I knew that I couldn’t experience all of the good meant for me let alone take any action toward my vision when I was in that state.
The turning point came a little over a year ago. I was in the middle of an especially difficult time of unemployment and my choice escape route was through music. I’d always found it easy to disappear into a song as it was otherwise difficult to not have a mind that spiraled in worry. It hit me as I read the book Mo’ Meta Blues by Questlove that music, for me, is meditation. You see, in the book, Questlove talks about how he’s attached specific memories to specific songs. He notes how one song can send you back to a specific moment in time in a way that allows you to recall details of an experience. In other words, music puts you in a place to access memories that might otherwise be difficult to pull out. I likened the idea to hypnosis, which from my perspective is deep meditation. When I had that epiphany, I suddenly felt encouraged to finally give the Buddha like meditation I had been so intimidated a real try.
It was not easy. It took work. I could sit still and cross my legs but my mind would not do the same. I would start thinking about EVERYTHING that had ever happened to me and it felt like it was too much. I was too afraid to be alone with my mind and thoughts because it seemed like I’d be suffocated. I couldn’t go for more than five minutes at a time. It took me about nine months before I could make it to fifteen minutes without becoming fidgety about half way in. I finally made it to twenty-minute sessions, twice a day a few months ago, but today I can go two hours at a time. Yes, two hours at a time. The key for that jump was my personal decision to stop making meditation a chore. I chose to look at it as a necessity like air. I had not been consistent and it had become a habit to stop and start, which would put me in a cycle of up and down emotion and inconsistent evolution (heavy word, but it’s what I do). I’d finally had enough and I wanted to really make the effort. I wasn’t interested in just getting by.
Now I do it every single day no matter what and I feel comfortable saying that it has completely changed my life. I’m confident in my decision-making now because I know that my mind has gotten the maintenance it needs to be effective in any situation. I’m not as quick to anger, react, or judge a situation, but I can still react as quickly as necessary. I move by my intuition and I do so without a second thought to what the outside world says because I TRUST ME. Meditation is the reason for it. I think of the mind like a house and meditation is like the housekeeper/organizer/feng shui expert that determines where every item, or in this case thought, should be placed. When it is organized, access is simple, efficient, and trust worthy. Not to mention it makes room for all of the good stuff that I want to attract in. I literally saw my whole life transform in a matter of days because it keeps me aware of my emotions and it allows me to choose positive thoughts to better my situation.
I am so grateful for meditation. It saved everything for me. It has been so powerful that I want to share it with everyone and apparently, Amel Larrieux wanted me to share it too.
Do you have something that clears your mind and resets your spirit? What are your thoughts on meditation? Comment below 🙂
By the way, if you want to learn more about how I do my meditation practice hit me up in the comments section or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org! It’d be my privilege to share my experiences with you one on one to help you reach a place of clarity.