I wrote this poem when I was a child.
I found it years later after I had been practicing meditation for 20 years. I was stunned. I obviously had experiences of stillness and silence as a child to write something like this.
Then I realized that the most effective meditation for me is to sit and watch my mind and my breath. I find it fascinating and deeply relaxing. I have the pleasure of getting to know myself. It is true for me that silence is my favorite companion. That is my inner being, my center, my home. It is me in the fullest sense of the word.
Don’t try to stop the mind.
If you try to stop your mind, most often your meditation practice becomes a battle with your mind. That is counterproductive. The mind is a thinking organ, just like the heart pumps blood throughout your body. Trying to stop the mind is a fruitless endeavor. It simply aggravates the mind, which winds it up. Watching the mind allows the mind to unwind and then it will naturally slow down and you will have periods of stillness between the thoughts. It is something that happens naturally without force. Over time, the spaces increase in frequency and duration.
There are many meditation techniques.
Meditation techniques are designed to focus the mind on an object whether it be the breath, a word, a candle or something else. By focusing the mind, it brings concentration and allows a break from the constant flow of thoughts. We begin to see that there is more to our inner landscape than our thoughts.
The purpose of the focus is to move you into a state of witness conscious, where you can watch the mind from a detached perspective. Once you experience that, the object of focus can be relinquished and the meditation becomes watching the activity of the mind, body and emotions. If you loose your ‘witness consciousness’ perspective, then you can engage the focus again. Even a moment of stillness between the thoughts is enough to change your perception of life and begin the journey to watching the mind and beyond.
Meditation is a powerful tool
Meditation is a powerful way to reduce your stress and become more aware of yourself and the world around you. You get to know yourself and re-integrate all the parts of yourself that you have pushed away. Making friends with those parts, is a component of self love. When you make friends with them, they integrate back into you and no longer sabotage your success.
Experiment with an object of focus that you feel drawn to and that makes meditation easy without creating a battle with your own mind. Let the mind become the entertaining focus of your meditation.
Everyone is unique
What works for one person, doesn’t work for everybody. So discover what works for you and let that be your guide. If you are visual, you may want to watch a candle or create an inner image to focus on. If you are auditory, you might do best saying an affirmative statement or a mantra or listen to some music. If you are kinesthetic, you may want to try watching the breath, feeling the breath move in and out of your body at the nostril or in the rise and fall of the belly with the breath.
Allowing meditation to progress naturally is the way to find inner peace.
Meditation is about letting go of goals and being present in the moment. To become goal oriented about meditation defeats the purpose . . . unless of course, you can watch your mind trying to goal set and be amazed and amused at it’s tenacity. Yet, even that is a goal. See how tricky the mind is.
One of the greatest comments I ever heard about meditation:
“Some days my meditation is like a refreshing, cooling drink on a hot day. Other days, I feel like I am locked in a very small room with a crazy person.”
Yep. That’s the mind . . . the ‘crazy’ person. As you detach from the mind as you sit, that detachment will creep into all areas of your life. That allows you to be present in life without reacting (or at least not acting on your reactions) and make clear decisions from a place of love while remaining grounded and centered.
This week, set aside 10 minutes a day to set and do nothing with your eyes either open or closed. Choose a focus if you like or simply watch the wall in front of you. At the end of the 10 minutes go about your day. Be aware of what you notice during the ‘meditation’ or in your life. Let me know how it goes.
Please post any questions or comments on Facebook or on my website blog.
All Healing Begins with Self Love
I would suspect that you have, like me, had many people say to you that your symptoms are all in your head. Perhaps insinuating that you have control over what is happening to your body. Or that all people have pain, so what’s the big deal. Or recommending this or that supplement or modality to cure you.
Perhaps you have run yourself ragged trying medication, supplements, dietary changes, lifestyle changes, stress reduction, meditation, yoga, alternative therapies, or miracle cures. Perhaps some or many of these have helped, but your health remains compromised and your functionality and happiness along with it. Perhaps part of you wants to just give up, but that is a scary proposition as well. So, you hang in there as a brave fibro warrior doing the best you can day to day, hoping for relief.
Take a moment to consider these questions:
- Are you engaging with your fibromyalgia and your body as if it were the enemy?
- Do you judge yourself for being ill; for not being able to keep up with the rest of the world?
- Do you feel a sense of worthlessness as you struggle to keep going each day?
- Do you feel a sense of rejection when other people tell you to “just get over it” or “try harder”?
- Do you struggle to express yourself and your needs and desires?
- Do you feel guilty when you need to say ‘no’ in order to take care of yourself?
These are all symptoms of a lack of self-love!
I didn’t know what the word love meant!
For many years, I didn’t even know what the word love meant. It didn’t have a positive feeling for me. It was a scary word. After all, everyone who had told me that they loved me had been abusive to me. Both as a child and as an adult. I knew that I needed to re-frame my connection to the word love.
Lucky for me, I am a cat lover.
My cats taught me the true meaning of love. Cats (dogs, too) love unconditionally. When I would pet my cats, I would feel a gentle, peaceful feeling. And I realized that the feeling was coming from me. Wow, I thought. This is what love is. Yet, I still didn’t know how to generate that feeling towards myself, towards other people, towards my illness or towards life in general. It seemed isolated to the connection between me and my cats. But it was a starting place.
Intention is everything!
I began noticing when I was feeling peaceful and loving and when I was not. I began asking myself, “how I could come to live more and more in that place of peace and love.”
As I continued my journey with that question in my mind, my life began to change. I began to be able to embrace myself and my experience with an open heart. I began to have greater compassion for myself and others. I became less judgmental of myself and others. I began to work in harmony with my body rather than railing against it for failing me. As I created a healthier, more loving relationship with my body, I was able to access the wisdom and guidance from my body as to how to improve my health. I could understand what the symptoms were telling me that they needed. My body became my guide on to how to improve my health. The improvement in my health gained speed and momentum.
Another aspect of self-love is in meeting our mind and emotions with openness and compassion.
Rather that judging myself for having negative thoughts and emotions, I could inquire into them and access the underlying wound that held the emotional and mental pattern in place. Often discovering a part of myself that felt deprived, wounded, judged and pushed away out of a belief system that I needed to be a certain way to be loved. What these parts of myself needed was to be loved rather than to be judged and fixed. When I could hold these parts of myself with acceptance and respect, they began to heal and integrate into me and offer a positive contribution to my life.
Do you hold judgments against yourself and your body?
In working with clients, I see how they strive to heal their bodies, yet they hold judgments against themselves and their body. They have unresolved negative life experiences that are secretly running in the background sabotaging their health and their life. They hold the belief that once I my body is healed then my life will be better, and I will be happy.
Along with working on a physical level, we need to work on self-love.
We need to heal the inner wounds, feel the uncomfortable emotions and re-script the unhealthy beliefs. This can be challenging work as we all have defense mechanism in place to protect our vulnerable self from harm. These same defense systems can keep us locked in the pain of the past and interfere with a deeper healing of the whole self. Yet on the other side of this, is freedom and love.
I am beginning to believe that the greatest stress in our lives is the lack of self-love.
If you have adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, insomnia or fibromyalgia, I suspect that the lack of self-love is an important part of the journey to improved health.
Creating self-love is an important aspect in my coaching.
It is the foundation upon which an individual will have greater success in making and sustaining healthy choices. It will create a foundation upon which any other healing modality can build. It will reduce the ongoing stress in the body that prevents the body from doing what it is designed to do: detox, rebuild and repair the body.
Introspection for the week:
- What are the parts of yourself that you judge as bad or wrong?
- What does love mean to you?
- What is one thing that you can do each day for yourself as an expression of self-love?
Group events coming later this year; stay tuned:
- The Art of Self Love: Right relationship with body, mind, heart and spirit
- Healing the Wounds of the Heart: An Online Group Healing Circle
I invite you to a complementary Discover Session with me.
In this session, we will explore your health challenges, your goals and underlying stresses. You will come away with a blue print of steps that you can take to rebuild your health. Click here to sign up now.
If you are not on my mailing list, sign up here to receive my blog in your email box. Also, receive my free mini-course entitled: 6 Steps to Resolve Hidden Stressors to Enhance Your Health.
Watch for next week’s blog on Gut Health.
When you love and respect yourself, you will draw love to you.
When we live with fibromyalgia, we live with pain every day.
We want the pain to go away.
What if our pain was our friend and not the enemy?
What if our pain is simply showing us where we need to heal and to open our hearts more fully to love?
What if opening ourselves to love is what we truly need to heal our body?
Would you create a different relationship with your pain?
Would you ask your pain to guide you and teach you how to open to love?
How is this landing with you?
If you feel offended by this, I totally get it. Years ago, I would have been offended too. Over the years, I have learned that it takes working on all aspects of our being . . . physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and the way we live our lives.
It is very important to take care of the physical body. Make healthy choices in the food we are eating, exercise, and getting enough rest. We need to work with our mindset and shifting negative thinking into life affirmative thinking. We need to make friends with our emotions, release stored up suppressed emotions, and learn how to express positive emotions. We need to find pleasure in how we live our lives, even with the pain and difficulty of chronic illness.
But, underlying all of this is one component . . . self love.
It takes self love to make all the changes we need to make in our lives to rebuild our health. We need to love the parts of ourselves that we have banished as not good enough, both the positive and negative. We need to replace self blame and self judgment with self love and acceptance.
This is the underpinning factor in rebuilding your health, reclaiming your life, rediscovering your joy and aligning with your purpose.
This week, contemplate this and share your insights with me below.