Is your life a testament to your deepest desires? For your obituary, what will you want others to remember about you? Following are some excerpts to help you develop a habit of meditation to get in touch with the real you.
from Tiny Buddha by Aly Caracciolo
This is extremely important because it is so easy to get caught up in emotions when there is so much extra chatter or other influences. When you meditate, you are at one with your emotions in a quiet atmosphere. During meditation, I learn more about my needs and myself, and it constantly helps me grow as a person.
from Positively Positive by Bethany Butzer, Ph.D
In the book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, there’s a fantastic chapter called “Homing: Returning to Oneself.” In the chapter, Estes provides a list of small things that we can do almost any time to reconnect with the deep and true essence of our being:
- Rereading passages of books and single poems that have touched you
- Spending a few minutes near a river, stream, or creek
- Lying on the ground in dappled light
- Being with a loved one without kids around
- Sitting on the porch shelling something, knitting something, peeling something
- Walking or driving for an hour, any direction, then returning
- Boarding any bus, destination unknown
- Making drums while listening to music
- Greeting sunrise
- Driving out to where the city lights do not interfere with the night sky
- A special friend
- Sitting on a bridge with legs dangling over
- Holding an infant
- Sitting by a window in a cafe and writing
- Sitting in a circle of trees
- Drying hair in the sun
- Putting hands in a rain barrel
- Potting plants, being sure to get hands very muddy
- Beholding beauty, grace, the touching frailty of human beings
No matter how busy or stressed or disconnected you are, these types of simple tasks will bring you home. Make time for them. Every day.
For several years now, I’ve made a habit of trying to return home to myself every morning and every evening. Without this balance, I start to feel off course. I get an aching inside for some substantial/meaningful conversation. I get incredibly thirsty for more depth in my life, and if I don’t get it, I start to wither.
To avoid this situation, I’ve made a commitment to myself to consistently carve out time to go home every day. This time is sacred, and I take it very seriously. No interruptions and no excuses allowed. If I have a busy morning, I wake up earlier to make sure I still get my “me time.” Of course, sometimes sh*t happens, so I don’t beat myself up when I occasionally miss this special time. However, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I treat this time as I would brushing my teeth or taking a shower—it happens every day, whether I feel like it or not.
Here is what my daily homing routine looks like right now:
- In the morning, I meditate for an hour (or a half hour, or fifteen minutes—whatever my schedule will allow).
- After meditating, I look out the window and spend five minutes taking some deep breaths and noticing the beauty around me. I say (out loud) everything that I’m grateful for in my life. This could be something as simple as being grateful for the fact that I have eyes that can see.
- After lunch, I try to remember to take a bit of time to stretch and breathe. (This doesn’t always happen—I need to work on this one!)
- After dinner, I try to do at least two of the following four things: yoga, bike ride, nature walk, read.
from Tiny Buddha by Cat Li Stevenson
A meditation practice is an opportunity to be the observer of the perpetual stories we tell ourselves. It is an opportunity to be with the discomfort, the chatter, the fear, the excitement, the thousands of thoughts—and not have to do or fix anything. It’s a gift to simply bear witness to all our feelings and thoughts.
For me, it’s been a powerful tool. I could not imagine stepping into this drastic change without a daily meditationpractice to ground me.
Particularly during times of change, our minds have a heightened ability to dramatize our responses. It reminds me of what Byron Katies says, “Reality is always kinder than the story we tell about it.”
A meditation practice is a chance for us to clearly see ourselves, the ability to really see what is happening, and that our thoughts are merely that—thoughts.