Okay, real talk for a sec... 😱
It's easy to talk about how great meditation is when you're feeling well. It's easy to guide and show people how to sink into that meditative state from a balanced mind-space..... Not so easy to do when you're not feeling well 🙈 nooope nope nope .... However... As a meditation teacher, this is an important space to experience and find a way to share the experience with students because THIS real-life mental downward spiral that poofed into existence the other day is where our meditation practice becomes life changing.
I don't say "life changing" to be dramatic or over sell the experience. This is just literally the space where you get to PRACTICE those meditative insights that CHANGE the way you care for your nervous system when it gets a little haywire. And thus, changes the way you experience your life's happenings.
Insights such as non-judgment, acceptance, forgiveness, patience, loving-kindness... Taking a step back to be present with yourself in your body to observe what's happening, so that you can find a healthy way to soothe and find solutions.
By practicing meditation, your mindfulness becomes the response to your outer world stimulation! But that doesn't mean you won't have days, like me, where some big shadow work comes knocking to be looked at again… needing extra strength and dedication to get through 😁. The mindful response still kicks in, but it can take a lot of intentional effort to kick hard enough for that gear to grab!
My recent example of leaning (HARD) into my practice to help me through:
30 min morning meditation. Staying present with the tasks at hand throughout the day, as to not feed the racing mind. Reading books on my down time-- Reading books about my faith in Buddhist teaching, to remain focused on the beliefs I know will see me through. Feeding myself well and listening to my body when I've had enough, as to not further upset my system. Drinking more water because apparently leaking tears dehydrates you 🤔lol. And then another long meditation in the evening. After caring for myself in this way I was able to reflect on my values and beliefs from a clearer mind-space, finding comfort, and realizing how lovely it feels to take care of myself well when I feel like I'd rather not. Finding this sense of love for myself took all day, it took all of my focus. I literally got nothing else done that day. But it's okay because this spiral only lasted a day and not a week, or more (like it use to.) Choosing to sit with the waves of emotion and to fully listen to myself helped the sensations of emotion move through the body-- producing that lightness that's felt when the heaviness lifts.
These kinds of days are the reason I practice consistently. 🙏❤️ So that I'm able to love and guide myself back into wellness; finding that sense of ease when life gets rocky.
“Creating ease isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it!” -Ash