I have a confession to make. I am in the throes of a love affair. With meditation.
I never thought those words would come out of my lips and it still makes me laugh when I admit it. I thought meditation was something far too hippie and made up for me to get involved with. I pictured pan pipes and crystals and thought it would only be a matter of time before I’d be wearing maxi dresses!
Even after reading all the scientific evidence to the contrary, I was hugely sceptical that it could be of any benefit and remembering pulling a slightly disgusted face when Emmy suggested I try it out when I first started at Recover. However, since I began working at Recover over 4 years ago I have been introduced to many new concepts and I could not be the Clinic Manager that I am today if I did not attempt to practice what I preach. And so it was with this in mind that I first began sitting in on one of our meditation groups.
As I am sure some of our girls will remember meditation did not come easy to me! For the first few weeks, I fell asleep during every body scan and woke up feeling disorientated, embarrassed and frustrated that I couldn’t “get it right”. I felt that there was supposed to be a momentous spiritual awakening and constantly compared my experiences to others in the group. It was only when I realised that there is no right or wrong way to meditate that I had a crucial breakthrough.
Meditation is whatever you want it to be.
Whether it is 3 minutes or 30 minutes. If you sit or lie down. Practice in silence or to music. It is a time to clear your mind and really listen to what is going on for you. And by clear your mind I do not mean empty it entirely of any thoughts as it would suggest. Think of it more as untangling them and being aware of the types of thoughts you are having. With greater awareness of our thoughts, we are able to look at how to change them and, by association, our behaviours.
Meditation is a life skill.
Fast forward to today and I practice my meditation daily and have even been on several retreats. It’s become such a part of my life that if I miss a day I can immediately see the impact it has on my mood, sleep, stress levels…you name it. I have been asked by clients why I meditate and I always respond that meditation is a life skill. It is not a quick fix solution or one you should drop when you graduate from the clinic. Meditation is something to be incorporated into your life and is an excellent barometer for our feelings.
I know that new clients can feel as I first did when they join our meditation groups and I hope this blog encourages them to hold on in there and be open-minded to all that meditation can offer. It can sometimes be scary to listen to your thoughts and sit with your feelings but I truly believe that it will be worth it. Our meditation groups are a safe space for you to practice and share your experiences with others. And when you have your breakthrough you won’t look back.
Written by Kate Sumner