I’ve meditated on and off for the last 30 years. Every self-help book and approach I've read about finding peace, joy and happiness, suggests meditation as the key path.
As a seeker and an introvert (always in my head), I’d been looking for the thing that would help settle my active mind and bring me some peace and harmony.
Over the years I tried a few different styles or approaches to meditation - Shambhala, mindfulness, Path of Bliss. I’ve read books. Taken classes. Downloaded apps.
And while many of these practices resonated with me, I’d try them for awhile and then stop. I’d try and sit for 20 minutes a day, but wasn’t seeing any results so I’d give up.
But intellectually I wholeheartedly believed in it, so kept up the search.
In 2018 I did a Vipassana.. It’s a 10-day silent meditation course. I wrote about it on my blog if you want to check it out. The experience was one of the hardest things I’d every done and one of the most beneficial. I thought for sure, I would go home and meditate every day after that!
But it was too much. The recommendation was an hour twice a day. I couldn't do it.
I was left feeling like a meditation failure. It was too hard and too onerous.
I then started to hear more about Transcendental Meditation (TM). How beneficial and easy it was. I checked into it to see if there was a teacher here in Halifax. Sure enough the teacher got back to me and had a free orientation the next day!
I’d already done a ton of research, so after the orientation I was pretty sure I wanted to take the course. But it was an investment and I had to be prepared to jump into the next program happening that weekend.
It felt like it was meant to be, the timing was right. I was ready. I said yes!
That was almost a year ago and save for a few days when I’ve been away on vacation, I’ve been practicing TM twice a day for 20 minutes pretty consistently.
So what was different this time?
First the practice is easy. It doesn't take hard work or concentration.
Second, I had my own private mediation teacher I could ask questions to and who kept me accountable (which this obliger really needs).
Third, I started to notice subtle benefits. I was less irritable, more patient, focussed and tolerant. I felt less stressed, less overwhelmed and more peaceful.
These three elements are what really made TM work for me.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with meditation. What have you tried? Tell me in the comments.
To your well-being
P.S If you think a meditation or mindfulness practice like this could be beneficial in your own life to reduce stress and overwhelm, I'd love to hop on a free Stress Breakthrough call with you to discuss further.