Saturday talks: Meditation, Building yourself up & Lifting others.
Date: 19 Feb, 2022
As I look at today’s date, I imagine an hourglass that has it’s last 35% of sand left in the top globe to drop through the narrow throat til it’s turned again and March begins.
I have traveled to the UK and the storm outside my window feels as if winter wants its last notice before leaving for another year.
The sound of strong wind, leafs dancing and the complete day stolen by nature’s power, creates a very clear contrast between what’s happening outside and the calmness of my hotel room.
This reminds me of how life is at times…
Or how it’s preferred to be, in my personal opinion.
Just like the strong wind carries broken branches and leaves through the lands, life throws challenges our way that we aren’t prepared for.
And although we can never prepare ourselves for what’s to come, we can prepare our heart and mind for us to take it more easily – through meditation.
It slows down your thought flow and strengthens your heart, making you more resilient against whatever comes your way.
For that exact reason, I find meditating in the morning completely vital for me to function properly during the day.
What difference does it make?
I don’t get annoyed over the simplest of things, don’t react unconsciously, don’t blame others for what I can take responsibility for. I don’t depend on anyone to make me feel good & happy, but myself and I don’t feel as if I’m running behind the schedule (which I absolutely hate).
When I spend a few minutes on my yoga mat or just the living room carpet or being sat on a chair, focusing exclusively on my breath and the way I’m feeling that exact moment, makes all the difference in the world.
An intentional time spent in silence, before checking the phone, emails, looking at any screens or interacting with the outer world in any way and starting the day in solitude. Even if my loved ones are around, it’s a few minutes that I use to go inwards and focus on myself.
You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Thinking of yourself first, getting YOUR mind straight and heart open first thing in the morning will make you a different person.
You will be able and willing to give more to others. Being selfish in that way is actually the best gift you can give to yourself and your loved ones.
You will feel more down to earth, much more calm, rational, content and fulfilled.
Your loved ones will notice your inner glow and that will make them smile ear to ear, don’t you think?
And it only takes 2 minutes a day.
When I first started, I couldn’t understand the hype, to be honest. There I was in my early morning, sat in a lotus pose (which you absolutely don’t have to, but that I figured only later on), back acking, mind running…
I lasted for a minute or two and nothing changed. In fact, I became even more anxious as I couldn’t even just sit with myself for a minute, I almost felt a bit embarrassed. And the day went on accordingly…
I still got upset and angry when my team didn’t respect my set deadline, I still got frustrated in traffic on the way home, I still raised my voice when my partner asked me why I didn’t do the laundry I promised to.
But I stayed on track and did it the next morning and the morning after…
After a week, I started noticing minor changes in the way I communicated with the outer world and life’s situations.
Consistency will save you!
A month went by and suddenly every blog post, youtube video and friend’s advice on meditation and its benefits made total sense.
Meditation did change me for the better and still does to this day.
Like at the very beginning I told you about the contrast of a storm outside my window and the calmness that’s present in my room.
It’s my absolute goal to have a life like that. The outer world can go mad and I still get to have my sacred peace within. People can be disrespectful, angry, stressed, frustrated, they can run around me like crazy, but I will stay calm. I will have silence within my mind and peace within my heart. And I’ll achieve that through mindful living and primarily – meditation.
It’s ok if you skip a day or two, get a week off when you’re on holiday or manage this however you find is right for you. The goal is to make it a habit and stick to it for as long as you can, being as consistent and determined to continue as you can.
I now sit in silence for 10 or 15 minutes almost effortlessly and it’s the perfect amount according to my lifestyle and personality. Some do less, some do an hour, monks do all day, but it comes down to your personal preference and needs, as with everything.
It comes and goes, like the wind.
Even when you’re a “pro” (although I do not consider anyone to be one, we all can do a better job the next day), there are days when it flies by in a seconds’ time and there are days when your mind just won’t shut up.
You sit there and suddenly it’s: “Did I reply to Lindy yesterday about the upcoming project we discussed earlier?”, “What will I eat for breakfast?”, “Last year’s skiing trip was just wonderful, I would love to go again this year, if everything is opened and safe to visit”. And it never ends if you follow the thought, it just transforms from one to another, from that to the next one.
But practice is all we need to focus on, the process, training our minds like we do with our bodies.
Focusing on our breath, coming back to it as soon as we catch ourselves slipping and losing our power to one another thought chain.
But we reclaim it every time. We are stronger than our thoughts.
WE are in control!
Our minds can work with us or against us and we are the only ones who decide which one it will be.
And it isn’t easy at times, especially in an era of distractions which make us unable to focus and stay above our thoughts.
It’s also a time when mental illnesses are peaking, for the same reasons. A casual daily panic attack or constant anxiety isn’t something unusual anymore, almost everyone has had a period in their lives when these struggles were present or are to this day.
And although it is incredibly tough and hard to live with and grow above, we are responsible for ourselves and our happiness. We are the ones who can let ourselves drown or paddle with the last energy resources to swim above one day.
If you are struggling with anything that’s holding you back from living your best life, I want to tell you something –
You are the strongest person I know and although you might not see an end to this, there is one. And I’m proud of you right now. You can and should seek help if needed, not feeling ashamed or scared of what’s to follow. You are loved, appreciated, you are beautiful inside and out, just the way you are. And I know that even though I haven’t seen you or talked to you in real life because I feel how wonderful and incredibly resilient our readers are.
On the other hand, if you’re happy and fulfilled at this moment in your life, I am so proud of you as well! I couldn’t be happier to know there are Rumi customers and blog readers that have taken full responsibility for their happiness and strive to be better every day.
Perhaps you have someone in your life who’s going through tough times, we all have had those. Write them a message, call them! Let them know you are always there for them and they are always welcome to lean on you for security, comfort and support.
By lifting ourselves, we build others up and by lifting others, we build up ourselves. It’s a beautiful cycle of our wonderful life.