I am at peace. I am completely whole. This is how I’ve felt every day for the past month after meditating. This week, I’ve fallen deeper into my meditation practice than expected. I wake up every morning eager to meditate just so I can experience an everlasting state of calmness. This challenge was just that, a challenge. There were days where I felt myself getting antsy because I wanted to get up and move around or because my thoughts were flowing like a waterfall… but I still managed to shift my focus to my breath on those days.
The biggest benefit I’ve received from meditating daily has been in managing my anxiety. I’ve still struggled with some anxiety, but it hasn’t been daily. I’ve been more balanced and relaxed. This has made life better for me in so many ways. I’m able to spend more time outdoors without worrying something bad will happen or that people are watching and talking about me. I’m not constantly in fear of something happening to someone I love. I feel more confident in my skills and talents (like writing). I believe meditating consistently plays a part in why my mood has been lifted as well. Aside from taking my meds regularly and attending therapy, adding meditation to my self-care routine has aided in managing my bipolar disorder episodes.
Besides stabilized moods and a decrease in anxiety, meditation has helped me gain clarity on what direction I want to take my writing business in. I’m the proud owner of J.M. Writes, a service dedicated to providing top quality writing services to those in need. I can now say this with confidence. The other day I sat down to meditate with worry in my heart. I was worried about my services failing. Worried about not booking new clients and about not getting paid what I’m worth. During my meditation I repeated several affirmations and thought about what I wanted for J.M. Writes. I thought of what I saw for its future as well as who my ideal clients are. By the time it was over, I had answers and knew which direction I needed to go in.
- Be patient. Meditation takes practice. If you’re expecting to “shut your thoughts” off, lower your expectations. Realize it’s not necessarily about stopping your thoughts but learning to manage them. If you, like me, get a bit impatient, set a timer. Start with just getting yourself to meditate for 5 minutes. Once you’ve mastered that, increase your time by 5 minutes until you reach a time that works for you.
- Utilize guided meditations. Not all of us can meditate in silence. When I first started meditating awhile back, I only used guided meditations. I now alternate between this and meditating with ambient music. If you’re not ready to try it on your own, guided meditations work just as well. The Insight Timer app has a catalog of guided practices and you can also search YouTube. Another recommendation I previously mentioned is Shelah Marie’s Meditation Mixtape which can be found on all streaming platforms.
- Consistency is key. Before this challenge I spent time meditating on and off and while I’d leave my practice feeling more relaxed, I didn’t practice enough for it to be long-term. If you’re serious about meditating and wanting to reap the benefits, know that it will take more than one time to see long-lasting results.
Meditating every day has been a life-changing experience. This challenge officially ends on September 17th. If you joined, I want to take this time to thank you for participating and I sincerely hope it was beneficial for you. Also, I want to add that if meditation isn’t for you, that’s ok! Everything isn’t for everyone. What works for me, might not work for you and the only way to know what’s for you, is to give it a try.