“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” – Joan Borysenko
When I was a child my sister was studying to become a psychologist and I used to volunteer to be her guinea pig. So naturally, she would apply a lot of what she was learning on me.
One of the things she taught me was meditation.
She directed me to imagine purple lights of love emanating from and covering my whole body and heart. She showed me how to listen to my breathing and relax, letting my mind fly free.
On other occasions, she would play cassettes with sounds of sea waves while instructing me to repeat gratitude prayers.
Meditation brought me an immense amount of inner peace when I was growing up, but I didn’t see the full value of doing it on a daily basis until later in life.
Towards adulthood I got really depressed, and in order to come out of this state one of the things I did was to start meditating again, but this time I was determined to do it on a daily basis.
It wasn’t easy in the beginning and I would get really frustrated sometimes because my thoughts and worries and stress and sadness kept assaulting my consciousness like crazy.
But every day I would try again. I started with one minute at a time and when it felt right, I moved to two minutes and so on. After some time, I started to allow my thoughts to come and go gently. It took time and patience, but I was finally no longer at odds with them.
Today I meditate every morning for 20-30 minutes; and sometimes longer when I feel I need it. Some days I meditate throughout the day: in the shower while listening to the water running over my body, while waiting in line, on the train while listening to soothing music, or wherever I feel like it. Why?
Because meditation, as a regular part of the day has helped not only me, but also the people I help, to lower stress levels, see the self from the outside in a better way, improve concentration and productivity, process pain and emotions with more love and compassion for the self and others, improve the quality of sleep, and bring more inner peace to life.
It is such a powerful tool for self-awareness and healing that I am sure it can help you too.
At the beginning, I started meditating while running with a group. My next step was meditation by myself at home, in full silence or with meditation music. It was in that setting that I felt my mind start to fly again as it did when I was a child.
Through meditation I felt my mind started to reconnect with the whole universe in a different and peaceful way. To some extend it felt like going back home, going back to source. I know I still have a long way to go and I am committed to keep going deeper and deeper into these states of total peace and surrender.
The strength that meditation brings us is limitless. It’s free to practice and is available to all of us. What to do if you have never tried it and want to start?
An excellent beginning point is Yoga. If attending a Yoga class isn’t available to you, perhaps you can get a video or a book and try learning one new yoga position every day at home. If you aren’t into yoga at all, you could start with just sitting on a pillow while focusing on your breathing for one minute per day when you wake up.
Alternatively, try meditating while reading a prayer and focusing your mind on your heart, or on sending love to someone, or feeling gratitude, or while focusing on a fixed spot while listening to calm music and/or just in silence.
Try it in different ways and find what resonates with you. You won’t regret it, I promise.
In the process my only request is to have compassion and love for yourself. Be gentle with your soul.
I have a new vision board these days and inner peace is at the center of it to remind me that in order to better serve others, every day first starts with peace, love and compassion within.
I would love to hear about your journey to inner peace now.