AND WHY YOU SHOULD
If we start with the benefits of meditation, it might be more appealing to most of us who are programmed to believe that focusing on ourselves, our health, our joy, is a form of narcissism, or my childhood favorite, self-centeredness.
We throw these words around like modern day psychologists walking the everyday streets of life where we know and see everything. Most of us have been brought up to believe that we are powerless, that we are victims to what is happening around us.
If you meditate, you will see that what is happening around you, is happening within you FIRST.
What!? Does that actually mean that you’re psychic and not a psychologist after all! Maybe, lol.
What it really means is that by paying attention to what is happening with you internally, you have the ability to change what’s happening externally.
When you change how you have been programmed to act, you can change the outcome of every situation you place in front of it. Now that may not mean that it always goes “your way” but it means that you always hold with you the power of choice. The choice to respond or react.
You’ve been reacting ALL your life. You have been programmed with a detailed set of instructions for every situation that your nervous systems perceives something familiar within it.
It can be as simple as someone’s tone of voice that reminds you of someone that you have had a bad experience with, and you immediately associate it with the person you dislike. IF, god willing, you are forced to interact with this person for any length of time, and they prove that their actions do not match the actions of the person you have associated them to, your mind begins to form a new story around that voice, but this only happens over time and we aren’t very often given this opportunity of time.
What we are given is the ability to see ourselves. And WHEN we see ourselves, we can SEE that we are forming an association based on a past experience, and not the present one we are in right now. When you have the ability to experience yourself, instead of act out the programming you’ve stored, meaning repeating the same experience over and over again with slight variations, like different people, or different place, or different job, that kind of thing, YOU can create lasting change in your neuropathways. When you do this, you are forming a new pattern of intention to see through present eyes, to notice your emotional fluctuations and to see why.
When you see why you are reacting or creating in the same ways over and over again, you can explore why.
When you explore why, without attachment to the story or the outcome, you are able to see and heal what is driving these deeply held patterns of behavior. They are all put in place to keep you safe. And, they worked.
If you don’t need these old programs anymore, you can rewrite the script that your mind has stored.
In order to rewrite the script you need to learn how to meditate.
There are many paths to meditation, I will share with you one. The one that I use in my daily life, and you can do in under 5 minutes. I don’t pretend to be fancy when it comes to wrapping gifts, serving food, or decorating, so I won’t pretend that carries over into my spiritual connection. It doesn’t. Never has. So, if you’ve ever seen me trying to do something with tons of steps, recipes and instructions, I was pretending. That was me trying to figure what worked for me. It’s definitely not me now….
HOW TO MEDITATE
Meditation begins in the body. You can be doing something familiar like - vacuuming, driving, reading, working out, running, walking, all the things that you might do regularly, initiate meditation.
Your body relaxes into a state of homeostasis or relaxation (but this won’t always LOOK like relaxation to everyone, there are some people who are quite relaxed holding a long ass yoga pose while their legs shake under them and they watch their breath with the most presence known to man). This state depends on what you’re doing when you are thinking most clearly.
When I’m aware that I’m thinking, I can then become aware of my thoughts. It’s like the Observer, or the Witness, just steps in and shows you what it’s like to watch your own thoughts.
When you notice your thoughts, you can become aware of them, when you become aware of them, you become the Observer.
The observer is able to see everything because the Observer doesn’t have a bias like your ego self. It’s not trying to keep you safe from past stories and experiences because it doesn’t have a wound/reaction attached to any of it, including the emotion.
I will try to explain how this works for me:
It’s not like the kind of observation that is completely translucent, completely without depth, there is still depth, there is still feeling, but it is more in the way that it is simply experienced. Experienced as an experience. No attachment to “this is good” or “this is bad”.
It watches and then watches where your mind goes to follow it.
It may take you back to a visual of a past experience or a sound, song, smell, taste. I don’t know how it’s going to show up but I know it always shows up to make me aware of what I’m actually reacting TO.
When this happens this is the gold. This is where you can witness yourself healing.
Some days you’ll get this kind of experience and then the next 5 times you might get to watch your grocery list.
To summary this up:
Do something familiar until you hit that spot where you notice what you’re thinking (not to be an ass but this is usually when I think I’ve just had a brilliant idea and I wonder where it came from…because it definitely didn’t feel like my intelligence here)
Once you notice that you’re thinking, or how much you’re thinking, you’ve now become the observer. This is the goal of mediation. To Witness, to observe.
Watch without expectation. Become fascinated by the Observer. ASSUME the observer knows more than you and is showing you around. Because it does. It knows everything about you. More than you think you do.
Everything you need is here.
HOW DO YOU USE IT TO HEAL
I’ve used it to TRY to interrupt my rage. I have a go to coping mechanism for rage. If I can intimidate with rage, I am in control. Control is where I’ve always needed to be because I’ve always felt so out of control. Rage gets me noticed. Where I’ve always felt overlooked, underloved, and like I am a shame, rage confirms I’m unloveable. It reminds me that I’m not worthy. It always leaves me feeling less than.
Do you think I could have understood my anger or rage if I didn’t take the observer seat a time or two when I’ve been “heated” (understatement). I couldn’t have. I could never have understood where this came from without stopping my reaction in its tracks and calling up the observer “watch me” I have begged internally. Watch Me.
What I have seen are things I have forgotten and things I never would have connected to the present moment I’m experiencing. It has taken me to times when I have been silenced, afraid, intimidated, ignored, rejected, made fun of….alone. A lot of alone. Almost all of my memories are of me alone.
There is so much more I could go into here, but I will leave it there.
Except….I’ll add on that I never could have done this without understanding the technique of yoga nidra in the way that lead me to where I am, which isn’t healed but is doing a lot better than 5 years ago. I teach this practice. If you would like to study yourself through the lens of yoga nidra, and maybe even teach the practice, you are welcome in The Portal - From Asleep To Aware.