Meditation, or the general practice of mindfulness, seems to be slowly making inroads into the collective consciousness of the mainstream.
Just about anywhere you turn these days you seem to run into an article, podcast discussion, or some sort of social site mention about the benefits of meditation.
I understand the desire of those who practice meditation to want to share with the world the benefits they have been experiencing, but in the past, I have found myself a little hesitant to bring up the subject amongst my peers.
Something about voluntarily sharing that I meditate felt like bragging and maybe even coming off as slightly pompous, so I have kept my practice close to my heart until recently.
I can no longer hold back, though, from relaying the sheer joy that meditation has brought into my life.
My meditation practice has evolved over time to become like a sacred ritual to me. At times the experiences felt from meditation can reach near mystical levels.
A part of me is hesitant to put these types of descriptions out there, for fear of establishing unfair expectations for anyone looking to try meditation, but I am compelled to share how powerful it has become for me.
Here are 10 ways in which Meditation has changed my life:
I am growing more comfortable in my own skin. I still have insecurities and anxieties, but they are fading into the background and are no longer domineering forces in my life.
I am genuinely enjoying interactions and conversations with people more and seem to be taking a more proactive role in inquiring and caring about others. This is not a forced phenomena but rather something that has been slowly shifting organically over time.
I am becoming non-reactive at work. Conversations, news, or situations that might have stoked angst in the past are now being met with more thoughtful and measured reactions.
I am a more patient parent. I still get frustrated at times as a father to a young preschool age son but can now better recognize when those emotions are arising.
I have an increased awareness and appreciation of nature surrounding me. Sun bouncing off of trees and the coloring of leaves seem to resonate on a deeper level for me lately.
I have taken a break from drinking booze. Several factors contributed to this, however, a prominent thought appearing to me during a meditation session was a major influence on my decision.
My diet and eating have evolved to become the most balanced they have ever been. My desire for gluttonous meals has subsided, now valuing wholesome taste, nutrition, and energy from my foods more than ever before in my life.
Mundane, yet previously aggravating daily events like dealing with traffic or clearing the dishwasher are met now with a little more grace and a little less annoyance. The hassle may never be fully eliminated from such things, but it has noticeably subsided.
My fear of death has decreased. I still have questions and at times get caught up pondering where this life leads to but the angst and worry over death seem to be fading.
I now think The Beatles had it right. All you need is love. Love can carry you to incredible heights in your home, at your workplace, and in the community. Meditation provides this clarity and gives you the energy to try and actively love each day.
I credit going to see a psychotherapist as the most impactful decision that I ever made for improving the quality of my life. Therapy extracted me from a crisis, allowed me to emotionally mature, and is a major reason I have a family and career now.
While therapy has built a rock solid foundation for me, meditation has expanded my foundation in life and has driven me to heights of personal and professional successes like I had never experienced before.
My first real introduction to meditation came through the book Success Through Stillness by Russell Simmons. It was a quick and simple read that provided actionable steps for jump starting a meditation practice.
Meditation does not have to be some spiritual or sacred ceremony. You may evolve to a point where you treat it as such, but that is not the point or true benefit of the practice.
While I have felt peak experiences from meditation, the majority of the time it is simply enjoyed as a peaceful break from the stressors of daily life.
The benefits of those peaceful breaks are cumulative and over time your entire outlook and approach to life will subtly shift for the better.
Give yourself the gift of quieting the mind and allowing a brief break from what feels like a chaotic world at times. You deserve it.
Meditation can and will change your life.
Do you practice any forms of mindfulness? How has it impacted your daily life? Please leave a comment with your experience.