I believe our lives are more fast-paced than ever. We are squeezing more chores, demands and challenges in our busy, fully stacked days than is good for us or our overloaded bodies and minds can handle. The result is: we are collectively super stressed. Stressed out of our minds. Our precious bodies carry the heavy symptoms of being so overstretched. As the cortisol builds up in our bodies, our waistlines grow, our cravings increase and our overall well-being declines. Yet, we are too busy to sit down and breathe. To really breathe I mean. Without a cup of coffee, iPhone or other electronic distraction at hand. Breathe in a way where we can let go of all the accumulated worry, anxiety, pressure and forget about our endless to-do-lists. Where we allow our nervous system to find balance and our hormones to readjust.
When I first started to sit down and make time to breathe, I felt almost sick doing so. My thoughts were racing through my overly strained brain. As I tried to not hold on to them but to simply let go, I could not shake off a sense of ‘What on earth am I doing here??? Am I wasting my precious time seated on the ground trying to quieten a mind that seems impossible to be shut up?’
At times I felt I had the devil in me sitting on one part of my shoulder and the angel Ruth on the other. The devil one would constantly shout at me: ‘get up…continue with all the things you have to get through today…you are just lazy…this is not going to work for you anyway’….Whereas my angel me would be much kinder and say things like:’ just give it a go…this is good for you…this is exactly where you are meant to be…just breathe…let your thoughts go…just breathe…’ Those first few 10 minutes felt like an eternity of not efficiently used time running through my fingers…
I don’t know if anyone of you can relate to this, but yes, let me tell you ‘sitting down and just breathe’ did not come easy to me – you might have figured this by now. Since I am a pretty stubborn kind of person, however, I was not going to give up without a fight. I had put it into my tormented mind to practise meditation. So, I would. No matter, how real the struggle and in vain the efforts seemed during those first few days of scary quietness.
And then something shifted. Not in a magic kind of way where I can now sit for hours and dive into total nothingness. No…I am talking about a much subtler transformation. Trust me, my whole being is far from being anywhere near such enlightened proceedings. But the struggle has stopped. Now I cannot wait to find this happy-licious space of mine. Where I can clear my thoughts. Where I can get rid of all of those that do not support me on my journey to feeling and being the best, happiest, healthiest, most empowered version of ME. This new dimension where I can let go of all my accumulated crap. Such as negative self-talk. Old self-limiting beliefs of mine. And instead fill this goddess zone – I was not even aware I had within me- with healing tranquillity, delightful inspiration, mind-blowing creativity and insane productivity. I know, I am still – every single time – super surprised by what flows out of me after I have given my full attention to breathing in the here and now. I mean we are talking about me here…not any super-human wonder-woman.
I now crave this time where I will sit down like a Buddhist monk – not dressed in orange though – and with every breath touch base more with my intuitive me and let more go of my stressed, overly reflective, critical and analytical me. In this infinity, truly anything is possible. My life has not changed, I am still juggling having my own business and being a mum with all its various challenges every single day. I would also exaggerate if I said I am never stressed anymore. I am still a doer, running around like crazy all day. I am still one who is in her mind a lot. But it seems I am much better equipped to deal with whatever life throws at me. My running around seems to be filled with a lot more selective purpose and so does my highly-strung mind. I feel I can more fully tap into what I have to offer to the world. More live and enjoy the moment among all my chaos.
So, were those minutes of not doing anything but being present a waste of time? Quite the opposite. I now know that there is no smarter and more effective way to hone into my endless potential, calm my nervous system down, improve my health, and chuck the extra belly fat I was holding onto out of the window. It is really quite incredible when you think about it. My inflammation in my body has gone down so much that I am not on any medication for my arthritis anymore. My career and business have sored to heights I did not imagine possible. And my relationships with my loved ones have never been more heartfelt and fully lived. I am not lying when I say I feel like a much better version of the old me and this is just by allowing myself to breathe a few minutes every day!!!
Are you ready to try the same experiment and jump into meditation mode? I would so love for you to simply give it a go. You might find it much easier than I did. And trust me it is so worth it. You do not eat anything but your gorgeous self and a few minutes every day. Quiet consistency is the secret. Are you willing to unfold all your insane magic? What are you waiting for gorgeous? Make time to breathe.
Benefits of meditation are:
X balances hormones and stress levels
X lowers blood pressure
X improves symptoms of asthma
X reduces risk of cancer
X reduces systemic inflammation
X reduces risk of heart disease
X decreases symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
X decreases anxiety, depression and other mood disorders
X reduces overall tension
X lowers sleeping problems
X increases productivity
X heightens intuitive and mindful thinking versus analytic and critical ones
X increasing patience and tolerance
X increasing self-awareness
X being better able to deal with stress