I think it’s amazing how much more often I am hearing people rave about meditation and yoga and how profoundly it has changed their life. These practices are finally getting the acknowledgement they deserve and for good reason. I like to think of it as ‘plugging into the natural order of things’, which is beauty and abundance. When you are out and about, notice how much abundance there is (perfect example the explosive red of Pohutukawa that graces our city for about two weeks at this time of year).
I first learned Transcendental Meditation in my early twenties, at a time when my life was pretty active. I worked as an actor during the day, performing environmental plays for school children, and as a waitress by night at a fine dining restaurant. It wasn’t so much the waitressing that was stressful, it was the associated ‘hospo’ life style; partying when most people were tucked up in bed. After a bout of glandular fever and literally indulging in my drama queen default too often, I sought out meditation. Needless to say, I managed to operate at a whole new level, and felt pretty clever that I had found a way to manage a physical career whilst getting very little sleep.
It has been a big part of my life since then, but way more so in the last couple of months after I attended a refresher workshop. I had forgotten that meditating once a day only gives you 5% of the benefits. For me, that 5% was very beneficial, but it just pales in comparison to the benefits I am now experiencing doing it twice a day. Not only do I feel a constant experience of bliss (regardless of the stressful situations that constantly present themselves) but I am sorting out stuff that I have been tolerating for ages. I think most of us have ‘that drawer’, you know the one where spare buttons, pens and sunglasses are stored but is a complete mess? I cleared it out a few days ago. I have finally gotten around to getting my technology sorted (please note new email address!) and that’s just the beginning. For the first time ever, I have invested in a personal trainer to support me in the New Year. It’s not even like I am thinking about it; it just feels like I am hooking into the natural order of things. And even though I am a natural born worrier, I find that it’s not something I am spending much time doing any more, which really is the best benefit.
There’s some cool science and people behind this!
Like anything, search this on the web, and you will find the zealots and the sceptics. The brilliant director David Lynch has even set up a foundation to get more people meditating, and has some good research on his site. There have been over 600 scientific studies by researchers at more than 250 independent research institutions including Harvard, Stanford and Princeton and the news is particularly good around health, education and business.
Of course there are countless other relaxation options which you can explore. Yoga is constantly increasing in popularity and smooth talking Andy has introduced mindfulness into the lives of over a million with his easy to use App called Headspace.
Are you one of those people who keeps meaning to get around to introducing relaxation techniques, but don’t?
I am going to sound like a breakfast foods commercial, but it is a great idea to try one of them for 21 days and see what kind of difference it makes to your life. The cool thing about practicing regularly is that life just becomes easier, more in flow, less dramatic and less anxious. At this time of year, I think that is even more relevant than ever – do yourself a favour and just try it!!!