Do you ever find yourself lost in thought staring vacantly into space and wonder, “Where did I just go?” Kids, schedules, deadlines, commitments, “me-time” (Oh - if I just had some me-time)… Where is your mind trying to escape to? Congratulations! - You are crossing the threshold of consciousness to unconscious thought! You are already a few thoughtful steps into the meditative process. It’s time to cherish these ‘lost in thought’ moments – it’s your body and mind begging for a few precious seconds or minutes to slow down and escape. This is healthy (you are not losing your mind) - it’s your inner-self trying to achieve the precious balance of inner peace in a world that demands more and more of you.
What’s the genuine reflex response to these powerful dreams and magical peaceful places we seek? Sadly, it is “I don’t deserve this!” and we suddenly rip ourselves from these purposeful visions back into a shaken state of panic and anxiety, while propelling ourselves back to the full sprint on life’s treadmill.
How often have you heard that you should take a few minutes for yourself each day and silently disagreed that your life doesn’t allow this? Have you been conditioned to think this way? Was it an expectation that was handed down to you, or was is self-imposed? The notion that if we don’t “Do It Now” is a slippery slope. Often, “Do It Now” comes with the baggage of adding more and more to the list of things we think need to be done.
Often in my own day, I make a quiet list of things that I believe need to be done to keep the house running efficiently for the next twenty-four hours. That number is often reduced to mere minutes when the pace of life is absolutely mind-boggling. During my morning coffee, as I move into the routine of planning my day, anxiety hits when the routine is coupled with a new or unique task. Instantaneous thoughts of “How am I going to get that done?” used to grip me. For some, depending on the never-ending expectations we feel we have - we end up projecting on how bad the day is going to be just because one new task is being asked of us. Granted, it could be a task that greatly alters the day such as driving across the city for a Doctor’s appointment in traffic that you despise. Often we have met our morning coffee with a restless night due to the expectation of tomorrow. This energy (and we know this) is wasted energy. The acceptance of responsibility is necessary – we know that the Doctor’s appointment is necessary, but even though it may be simply a check-up with no extra worry, the idea that we have something else to do in an already busy day often upsets us. We have already convinced ourselves that the experience will be a painful one. What is amazing is that the mind and body want to heal. The mind and body will adjust to the stresses you’ve subjected yourself to as well. It will want to drift and escape to that safe place at some point in your day. The body and mind always find a way.
And this is where you slip into moments of escape. Your coastlines with the wind in your hair. The smells of a wet forest after a spring rain. The beautiful silence of falling snow. Wherever you go is yours. Perfect peace. Perhaps your eyes are open. Maybe they are closed. Your inner-self has sought the balance it needs to function. You are airing out the rooms in your mind. You may not even realize that you are staring into your coffee cup, your washing machine or a business proposal that has blurred into visions of calm. This is meditation. You didn’t need to be told or coached. No one told you to slip away to this earthly or cosmic place among the sands of time or float among the stars. You allowed yourself to slip through a portal with permission. The amazing part of this self is it is real and have been doing it all of your life. You have experience. When you were a child, you called it play. And now here you are as an adult, seeking the same peace and innocence you did when you chased the wind all those years ago. Today, in this moment, you unconsciously slowed your breath, lowered your heart rate and maybe even smiled.
And do you know what? IT’S OKAY. No need to feel guilty, or in a heightened state of shock that you lost a minute of time in your day. I would argue that you didn’t lose a minute at all. You gained one. Most of my clients upon reflection, realize they did gain a minute because they have shifted their perspective into what is valued. The moment is what should be - cherished. Is there any real value to a life lived if it is left unexamined? We have to recognize that by allowing ourselves these sporadic or even planned meditations, this gives us the renewed energy to reset our day and all the expectations of a busy life. It is imperative to find peace when we realize the race we are running has no finish line. When we realize that there is no finish line, then we allow ourselves the right to sit down on the edge of our paths and immerse ourselves in the view – the moment. Would we not want others to experience the same? Of course we do. Then why do we attack our sense of self-worth by chastising ourselves for escaping into the beautiful abyss of meditation? We tell others to “Relax,” “Don’t worry,” It will be okay,” and yet we deny ourselves this inner peace almost daily.
Meditation can be guided, or it can be completely personal as you drift in your thoughts. Meditation can be conscious or unconscious. It allows us to have the freedom to manifest the airing of the rooms in our mind and tells us we have the right to relax and slow down. It is the core of your self-counselling wellness and allows you to attain and maintain your balance. You know this – you do it every day.
All the best,