Healthy eats and exercise have been a part of my life for so long that I started to wonder if I was still making any progress, but then like the proverbial skinned cat, I realized there is more than one way to measure health. To answer my own QOTW, here is my tale of the best thing I did last year.
After my divorce in 2008, I tossed out all the stuff from my past life, transformed a spare bedroom into a meditation room and created myself a place of peace. There, in that 10-foot-by-12-foot space I sorted through the chaos in my brain and the turmoil in my life.
Time moved on, as did I. In 2012, I sold my house and let it all go — including my meditation practice.
Fast-forward to 2014: new husband, different house and finally, a private space for meditation.
My personal sanctuary isn’t full of distracting clutter; just a few things I love. The chest is filled with childhood treasures, the rocking chair (which goes with absolutely nothing in our contemporary home) was the first piece of real furniture that I ever owned, so I kept it, and the photography on display is my husband’s handiwork. There are a few comfortable cushions, a candle to keep focus and incense because patchouli has this weird calming effect on me.
I set aside a few minutes in the morning, before coffee, before email and before my brain goes into overdrive — which it often does. Meditation allows me to handle whatever the day throws at me without getting frazzled; it’s like putting on invisible armor. And don’t think I’m some Zen-Buddhist type that can sit with a quiet mind for hours; if my spinning brain shuts down for even 15 minutes I’m amazed.
Your life doesn’t have to be in disorder to reap the benefits of this age-old practice. Meditation is a great way to reduce stress and build inner strength. It helps me to slow down and take a breath — before I react. (Bonus: if you are big into intuitive eating it really helps to cultivate self-awareness!)
It’s my sit-down-and-take-a-minute of yin to this gotta-go-as-fast-as-I-can life called yang. If you’re an active go-getter like myself, find a place to call your own and get yourself some om.
Have you tried meditation? How has it helped you? —Karen