Do You Meditate?
Fall is here, and I’m reflecting on things I’m grateful for. I’m thankful for my loving husband who takes such good care of me. I’m proud of my sons, who are both making strides in their growth and personal development. I’m excited that business is thriving and my personal relationships are strong. I’m also happy that I made the decision to take the entire month of September off to rest and recharge. That was a tough decision, as I feared I would lose momentum that I’ve built up since relaunching my business last November. But after a fateful day in August, which should have been the worst day of the entire year for me, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I got the message loud and clear from the Universe that it was imperative that I slow DOWN.
I’m sure you’re wondering…what happened in August? Well, here’s the short version:
I had a 3 day business travel planned in the last week of August. I had it planned several months in advance. I arrived at the airport well in advanced, got my bags checked, made it through security, and made my way to the gate, anticipating a good hour of down time before catching my flight. However, I quickly found out at my gate that there were several flight delays due to mechanical failure, and ALL connecting flights were cancelled due to a bad storm. I’ll skip over the several trips I made, running (with an injured back) back and forth from my gate and Customer Service, trying desperately to catch another flight. I ended up stuck in two airports all day, and ended up having to cancel my whole trip. By the time I was got back home, it was after midnight, with my luggage lost somewhere (I finally received my luggage that following Sunday). When my husband picked me up at the airport, I broke down and cried a few minutes from sheer exhaustion, then slept the whole ride back home.
Again, I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’ve ever experienced being stuck in an airport due to bad weather, and faced being stranded overnight in a different city without your laptop or luggage, I’m sure you can imagine the stress and strain this can put on your body. My neck and back ached, I was hungry, tired, and I could FEEL the cortisol overload in my body: I felt TOXIC, tense, and like I wanted to explode.
The next week was a blur.
I had no energy, my thoughts were cloudy, I had trouble remembering simple things, and I felt like molasses in December. It wasn’t until I had an energetic reading/chakra healing session and a subsequent personal life coaching session that I realized my problem: I had adrenal fatigue, my root and sacral chakras were blocked, and my energetic boundaries were blown wide open from that travel fiasco.
As an Empath and HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), I am very sensitive to being in crowded, public places beyond what I can normally stand, which is a about a couple of hours, depending on the vibration level. That travel day sucked out all my energy, and I was left depleted. I realized the experiences from that day pierced my energetic boundaries. It felt like my auras had gaping-wide holes, like the flood-gates to my spirit had been forced wide open, and all sorts of uninvited energy freely flowed into my personal space. This is what if feels like to an Empath to be surrounded in a public place for an extended period of time: at some point, the senses become overstimulated, and it’s on a subtle energy level, it’s like too much white noise. My emotions were raw, and I just needed to turn the white noise all the way DOWN, and get some space and distance from everyone and everything.
So, the minor setback to my back healing progress aside, with this new information that my adrenals were worn out, my cortisol was through the roof, my chakras needed re-clearing, and my energetic boundaries needed sealing, in lieu of unconsciously plowing through the month of September and delaying my healing further, I decided to TAKE A BREAK.
During the month of September, I did several things to help me get back on track. I did a 21-day version of my Renewal Detox (and gained energy, and lost 10 lbs by accident). I took herbs such as maca and stress-relieving essential oils to nourish my adrenals. I continued my reiki energy healing, resumed my weekly chiropractic sessions (and my back and sciatic nerves improved a bit), I added weekly acupuncture sessions, and I also threw in a couple of professional reflexology and deep tissue massages sessions for good measure. All of these things helped me tremendously, but what I feel helped me the most is meditation.
Meditation Saved Me from Spiraling Out of Control
Meditation enabled me to block out the external world, draw within, hit the RESET button, and get the distance and space I needed, even in the midst of everything around me. Spontaneous meditations, ranging anywhere from 5-15 minutes, helped me keep my balance and avoid going over the edge, especially after low vibration emotions of anger and frustration hit me like a brick with each new announcement of another yet another flight delay.
5 Reasons You Should Practice Meditating Every Day
If you are new to meditation, and are interested in making it a regular practice to help manage stress in your life, I hope the following reasons to meditate inspire you to get on board:
1. Meditation lowers your stress “set point”.
Our body has wisdom and it remembers. When you get really stressed to the point of boiling anger, your body remembers that and bookmarks a “set point” of what you deem as acceptable levels of stress. Repeat exposure to high levels of stress lead you to become programmed to respond to certain triggers, and like a domino effect, it initiates a downward spiral of negative thoughts, low vibration emotions, and behavior that goes along with it.
Meditation can serve as a stop-gap, to remind you there are other ways to handle a situation, such as take deep breaths, walk away and cool off, and fully process information you receive from your emotions. This helps you observe and “check-in” with yourself before making a conscious choice to react or act in your highest and greatest good, rather than take action fueled by low vibration emotions such as anger or frustration.
2. Meditation lowers cortisol and blood pressure.
I was told by my doctor years ago that stress is like an explosion inside your body. Many people live with high levels of stress for long periods of time, unaware this is a dangerous lifestyle choice. The good news is, you can quickly lower your cortisol when you are triggered in a stressful situation.
“Any type of meditation will reduce anxiety and lower cortisol levels. Simply taking a few deep breaths engages the Vagus nerve which triggers a signal within your nervous system to slow heart rate, lower blood pressure and decreases cortisol. The next time you feel yourself in a stressful situation that activates your ‘Fight-or-Flight’ response take 10 deep breaths and feel your entire body relax and decompress.”
Whenever I feel the stress spike my cortisol, I have trained myself to immediately take a quick ten deep breaths. I also ask myself why am I triggered, and what my physical reaction means. I scan my core values, to see if they have been compromised in the stressful moment, and I intuitively make a decision whether to respond or just keep observing the moment. Then, as soon as I can, I mentally white out every stimuli, and clean my mental plate, until it’s clear or white in my mind. I do this until I feel more calm, or until my stress and cortisol intuitively feels at an acceptable or healthy level.
3. Meditation empowers you.
One of the things I love about meditation is that it gives you control over your mind. It’s a good thing to be inspired by others, and to have positive influences. However, without meditation or some similar form of healthy, temporary mental isolation, it can be tough to have soul clarity, to make clear decisions, without questioning if that decision was made from yourself, or if it was due to an outside influence. This is especially true if you are people pleaser, or if you are easily emotionally manipulated.
In my youth up until my late 20s, I was both. I unconsciously took actions to make others feel good at my personal expense, not just because it made me happy to see them smile, but on a deeper level, because I sought love and acceptance. Meditation increases your awareness of what your soul craves, what your body needs, enables you to have clarity; clear mental thought processes. This in turn strengthens your intuitive decision-making decisions in both your personal and professional life, so you are empowered to take action for your highest and greatest good, in the midst of outside influence.
4. Meditation activates your feminine side.
We live in a fast-paced, stressful society, one that doesn’t cater to nourishment of the body, mind, and soul. Working in Corporate America, the high cost of living, work deadlines, societal expectations, all these things and more can pull you away from your feminine side, and give you the illusion that you should be more masculine in order to survive. If this is against your nature, meaning, your alchemy and personality is more feminine energy, you will be unhappy, because your life in not aligned with your authentic self. Meditation helps you be gentle, and less aggressive, with yourself.
The act of meditating is one of the most gentle form of self-care you can engage in. It encourages you to stay connected with your feminine side, to explore the parts of you that beg to be explored, expressed. It increases your awareness of what is inside, in a gentle, non-aggressive way.
5. Meditation bridges the Body + Mind + Spirit connection.
We learn so much from watching our parents, our elders. Growing up, I learned from watching the women in my family that in their own way, they used prayer as a way to reconnect the body, mind, and spirit. But they didn’t just use prayer, they connected their body, mind and spirit in traditional pastimes such as family camping trips (think beach tents, camp fire, boat fishing, log cabins, etc.), Sunday family dinner, a modern-day tribal ritual of sorts, where women congregated in the kitchen and talked about everything, and Saturday girl’s beauty nights, where we all washed our hair, and everyone took a turn getting their hair either braided or their scalp rubbed and treated with a hot oil conditioning. The physical routines are a meditation in itself. The endorphins from the physical contact on these special occasions rival a high-priced professional massage at a luxury spa. There’s no better feeling than letting your guard down, and immersing in a routine or fun-filled family activity, being surrounded in a stress-free, safe, loving, high vibration environment. To me, this is a form of meditation because rather than being mentally/emotionally checked out, you are fully present, fully engaged, fully aware of all your senses, and it makes you feel connected, grounded, alive.
Do you meditate? How do you benefit from meditation? I’d love to hear from you!