I have just realised how important it is to look after yourself. Now, I am not referring to looking both ways as you cross the road, or to getting an early nights sleep; although both of those are very wise and come as standard snippets of good advice. I am talking about setting time aside to really nourish yourself on a deeper level and allow yourself time to free yourself from the mind and the confines of social structure and judgements.
Finding an answer
In 2007 whilst I was living in New Zealand, I picked up a book by Eckhart Tolle called “The Power of Now“. The book spoke to me on many different levels, but more than anything else, it immediately drove me to leave the job I was in and pursue a different one. This change lead me to many exciting things, including the chance to complete 2 skydives, fly a stunt plane, take a helicopter ride, river rafting and many more cool things that I didn’t even have to pay for! It was an amazing transformation from the stresses I was dealing with prior to the new job. The book also mentioned meditation and although at the time, meditation to me, was something that held a little bit of stigma, but I thought that there must be something in it, if the advice from within the same book had helped me so much.
Meditation (Chill time)
So I like to call it chill time, depending on who I talk to. I know there are many people out there that judge and I shouldn’t allow their judgments to influence my actions, but sometimes, it can be difficult to tell someone that you meditate, as they might think you’re crazy!
However, back in New Zealand, I started to secretly “Chill”. The view from my Cabin was amazing and it was the ideal spot to sit, in peace and relax. At first, this was all it was, just relaxing, I would sit with the sun on my face and attempt to clear my head of thoughts and just enjoy the feeling of doing nothing. No one knew I did this and I looked forward to my alone time.
I did not practice on a very regular basis and over the next few years would lose sight of my meditation practice until more indecision and stress came in 2010. I came across a friend who was openly talking about meditation and explained the benefits. More and more people were now talking about it and it gave me a little push back towards it. This time I did a little more research and tried to practice a more often.
Make the time
Even more recently I was introduced to Yoga and although I am no expert on this matter, this had even more stigma attached than secret meditation, as now I was heading out into the world, of what many perceive as ‘women doing stretches’. I bit the bullet and went on my own to see what it was about.
In short, it allowed me the space to practice a form of guided meditation and made me realize how many people are already into this, including men. It is great that so many people are making the time to free their minds from the external world and to give back something to themselves. Yoga, along with a guided sitting meditation CD, has shown me the importance of making time to calm the mind, feed the soul and be present in my day-to-day activities.
If you find yourself being pulled along by an unknown force and it feels like you are trapped on a train that doesn’t stop at any stations, then please pull that emergency chain that you always felt the urge to pull, and get off. Peacefully walk away from the train allow yourself some time to sit on the grass, admire the view and when your ready and if you must, get back on the train, but this time look out the window and stay present in the moment, with yourself!