Growing up I had to deal with a lot of stressful situations; I was not in the safest or calmest environment. Though loving, I was always confronted with situations where anxiety and stress became the conductors of my life. Unfortunately it would set the tone for my young adulthood.
When I was working in L.A. (back when I was in my other “professional” career) my days were spent in a constant state of anxiety just waiting until the next disaster-piece to happen. I was constantly frantic, dealing with panic attacks, having little to no sleep, and just not happy. My body and mind were so completely neglected and I felt a lack of inner understanding for what I was doing and where my life was going. My energy was constantly depleted, and I didn’t have any time for anyone, ever.
I knew that there was a disconnect somewhere…I just couldn’t figure out where (this would later be so obvious to me) At the time I was doing all the right things, I was eating healthy, training for a marathon, practicing yoga, but none of these things were working.
Even though meditation was incorporated into my yoga practice at the time, it didn’t feel like I was “doing it right”, since it wasn’t resulting into anything but MORE stress about NOT being able to meditate, I was feeling highly discouraged. I remember the moment that this changed for me. It was at my Monday night yoga class. Typically we did a yoga practice followed by a 10 min meditation. That evening, things had been extra stressful, I had just heard some bad news and I was dealing with catastrophe after catastrophe. I was hoping that this night’s class would bring me some solace. After our practice we sat on our cushions and my yoga teacher began to lead us. She started right away by telling us to “let go of any expectations” and though I had heard that so many times before, somehow at that particular moment it just clicked. I allowed myself…in that broken down moment… to just let go.
That moment was so profound to me, I felt so clear and so in tune with what was happening, I felt an actual sense of relief. So many times in my life I had wished for that little bit of stillness. So many events in my life, growing up navigating through obstacles and right there at that moment in that particular class, I felt it. Since that day, meditation has been an ineradicable staple in my daily practice. This has been an incredible medicine for me in my life.
I have found that I am much more productive and much more at ease when dealing with stress and the distractions of life. I’ve since learned the importance of stillness, and the importance of being able to tune in and listen deeply and just be present.
“In the end, just three things matter:
How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go”
― Jack Kornfield
Photo Credit: The Goddess Ashley Turner http://www.ashley-turner.com