How often do you take the time from your daily tasks and responsibilities and take a breath, calmly listen to yourself- be in the moment? Forgetting all the events that took place, or will take place in the future, simply just being. Have you ever tried not distracting yourself with daily tasks or dopamine-producing events like eating, drinking, smoking, social media, etc.?
If you are like me, you most likely don’t reserve much time to listen to yourself.
Having lived so many experiences starting from an early age, we are all filled with immeasurable anxiety, doubt, fear, and similar emotions. Such emotions we became aware of when we grew up. These emotions surface after specific experiences in our childhood. Even though we are aware of these emotions, we tend to hide them subconsciously or intentionally in different ways. When we are distracting ourselves and running away, the feelings we initially ran away from are often still present and are not going anywhere. We are not calming ourselves but are postponing the outcome.
Looking back and remembering the times; where we did not have a care in the world and just focused on smelling flowers, feeling the breeze, petting a dog, looking at the clouds can have a tremendous effect on our mental health. The prolonged relaxation and self-care we deprive ourselves of are right there.
Even the mere thought of meditation used to trigger me. I would become defensive, tense up, squeeze my teeth, even experience headaches. Well, fortunately for many of you, I have a self-doubt mechanism that operates regularly. Whenever I feel that I am not doing something correctly, I start talking myself down. Since meditation is a state of mind that requires lots of practice, it is not likely to achieve it initially. Since it is the ability to do and thin nothing in specific, just experiencing the moment, I assumed it should have been an easy process, but I was wrong.
Although the initial state of mind of living the moment is quite difficult to achieve, it is possible. The more we listen to ourselves and not judge ourselves, the more we create space to grow.
I came across many different definitions of meditation. The one that connected with me the most was something that referred to the similarity of the state of mind we had when we were children. During those times, we did not think of the past or future when we were children. We didn’t have a conception of time or events. We did not worry about an upcoming interview, daily quarrels, what will happen tomorrow. We just existed. Our attention focused on the present: what we saw, smelled, felt at the moment; a state of no-mind, only existence. No judgment, only experience.
Meditation does not necessarily have to be in a sitting position with closed eyes and crossed legs in the mountain tops as we picture it. You can be in a similar state of mind just by laying down and looking at the clouds, walking in a forest admiring the trees, walking barefoot on the grass. As long as you can listen to yourself and understand what you are feeling and experiencing free of judgment, you can reach that mental state.
Practicing self-reflection can have valuable benefits in our relationships, communication, and overall lives. Our greatest ally and our biggest enemy is always ourselves. If we cannot be in peace inside our minds, life becomes far more complicated than it has to be.