Meditation and mindfulness have saved my life…. now that’s a big statement for me to make…. don’t you think…!! It really has saved my life in the sense that I have learnt to manage my emotions through meditation practice, learnt to override that incessant internal dialogue telling me that I’m not good enough or I am unlovable.
In my opinion they should teach mindfulness, self-love, positive self-talk and emotional regulation in schools instead of the main focus always being on academic ability. I know in some places this is already the case, I would love for it to be more widely available.
I believe we should be teaching meditation and mindfulness to young children while they are forming their core beliefs around age 3-7yrs old to help them manage their ever-changing emotions through childhood, adolescent into adulthood. Emotional wellbeing and mental health is far more important than grades in my personal opinion.
Let me take you back…
I didn’t know how to manage my emotions, I didn’t even know what that really meant either, being a reactive child, I got told I was just acting out, it could of come from learnt behaviour family conditioning or maybe it was a chemical imbalance in my brain as I was later in life diagnosed with bipolar 2 and borderline personality disorder now called emotionally unstable emotional personality disorder or something like that, I dislike labels, although my diagnosis did help me to understand myself better, I wasn’t just a nutcase.
So my emotions where all over the place growing up, I had anger or emotional outbursts if my routine was disrupted, plans changed or something didn’t quite go my way or I was ridiculed, I would seek vengeance on anyone who made fun of me and hold onto resentments for years, now I believe after lots of research, getting to know myself my triggers and my so called mental disorders I harboured these unresolved emotions in my physical body as a result I was then diagnosed with a condition called fibromyalgia, which is in short is wide spread pain and inflammation in the physical body, although it much more complex and has about 250 recorded symptoms. I also used alcohol and drugs as a way to escape from my own thoughts and feelings which came with a whole load more problems as you can imagine, I become addicted to substances, addicted to escapism and numbing my feelings.
I was introduced to meditation and mindfulness whilst attending a Reiki course back in 2003, admittedly I didn’t take my practice seriously or practice consistently at that time, but the seed was sown. After a breakdown in 2015 I was hospitalised, my addictions and my emotions became too overwhelming, I tried to take my own life. After this traumatic experience I began to take my meditation practice more seriously, I began to look into the benefits in more detail, physical and emotional. Some benefits include helps stress management/reduction, immune boosting, lowers blood pressure, can in fact make us look younger by improving skin health, we can experience better sleep, improves memory and creativity, activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for our rest and digest state of being. In a meditative state we access the sub-conscious part of the brain, override limiting beliefs and make positive changes.
In recovery meetings I had heard that meditation was a good tool in managing addictions by restoring our body to its natural biorhythms. It can help to curb cravings by focusing on the breath we can interrupt those thoughts and feelings, by checking into the present moment and create new behaviour patterns. So, meditation really did save my life from addictions that would slowly kill me.
I learnt what emotional regulation is through managing my mind learning how the brain works I was able to turn my life around. The human brain, neuroscience and what makes us who we are absolutely fascinates me, the more I learn about the human mind the deeper my coaching or meditation sessions can go, therefore more results for my clients.
What I gained from meditation
So, what did meditation do for me…it gave me a deeper insight into myself and what my core beliefs really are, who I am and how I want to live my life. Meditation helped me get through the madness of my obsessive mind and cope with addictive personality, I have always been a very deep thinker and highly sensitive, I am an empath, I could read situations and people’s emotions and absorbed others energy, I was unaware what being an empath really meant for many years, I now understand it and realised it is actually an empowering gift. I have designed a spiritual coaching program called Inner Peace Expansion where I support you on a journey of rediscovery, mind management to propel you in life, encouraging you to live in the present moment where you can attract abundance into all areas of your life.
I can now manage my emotions because I identify my feelings, name them, allow myself to feel it and accept it for what it is without judgement then release it and move back into alignment and I feel I owe this to my meditation practice. Alignment means to me when you are living your life your way adhering to your core beliefs, letting go of control, letting life flow, connecting to what you really feel inside, fulfilling your life purpose with boundaries and balance, you are looking for the lesson or opportunity for growth rather than complaining about lack of something or being a victim of circumstance, being grateful for everything, living in the moment.
What I teach
Meditation is a big part of my life. I meditate at least twice a day, sometimes I sit in silent meditation. I use visualisation, chanting, alongside mantra or affirmations. So instead of reacting in anger or turning to unhealthy coping behaviours I get on my matt and meditate.
I teach meditation group classes as well as individually in my coaching sessions. Meditation is a powerful tool that can actually put you ahead of the game in many areas of your life by honouring your own space, allowing yourself to be in the present moment. Meditation helped me to accept myself just as I am, flaws and all…!! My practice has helped me make important decisions by giving myself time to connect with my higher self and spiritual guides. I had guidance to make heartfelt aligned decisions in my personal and business life. I have gained so much clarity from meditation, the surges of creativity are unreal. Often I get asked “where do you get all your content from?”, I answer, “it comes to me in meditation!”. Visualisation and manifestation has also been a big part of my meditation practice, we can consciously create the life we desire and deserve, I teach this in my New Moon Magic Manifesting workshops. If you would like to learn to manifest like a pro join the email community to be in the loop!
The most used excuses for not meditating
Some of the most used excuses I hear are ” I want to meditate but I don’t have time” this is exactly why you need to make time…!!
Or “I don’t know where to start” just start by connecting to your breathing in a quiet place
Also ” I can’t switch my mind off” you don’t need to!
“I can’t keep still” breath work will help you focus to begin with or practice bringing movement into meditation, walking, Thai-chi or yoga.
Here are my top tips for starting your consistent practice
☆Set yourself up a dedicated quiet area, inside or outside with some cushions or a yoga mat, find some time where you won’t be disturbed.
☆Turn off your phone, have some relaxing music on, a candle, essential oils in a diffuser or some incense burning. Some of my favourite oils for meditation are Frankincense- The oil of truth, for opening up the third eye and connecting to our higher selves. Balance oil- great for grounding and anxiety. Wild Orange- good for visualisation, manifestation and mood lifting.Find out more here http://mydoterra.com/lunarspirit
☆Start by connecting to your breath, counting 4 on the inhale through the nose, pause then exhale counting to 4 through the mouth, pause then repeat. Do this for 10 mins a day. Breathing exercises can help calm the nervous system, help you relax and manage stress.
☆Don’t focus on having an empty mind to begin with, let your thoughts come and go like the tide of the sea, let thoughts come in, witness them without judgement and let them drift away. Meditation is bringing awareness to what you are thinking and feeling, highlighting what needs to be addressed.
☆Have a journal or notebook to hand to write down your thoughts this can help identify what emotions are and to brain dump your thoughts onto paper to get them out of your head.
☆Relax and enjoy the experience…start with 10mins a day and build up to longer and a deeper practice. Be consistent each day and you will soon form a new habit and meditation will become second nature.
☆There are also lots of guided meditations you can explore, check out some of mine on YouTube