It’s easy to get caught up in the “busy-ness” of everyday life. Our lives push it to do more, have more, be more. Sometimes it seems as though everyone around us is asking more and more of us and it can easily become overwhelming.
Over a decade ago I learnt a skill that changed and saved my life. I learnt how to meditate. At first it was so hard. I couldn’t imagine how I was ever going to to able to still my mind long enough to stop the plethora of thoughts that were running around in it like a TV screen on fast play. I would sit down on the meditation cushion and hope that for a moment the noise in my head would stop. It was like a radio channel that I could not turn off.
Sometimes I would venture to a group meditation class and dream of being one of the many other people who appeared to have their practice down to a fine art. They all seemed so focussed, so together, so still and I was afraid that I was the only person in the room whose mind was racing on high alert.
Slowly over time, practicing for short periods day after day, I realized that the very same thoughts were coming into my mind each day. And I began to get bored with them. I began to see them for what they were – just a series of habitual and repetitive places that my mind drifted off to. I began to slow them down. I began to lose interest in them. And the hold they had on me started to loosen.
Learning how to meditate changed my life. As my thoughts slowed down so did my emotional reactions – to everything. I began to understand that there was a gap between the thoughts and my reaction to them. That if I was able to create that space I would start to choose my actions rather than be a series of reactions.
For me it has been a path in how to be happier, how to be more confident in myself, how to live a much more balanced and joyful life. As well as being my daily medicine I also have the joy of teaching others how to bring this incredible practice into their daily lives. The results I have seen in those I teach have been inspiring.
If there is one piece of advice I would give to anyone who wants to live a happier life it would be – learn how to meditate. It’s a life changer