Why did I start a mindfulness practice? Why does anyone start a new path? Usually there is something in our inner being calling us to make a change. We can either resist that calling or embrace it. I felt a desperate need to make a change. I wanted to be fully in touch with my own life. So I finally let go and decided to embrace it.
I started mindfulness meditation practice in January of this year. I haven’t meditated every day but I do a ten minute sitting meditation on most mornings. Some days I also sit for ten minutes at night before bed.
Just like exercise, on the days I don’t practice mindfulness meditation I can FEEL the difference. I lose patience more easily and it is harder for me to be aware in those moments and re-center myself. Harder for me to remember to return to my breath as an anchor.
There have been studies done showing that mindfulness meditation actually changes your brain. It helps you respond more slowly, and therefore more thoughtfully to external stimuli. That is exactly what I wanted and needed. To slow down. To take the time I needed to connect with my own emotions. Not to over-identify but to just feel them as they are, instead of avoiding them.
I started this mindfulness journey because I wanted to be more present with my life and more intentional with my decisions. I never imagined the additional benefits that could come from a mindfulness practice. Connection to one’s self and to others, emotional connection and regulation, enhanced creativity and innovation, deeper compassion for others, realizing your life’s purpose. Everyone experiences different benefits but those have been the most profound for me.
Mindfulness meditation is helping me to overcome my long-held inner negativity and self-doubt and allowing me to fully the realize the person I am meant to be and the role I am here to play in the universe. I feel happier and more settled than I have ever been before.
Now summer is here and our routine will shift. I will continue on this path and shift my own routine a little bit in order to continue starting the day in a mindful way. This means waking up at 6am in order to drink my two glasses of water, write in my journal and meditate before the kids wake up.
So here I am, once again, making a public commitment. Mindfulness has become a valuable part of my life. I will honor the positive effects it’s had by continuing to make time for it. I will return to this moment. I will return to my breath. Time and time again. My family is worth it and so am I.
I am grateful for you. Thank you for spending a moment with me today.
Have you ever been called to make a change in your life? Did you resist it or embrace it?
Sources:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/02/09/7-ways-meditation-can-actually-change-the-brain/  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/26/harvard-neuroscientist-meditation-not-only-reduces-stress-it-literally-changes-your-brain/
I am making a new commitment to wake up early, before the babies. I think that would help me start my day in a calmer mindset. Another great post :)
Yes Sarah! I’ve been attempting the same thing for a month now. Some days I’m more successful than others but on the days I am up before them I do feel more ready to tackle the day ahead. =) let’s encourage each other. Thanks for reading!