Hey Insiders! Welcome to the Well.
Meditating is one of the nicest things I do for myself, but I sometimes go for a long period of time without it. The past several months I have gotten back into the swing of daily meditation, and it’s helped me feel anchored – especially in the midst of so much change in my life. I’m getting married, finishing a graduate program, looking for work, and so on. Needless to say, the consistency is welcome.
I cannot say that every time I sit for meditation I enter a beautiful internal sanctuary of bliss and joy. Sometimes my mind is busy or my energy is shifting in a way that begs for my attention.
Instead of letting this ruin my meditation, or causing me to feel frustrated, I see this as an opportunity to learn about myself. I’m grateful that my mind can handle organizing the tasks I’ve laid out for myself, and I’m grateful for my energy levels.
A few years ago when I would sit for meditation, I would approach myself with a sort of violence. I stepped away from meditation for a little while, because I knew that’s not what it should feel like. I would feel like I needed to clear out my head, like I needed to change, like I needed to become better than I was.
I knew when I approached my meditation practice this time, if I wanted to sustain and truly benefit from the practice, I had to be gentle and kind to myself. I knew that I had to meditate for the joy of meditation, of learning about myself in the moment, of watching myself with love. Then I saw this quote by Pema Chodron, and it helped clarify what I have been feeling about meditation.
Reading this has enhanced the way I approach meditation every day. It’s shifted my perspective. Gabrielle Bernstein defines a miracle as “a shift in perspective from fear to love.” So, for me, this statement by Pema Chodron is miraculous. I am approaching meditation from a space of self love, rather than a space of self judgement. Believe me, if you are approaching meditation with an attitude of judgement, you’ll never feel refreshed and you certainly aren’t nurturing positive growth. I am so grateful that I’ve had this shift in perspective.
Do you have a meditation practice? What has been useful to you in cultivating self love? I’d love to read about it in the comments. Thanks for stopping by the Well!