Image by Stefan Galescu

Redefining Meditation

Updated: Sep 25, 2021

When I was younger, I was so committed to practicing meditation that I carved out time, both in the morning and evening, to practice sitting and meditating. I would time myself to see if I was making progress in the length of time I could sit. I could feel the changes it was making in my life and I almost became addicted to it. Alas, life happened, I moved out of the house I had built the most epic meditation alter in, got out of a long relationship, and had to find a new job. As the days passed, I would tell myself, "I'll start meditating again tomorrow", then tomorrow turned into the next day, then the next. Finally I was out of practice with no point in sight as to when I'd get back to my meditation practice.

I was still practicing yoga here and there and would sit for a couple minutes before class, but could hear my mind racing. I would tell myself "I've lost it", in the sense of the ability to quite my mind and to build mindfulness. I would commit to starting my meditation practice back up, and then never did.

This negative self talk around my lack of commitment to sit and meditate went on for a few years. Then fast forward to when I became pregnant with my daughter. All of a sudden I had a new level of commitment to quite my mind and body. I started finding time to meditate but this time it was for her. Focusing on this life growing inside of me and imagining all the light circulating around my belly. Ahhh... I had found my meditation practice again.

Then boom. Baby is here and it's a no sleep, all focus on this new human life and no time for me game. Feeling all the emotions of being a new mom, I craved my meditation practice more than ever. Then one day, as I sat in the rocker nursing my daughter, it hit me. That was my meditation. It just looked different than I had done it in the past.

I was so wrapped up in the thought that you had to sit, and breathe, and focus on the breath that I failed to see that every act of human life can be a meditation. I realized that the mindfulness I was cultivated in caring for my daughter gave me a more heightened awareness than sitting and focusing on my breath ever did. Everything became my meditation.

Meditation is not sitting and breathing and trying to tune out the outside world, it's about being able to tune in and find that calmness within, regardless of what is going on around you.

Everybody's meditation can look different. It's the act of creating mindfulness and building self-awareness. If meditation has intimidated you in the past, maybe shine a different light on it. Maybe for you, it's going for a hike in nature or diving deep into a new art project. Somedays for me, it's laying with my daughter while she sleeps, other days it's my yoga practice, and sometimes it's dancing with my friends.

Let go of the idea that you must sit to meditate if that's just not your thing, it's doesn't mean that you can't access what meditation offers, you just need to notice what it is that gives you that sense of peace within and brings you to the present moment. What you seek, already resides within you, find YOUR thing that brings that out and share that gift with the world.


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