I often tell clients that mindfulness based meditation has been my best medicine. Although eating a whole foods diet, taking the right supplements and exercising did help me feel physically stronger, something was missing. I struggled with anorexia, bulimia, food issues from my teens to early 30s. Underlying all of this were my insecurities, low self-esteem, self-judgments, obsessive thoughts, and a racing mind that often led to bouts of anxiety and depression. In 2005, I had the fortunate opportunity to attend a 10-day mindfulness Vipassana meditation retreat that changed my life and broke open and revealed my destructive thought patterns. I finally had a powerful tool to live in my authenticity. Meditation is a priceless remedy and a necessity for me that if not nurtured, will not help. It’s like eating, bathing, breathing, sleeping – if not done, will not benefit. Meditation is not a magical cure - but it enables me to keep chipping away at the armor I build around myself.
We live in a frenetic and fast-paced world where our self worth is measured by how much we produce. We are taught to spend & consume and not how to replenish. Mindfulness based meditation is a source of nourishment because it brings awareness to our habitual thoughts and behaviors, which then gives us the chance to give them less strength to control our lives. To sit in quiet and focus on breath may sound like a waste of time because we are go-go-go so much of our lives. This practice gives us the gift to live in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is unpredictable, this moment is here and now and that’s all we have.
You don’t have to believe in Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion to benefit from meditation. Meditation is not about worship or practicing a religion, it’s about noticing our addictions and triggers. I have listed a few books that have helped me understand the concept and benefits of meditation:
· Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat Zinn
· Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat Zinn
· No Time To Lose by Pema Chodron
· The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodro
Join me as I share the gifts of meditation. Location TBD.