The power of stillness: How meditation can ease anxiety

At the end of last summer, I decided to start taking the train to work. I used this time for my daily Private Victory (discussed here and here). Essentially, I shifted from dreading my morning commute to using it as a time for meditation and stillness. My mornings ranged from listening to spiritual books on Audible to listening to music to visualization to meditation. Whatever I felt I needed, I would do.

I longed to hear the voice of my intuition. It was clouded by logic and thoughts of what I "should do." It wasn't until I began to be still - to listen - that I started to be able to tune into that voice. Once I began meditating, I felt supported. I accepted uncertainty with the faith that I would be guided to whatever I needed. I became intensely in tune with the present moment. I felt free. I felt at peace. Sometimes I even felt bliss. The thought of sitting still or being alone with yourself can be intimidating. Many of us don't know how. We are always being entertained. Our senses are always being stimulated. We think we'll be bored. We worry we won't be able to turn off the thoughts.

Meditation teaches us to be okay with what is - to accept the present moment as if we had chose it. It's not about turning off the thoughts (although the gap between thoughts will increase with practice). It's about watching your thoughts and letting them go. It's about non-judgement. It's about just being there and being quiet. It's a practice. In this day and age, I think we need meditation now more than ever. We are constantly being told what to believe, what to do, how to act, what is acceptable, what success means, what love looks like. We are sent messages about every facet of life all the time. Meditation allows us to turn it all off - to tune into our inner truth. We learn what is right for us. We allow guidance to be delivered to us.

I heard a quote once that said, "Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to God."

Through meditation, we become present. We elevate our vibrational frequency. We increase our awareness and level of consciousness. We access peace. We tap into our true nature. We open up to receive guidance from God/the universe/our spirit.

I think meditation can be what you make it. Listen to music that reaches your soul. Find a guided meditation you love. Sit in complete silence. The key is to make time for it. If you're just starting, start in tiny doses if that makes it easier. Sit for one minute a day until you feel ready to sit longer. Don't take it so seriously.

I find that movement can also be meditative. Particularly, yoga and dance for me. Yoga gave me my first experiences with meditation. Yoga itself is a moving meditation, but at the end of every class you lie in savasana, or corpse pose. (You're literally lying on the floor on your back. It's the best!) Eventually, I began meditating on my own. Although I do it most days, it still hasn't become a consistent daily practice. However, every day is better when I make time for it. Some days my mind is heavy with thoughts and other days I'm able to access a state of pure peace, bliss, and calm. Sometimes I'll listen to a guided meditation, and sometimes I'll sit in silence. I just sit for as long as I feel guided to that day.

If you haven't given meditation a shot, I highly encourage you try it! It has a million and one benefits. I promise you'll love it if you keep practicing. Plus, the survival of our planet is going to require us all to shift to a more loving, peaceful place. Here are some meditations you might want to check out: Gabby Bernstein, Deepak & Oprah, Melissa Ambrosini, Claire O'Beid. And obviously Google and YouTube it up! Your options are endless. Happy meditating!

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