Last Monday, I and a friend attended a meditation workshop led by Aaron Dias called Meeting the Inner Teacher at Prema Yoga in Brooklyn.
I’ve meditated with Aaron before (she’s awesome) and have settled into a daily meditation practice for about two years now.
But sometimes I forgot why I meditate.
It’s truly very easy for me to see it as just another ten minutes of my morning routine. Something I do that is supposed to “make me” more spiritual, kind, externally good.
It’s tempting for meditation to become yet another check-list item, even for someone invested in healing and inner knowing.
This is why meditating in groups and going back to intention is such a crucial part of a meditative practice.
Aaron reminded us all that it is this personal connection that keeps us committed to meditating when we want to quit and or blow it off as “something we’re just not good at”.
But, this connection has to be yours.
Not your friend’s, not Science’s, not the Newest Trend of Mindfulness.
And it is important to return to these reasons (or reason) often, to remind yourself and proceed forth, no matter the outcome.
If you miss a day or two (or two years) you remind yourself and come back.
Here is what keeps me coming back, morning after morning:
1.) I am meditating to realize my true voice away from the noise of the world.
Sometimes I feel I am surrounded by yelling people. Especially via my phone. It is crucial that I make some room of quiet for myself, to get to know what it is that I truly think and feel. Many times, I have realized that my first reactions to a particular issue in life are just undeveloped echoes from my blog roll and Instagram feed.
We live in such a noisy world. Sometimes I wonder what the ancients had to run away from, I mean, weren’t there like way less people? They didn’t have Snap Chat and a 24/7 news cycle and Apple products. They had cows.
But, if quiet was important to them, how much more important will it be to a modern gal like me?
2) I am meditating to connect to my inner child.
This is the part of me oftentimes still stuck in past hurts and sadness. Who acts out of a need of safety and love, who forgets that she is not seven years old and without much of a voice. I connect to that part of me because that energy does not die. That energy is vital and living and informs how I connect to myself and other people today. I meditate to let this little girl part of me know that things are safer now, that we can trust, that we are loved, that we are Enough.
3) I am meditating to release that voice that constantly berates.
Meditating helps me recognize when I am stuck in hurtful patterns and ways of thinking and acting. Meditation helps me cool my perfectionistic engines.
4) I meditate to decrease my anxiety.
I am a person often on guard, watchful and tense. I am sensitive and my emotions run high. When I am not stuck in fearful anxiety, I make choices with more compassion and integrity. And I just feel better. Anxiety is a soul sucker.
5) I am meditating to connect with what-is and become more OK with the present.
During meditative states I’ve met my 50 year old self (she was quirky and amazing), felt like I was melting into the universe, and experienced such profound love and vitality that it felt like my soul was opening up.
During meditative states I’ve woken myself up with my own hiccupy snoring, planned the perfect come-back to a fight I had with a friend five years prior, and wondered why the fuck I signed up for a meditation class instead of doing something fun.
It is all a part of the process. It is all meditation.
6) I am meditating to connect to my body.
My body keys me in to where trauma still sits, how anger and irritation burn differently within my gut, and how to effectively release and transform pain. Connecting with my body helps me to love her and to accept her for who she is.
These are a couple of my reasons. Sometimes starting a meditation practice can feel impossible and otherworldly. A big part of starting to practice is to hone in on intention. Why do you want to start (or keep on) meditating?
Make it yours.