”We do our best work when we care for each other, and are cared for.”
Ever since I tried meditation for the first time I was fascinated by the positive impact it had on me. Nonetheless, I’m far from a meditation guru, and I’ve only meditated regularly for approx. 3,5 years. Still and all, I believe it has helped me stress less, especially about things I can’t control. Moreover, I find it easier to stay focused, and to keep my mind more sharp and attentive when needed.
In addition to the things mentioned above I’ve also noticed a remarkable change when it comes to my creativity. Of course, there might be a lot of factors influencing these ”changes”. Nonetheless, one factor is for sure the meditation part. Meditation is scientifically proven to increase both Neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to change itself) as well as Neurogenesis (the brain’s ability to generate new brain cells).
A couple of days ago I listened to a Mindvalley Speech online with Emily Fletcher; the founder of Ziva, and the creator of the Ziva Technique (a powerful trifecta of mindfulness, meditation and manifesting designed to unlock your full potential). I haven’t tried the Ziva Technique, therefore I can’t say anything about it, however, according to the website the proven benefits of the technique include decreased stress, less anxiety, deeper sleep, improved immune function, increased productivity and extraordinary performance.
During the Mindvalley Speech Emily Fletcher was talking about how while meditating both the left and the right hemisphere is active -> whilst communicating with each other, a strengthening and thickening of the corpus callosum occurs (corpus callosum: the white strip that connects the both hemispheres).
And why then, is having a thicker corpus callosum more beneficial?
For example, it allows you to come up with a more creative way to solve problems, even in the midst of a high demand situation.
Dopamin & serotonin = Bliss Chemicals
From a neuro chemical viewpoint meditation can be seen as something deeply favorable, considering that mediation de-exites the nervous system and the body – Already within 30-40 sec. from starting your brain and body flood with dopamine and serotonin. This in turn may help you decrease your overall stress-levels, helping you become more at peace with where you are, right now. Emily Fletcher also mentioned the more esoteric definition of meditation; that it allows you to access the fulfilment that resides inside of you. What does this imply? It suggests that mediation helps you operate from a state of fulfilment, instead of a state of need.
We may think we need certain things in life in order to become happy. But honestly, we don’t. You can choose to be happy now, without that partner, without that big house, without all the money on you account. You may want things, but these ”wants” are they actually something that you need, in order to be happy? Of course all these thing are wonderful to achieve and to have, and they will for sure make you happy and secure, for a while that is. However, they are not the root to our happiness.
If you act from a state of fulfilment, rather than from a state of lack, it’s more likely that you’ll achieve your goals in life. Acting from lack and fear only creates this desperate need within you, and that may in worst case scenario block you from achieving the greatness that you deserve. Therefore, choosing to be happy now, with what we have, is a remarkable way to accomplish more in life. In other words, an abundant mind is more open to the abundance floating around.
Mindfulness vs Meditation
I believe mindfulness is more about a way of living in the now, and meditation a tool on how to be better at life.
We can integrate mindfulness into everything we do; you can practise how to be more mindful while eating, taking a shower, being in nature, eating, having sex, giving a presentation etcetera. It can be used at anytime. And at the same time meditation can help you become more present in all these activities. More present in life. Meditation not only strenthens your ability to be here, but you’ll become a more compassionate human as well. I think this is strongly linked to the fact that while meditating you start to see the bigger picture, you start to see how everything is connected, how we all are connected. Moreover, you become more open-minded and less judgmental, towards yourself, others and the situation you’re in.
Find your why
Don’t use meditation as a form of escapism.
Instead of dealing with our problems and issues it can be very normal for us humans to want to escape, as a form of defence mechanism. Humans use everything from sex, drugs, alcohol, TV, food, self-help books to violence as a form of escapism. In fact you can use whatever activity you like as a form of escapism. It all comes down to your why. And in order to find your why you need to start being honest with yourself. If you use something in order to escape, try to understand why you need to escape. You’ll need to find the root cause in order to properly heal. In certain cases you may have to ask for professional help, since some things we can’t fight on our own. And the best part; we don’t have to fight alone – we can always ask for help.
I think I may have used meditation as a form of escapism when I first started almost four years ago. I knew it fascinated me, and therefore I wanted to try it out. However, at first I truly believe I just wanted to ”turn off”, since I was just so fed up at the moment. After time went by I noticed that something happened within me, something I can’t put into words, but this something made me feel more at peace, and not only while meditating, but during the day as well. You see, the point with meditation is not to clear the mind of thoughts (there will always be thoughts in your head, it’s impossible to turn the mind off), instead try to find out how meditation can have a positive effect on your life.
And while we can’t turn off these myriad of thoughts, we can always look at them as merely thoughts. They are thoughts – created in our minds – not facts. Rather, try to become the observer of the thought, or the awareness behind the thought, as Eckhart Tolle so neatly puts it.
With this being said, I strongly believe that meditation, and living more mindfully, can be used as a great support at becoming better at life. After all it’s something that easily can be integrated in everyone’s life – It’s free, and all you need is yourself, and your breathing.
Be safe, and count your breaths (and blessings).