Here are the 5 most important reason that I meditate:
- I’m a parent
- I have stress (see #1)
- I have anxiety (again, see #1)
- I ruminate (much of the time concerning, well, I’m sure you guessed it, #1)
- While I had practiced meditation on and off for many years, it was about 2 years ago that I made the commitment to practice every day. The change that this has made in my life (particularly concerning #1-4 above), has been amazing.
These are just my top five. There’s probably a million more, but I won’t bore you with a long list.
Now, I’m not gonna sit here and claim that I no longer have stress and I no longer have anxiety, and that my mind no longer wants to ruminate. Because then I’d be lying. The difference is, the stress and anxiety happen a lot less often. Why? Because I notice my thoughts (the cause of my stress and anxiety) and I’m able to get a handle on them.
Remember, it’s not the situation that causes stress or anxiety, it’s our thoughts about the situation.
When we can sit back and observe those thoughts, rather than get “hooked” on them, we react differently, we make better choices.
Rumination is just obsessive thinking. It’s a story that repeats itself, like a broken record, over and over again in our minds, and tends to grow each time it’s repeated. I’m now able to notice when my mind starts to go to that place of rumination. It’s like stepping your foot into a puddle, but realizing its quicksand, and quickly pulling it out before you get sucked in.
Meditation is not a cure-all.
It’s not the “kool-aid” that we drink and everything becomes magical. Sometimes the change that we experience isn’t the big “ah-ha moment” that Oprah wants us all to have. The change can be subtle. But it’s there. And over time, it becomes more and more obvious.
As a friend of mine once said, “I don’t understand why everyone isn’t meditating.” This is someone you might call “Type A”, and extremely skeptical when it was suggested to him (because of his many health problems) that he meditate. He now meditates no less than an hour a day.
Trust me. There’s a lot more to this than just being a part of what sometimes seems to be the latest craze or buzzword. Meditation has been around for thousands of years. But there is now scientific proof to back its effectiveness. It’s why so many people in the medical community are now recommending mindfulness as an integral part of the treatment plan.
I’m a better parent and a better person because of my meditation practice. And that’s why I meditate.