How Had Meditation Changed Me?
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
I am often asked how meditation changed my life, or what had meditation changed in my life? In search for an answer I need to get back to the beginning of my journey. I appreciate that not everyone asks the existential questions every day. I believe that often we are just too busy in life, in meeting our personal, physical needs, providing for our families, planning our schedules, that the last thing that would come to our mind would be looking for the purpose of our life. And this is perfectly fine, these questions often do not need to be asked, because the answers will come to us regardless; they will come to us at the end of every day in a form of satisfaction or frustration, happiness or disappointment, excitement or boredom, fulfilment or stagnation. If your answer to the day is positive it means that you are on the right path, you follow your natural rhythm but if you end your day with negative feelings, with anxiety, perhaps there is a conflict between your actions and what your natural flow should be. Now, how to discover your natural rhythm, how to get back onto your path and finally how to be happy? I found it in meditation. When I look back, I can nearly see the pattern of changes that I experienced with time.
My mind became calmer,
My mind was always very busy. From my very active work life, to a need of controlling everything that was happening, to overthinking every single situation. I was never taking breaks; analysing, planning, thinking, overthinking; My mind was like the spinning wheel in a race; it was never stopping. I was often tired, but just simply didn’t know how to take a break. Meditation was my answer. A few months into my practice I started to notice how many thoughts and going forward, how many unimportant thoughts are accumulated in my mind. With time I was able to witness these thoughts and to clear the ones that weren’t serving me any longer. I noticed that my mind became calmer. This realisation led me to the next step:
I reduced the amount of endless chatter,
I used to let my fears overtake my decisions, through meditation I realised that I allowed this ‘endless chatter’ to play into my head. Doubting, questioning every decision; finding all possible reasons for not moving forward; criticizing and blaming myself for the actions of others. When my mind became calmer, I could see this going on all the time, I noticed how I was sabotaging myself. I started to work on it, discovered the ego and its negative impact on my thoughts and believes. Thanks to regular practice I reduced its influence on my decisions. As soon as this had happened there was more clarity in my way of thinking which brought me to the next part:
I improved my focus,
My work requires full attention; the responsibility of owning a business; of employing people, of delivering the right outcome to customers is very important. Through the meditation process I discovered that my level of concentration has improved. I gained clarity in my mind that helped me stay focused when I needed to be. I am no longer leaving tasks unfinished. I can plan my work and realise the plan step by step. Increased focus led me to a very important change:
I became more efficient
When many doubts were removed and my focus increased, I realised I am much more efficient. Instead of wasting time on overthinking, or doubting I gained the ability to clearly analyse the situation. My work problems became just tasks that needed resolution, nothing more. With a clear and relaxed mind, I am able now to confront these tasks. In meditation we are working on witnessing our thoughts instead of engaging in them, this process helps to remove the subjective approach when dealing with issues, which makes decisions much easier to take. From this point I realised that I am experiencing even more important changes:
I better understand myself, others, and the world around me,
Removing the subjective approach and witnessing my thoughts brought me to many great realisations around my life and people around me. I have realised that often I was judging others, expecting them to act a certain way, getting upset over small things. When we sit in meditation, we discover that often our reactions are built by other people’s expectations, that we act a certain way because the others are doing the same, not that we feel it is appropriate. Meditation is an inner work, understanding yourself is a big part of growing. In meditation we become more present in our lives, we start noticing the small things in our lives, thanks to this we become happier, which is the next big step in my journey:
I became happier and more positive
I was often too busy to notice the little things happening in my life and often in the lives of my family. Just to give an example - eating dinner together was reduced to the daily chores of cooking, serving, and cleaning after, while now is a time that we all enjoy together. Watching your close ones talking, laughing, discovering the magic of the moment brings many positive feelings into my life. Appreciating the time that we are in now, being in the moment is a lifechanging experience. Meditation taught me that it is not about what had happened yesterday or what is going to happen tomorrow that matters. With this positive flow in my mind I discovered the desire of being closer with others and closer to nature, spending time in nature, eating healthy, enjoying the seasons, watching the change, simply being. All this leads to the huge benefit that I experienced which is:
Meditation reduced the stress level in my life
Having a calm and relaxed mind, being able to make your own choices without the feeling of compromise, accepting the world and the others the way they are, spending time in nature is a perfect recipe to reduce your stress level. Our mind can be trained, if you are engaged in a regular practice of any type of activity with time you will see the results. It is the same with meditation, at the start it is difficult to calm your mind, to stay focused for a longer period of time and to quieten the storm in your head, but with regular practice it comes nearly instantly. This can be used in any stressful situation; you can work out the tool within yourself that will bring you back to a calm environment with a few deep breaths. We all appreciate that the decision made in a relaxed manner cannot be wrong. In my journey this peaceful space within removed many difficult situations and brought me the realisation of the fact that:
I am gaining clarity in my mind
Through regular meditation practice I could focus on what serves me, what are the beliefs that I took as mine as I grew and that were not helping me to make progress. While sitting in meditation I realised that we are all born to be happy, that our real purpose is growing. Suffering only comes when we are not acting accordingly to our own natural rhythm. I realised that in order to find this rhythm we need to deeply connect with ourselves, with our inner voice that always guides us through life but often we do not get to hear it. In a search for this inner guidance I discovered perhaps the most important change that meditation led me to, and it is
Growing spiritually and having an open mind,
I am learning to stay connected with myself. I believe that when we are born, we have the body, the mind and soul. As over the years when we grow, we take care of our bodies, we fill our minds with knowledge, we adapt beliefs however, we often forget about our souls, we lose the connection with it. In fact it is the soul that understands the purpose of our life and through meditation I believe that this connection can be restored. We often ignore the voice that comes from within us, sometimes we call it intuition, but often we do not follow it as the mind takes over with hundreds of reasons that we taught it for years; we are resonating everything. The signs are becoming coincidences, the intuition loses with practicality, but if we redirect ourselves inwards we will understand that real happiness is only possible when we act accordingly to our own life purpose and this purpose is well known to our soul. This special connection with our soul will lead us to full happiness, our inner voice will guide us through the hard times and will walk us to the happier life; In this life we will truly understand that we all are playing the important part in a big plan and that we are perfect the way we are to play our own part. I believe that when connected to our inner self, with an open mind and a kind heart everything is possible.
The object of this post was to present what I find I have gained since I came to this journey, I now realised that if I wanted to describe in full the benefits of meditation I could probably write a book about it and still not fully exhaust the subject. Meditation is the open journey that I truly invite everyone to. After a few years of practising meditation, I am a believer in saying that ‘what we think, we become’. Meditation teaches us to how to change and control our way of thinking.