As a former professional dancer and athlete, I have always used mental training as a valuable tool to achieve my physical performance goals. But it was only when I became ill with stress that I got in touch with Mindfulness Meditation.
I got started with a mindfulness meditation retreat in Denmark run by the wonderful and very skilled Christina Flyger. (the site is in Danish) I was hooked! Christina’s personal approach to mindfulness is beautiful and straightforward. She is passionate about what she does which very much influenced my introduction to meditation and mindfulness. I felt that in only four days I got an incredible insight and some concrete tools that I could take with me on my onworth journey.
In the beginning, however, I did find it difficult and often I would even fall asleep while meditating. But I knew that my mind and body was so worn out and that I really needed to make a change, so a few months later I signed up for regular 8 week course in Malmö where I live. Simultaniously I read (very slowly, since my concentration was so bad) the book “Full Catastrophe Living” by Jon Kabatt-Zin (the developer of MBSR) I could feel immediate effect on my well-being and my ability to concentrate was slowly getting better.
I have meditated on a regular basis for just about a year now and here is my reflections and 6 great reasons I will never stop meditating.
1. Meditation awakens me – and makes me feel whole. Meditation on a regular basis has helped me “put myself back together”. I was extremely disconnected- I didn’t live my own truth,- I ignored my body´s signals both physical and emotional,- I was scared, and I was burnt out with stress. Meditation helps me to be more in the present moment throughout the whole day.
2. Makes me aware of how my body feels today
Sometimes it can even ease physical pain. The ease of pain has been a major breakthrough for me. I have not taken a single pain-killer for several months for my back pain! If that’s because the pain is disappearing or i get a better pain tolerance i don´t know – but it dosen´t matter – It works!
3. It changes my relationship with my thoughts.
Before I started meditating, I would have a crazy spinning mind. Especially when I was very stressed I had a really hard time navigating my thoughts. I feel that with meditation my mind has calmed down and I have a better balance between my interior and exterior worlds.
4. Improves my concentration
As I wrote above this has been a slow but steady process. I´ve gone from not being able to read one page in a book or read on a computer screen more than 5 minutes at the time, to now being able to concentrate on reading, writing, and being active in meetings with several inputs.
5. It helps me accept that i´m good enough as I am
Meditation makes me aware of and work towards an accepting, patient and non-jugdemental behavior towards myself and others.
6. Increases happiness
Put together all of the above 🙂
I mainly use the techniques from Mindfulness meditation and I normally meditate in silence for about 20 mins a day, but in addition I have also started to include other types of meditations like Yoga Nidra (especially for sleep) and other beautiful guided vizualisations.
There are many proven benefits of meditation both Physiological, Phychological and Spiritual and it has absolutely no negative side effects. And once you learn the basics – it´s even free!
I knew many of the benefits of meditation when I started. Therefore I found it challenging not to have any expectations of the practice, but when I found a way to let go of my expectations that’s when the magic started to happen.
I absolutely love to meditate and will continue this journey couriously exploring different techniques.