I love walking in windy weather. I find it cleansing and invigorating. Storm Doris however was something else! Raging across the country at speeds exceeding 90 miles an hour, leaving a trail of chaos in her wake. Only the strong, stable and flexible left standing.

How do you weather the storms in your life? Do you have the resilience to stand firm, remain calm and adapt . . . or . . . do you resist, crack and break into pieces?

Imagine you have had an immensely stressful day and that night you can’t sleep. Perhaps you turn to comfort food to console yourself or reach for an extra drink to unwind. How do you feel the next day? Tired, overwhelmed and unable to focus. What if there was another way?

Our wheel of life continues to revolve at an ever-increasing pace. To survive we must evolve and adapt or else be left behind. According to Eckhart Tolle “when you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself, when you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”

According to Marianne Williamson your Ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll find peace. Whereas your Spirit says, “Find your peace and then everything will fall into place”.

What do you think when someone mentions meditation?  I don’t have the time . . . that’s for hippies . . . or it doesn’t work for me.

In this blog I am going to explain what meditation is, debunk some myths and illustrate how the benefits outweigh the time invested.

Meditation allows us to come more fully into the present moment. It takes us out of our heads, beyond our worries, fears and judgments and enables us to wake up to the sweetness and beauty of our lives.

It’s a process of purification. The mind and body gain deep levels of rest, which allow stress, fatigue and toxins to be released. There are many ways to meditate. For some it’s a spiritual practice, for others it’s a tool with which to find space and peace in a hectic world.

With mindfulness meditation you’re fully awake and alert . . . your mind inwardly focused as you concentrate on your breathing . . . creating an inner space and clarity . . . enabling you to control your mind no matter what is going on around you.

Many people believe it takes years to reap the rewards of meditation. However research shows that with daily practice it can bring mental and physical health benefits in as little as eight weeks.

The number one excuse for not meditating is . . .  a lack of time. In her Ted talk “How to Gain Control of Your Free Time”, Time Management expert Laura Vanderkam, shatters the myth that there isn’t enough time to live happy, balanced and productive lives. She says many of us overestimate our commitments while underestimating the time we have for ourselves.

The most common reasons for giving up are: intrusive thoughts, restlessness and falling asleep, all of which are normal and will lessen with regular practice.

There is a bank of scientific evidence and research that backs up the benefits of meditation and the popularity of Mindfulness, pioneered by Jon Kabat-Zinn, demonstrates that there is a huge demand for more peace and clarity in our lives.

Benefits range from

  • relieving anxiety and depression as effectively as anti-depressants
  • increasing mental strength and resilience
  • improving decision making, problem solving and creative thinking
  • improved mental and emotional well-being
  • lowered blood pressure
  • improved sleep and so much more.

Recent research also suggests that meditating – even for just a few minutes a day – helps counteract age-related loss of brain volume.

I was introduced to the concept of meditation in my early 20’s and over the years have found it invaluable in times of crisis. However it wasn’t until I began walking the path of the Shaman last year, that I realised just how important daily practice is for my own health and wellbeing.

For me the rewards of investing time, whether it be 10 minutes or half an hour daily, are priceless. It keeps me grounded, strong, and calm and sets me up for the day ahead. It enables me to go with the ebb and flow of life rather than resist and push against it.

I believe stillness is essential to life. The benefits outweigh the time invested, rewarding us with the resilience and skills to mind our own busyness and respond to life’s challenges from a place of calm.

As the cyclone derives power from a calm centre, so too can we. In the eye of the storm we can keep our heads while all about us are losing theirs.

To find out how you can discover the Art of finding Stillness and Calm click here.

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