I started meditating and it has started to really change everything. I tend to be a very, well let's call it high stressed, highly anxious person. The thing of it is is that I don't enjoy either of these traits when I'm in them. We all have a certain amount of both but, as many of you are aware, chronic stress and anxiety can cause several health issues. Friends do some research on this one, it can really be harmful long term in so many ways. When I did some research on the topic and learned about the impact on the mind and body it really pushed me to start practicing. Aside from that, living a happy fulfilled life is so much more enjoyable and fun! Based on the research I found, meditation has science proven benefits around stress reduction, helping control anxiety, emotional management, and memory just to name a few.
So, about six weeks ago, I decided, why not give it a try. I've heard a number of influential (to me) leaders’ speakers on their belief of this practice throughout the years so it was pretty easy to be open to the idea. If thought leaders use it to help maintain balance, calm, stress, etc. there must be something to it. I decided to try it and determine if this is something that would help me, meditation.
First, I listened to a couple speakers online specifically about the topic. Then I looked at all the resources on YouTube. There are a lot and it may be a bit overwhelming at first. This was all within a couple days then I just jumped in. I started by doing 3-5 minutes every morning and night. The first week and a half or so was hard. I found it difficult to stay focused, my mind wandered a lot. I still find on certain days my mind wanders more than others. Now I do longer in the evenings generally 10-15 minutes. I find that my evening meditation helps me to get relaxed from my daily stresses and let them go. I also found that I am dreaming better. And, I feel more relaxed in the morning when I wake up. I still do 3-7 minutes in the morning too. For me, this helps in several areas, most significantly it has helped me to better focus throughout the day. I also noticed over the last couple weeks that I have not felt any sense of anxiousness where I would have in the past. This is a huge relief for me as I mentioned earlier my stress and anxiety generally run high.
It may be a bit too soon to fully determine but all in all it has had a significant impact on me so far. Give it a try and see what it does for you!
Stay well my awesome friends!
I originally started this blog post May 8th, 2016. Wow, over two years ago, I knew this is what I wanted. Two years later, this title rings even more true then it did at that time. Much of this post includes my thoughts from 2016 and a whole lot of new stuff. The picture you see above to the right was truly a pivotal point for me, a true detour of life. I learned I had a 4cm tumor in my thyroid, now that is a bad day! At that point in life I was about to make a huge job change into a new regional role with my company, My husband and I weren't at our best moments together and Boe, oh, my pride and joy. The time in life your child needs you most and I felt like I was failing him with all of this. We'll talk more about all of those in future posts
In the months after my diagnoses I had two surgeries, radiation and the start of trying to get my medication right to manage my hormones. Let me tell you friends managing hormones, emotions, or metabolism with no thyroid is no joke! And, how horrible it is that people actually say, "that's the easy cancer" ya right like any cancer is easy, I think not. I didn't realize it right away but all of this took such a toll on my emotional well being.
For the next several years, I had a real struggle getting my emotional balance in order. I also worked to hide it from everyone both personally and professionally. The last thing that I wanted was to be judged for anything, you'll learn more in future posts this was a huge barrier for me for a lot of years.
For the first few years post surgery I had some really dark moments. I remember one day so vividly. It was spring, I was at one of my offices for the day, this particular office is on the second floor. There is a beautiful entryway with a second floor balcony that looks over the huge glass windows outside. I took a call from one of my other offices and stepped out to take the call. The employee on the other end of the phone was very frustrated and clearly having a bad day. Now as leaders we always work to be strong for our people. In this moment what no one knew was I was having a horrible day. I felt worthless and completely overwhelmed with life. As I stood there employee frustrated in the phone I thought, what would it be like if I just jumped right off the ledge. I wondered if anyone would really care. Life would move on and they could do just fine without me. They would find someone else to complain to and no one ever heard what I had to say anyway. Then of course the next thought, this is only two stories up I would have to go much higher. The good thing for me was that I quickly redirected these thoughts each time they showed up in my head. By the grace of whomever was looking over me, yes I believe, I m strong and didn't act any number of the times these showed up.
The emotions that would come from anything were so overwhelming. For a good couple years after my surgery, I would eat my emotions. I couldn't quite figure out yet how to navigate my voice. There were days I would eat anything I could get my hands on. Not the good healthy stuff, anything that screamed carbs or sweets had me. One day Joel asked me to pick up ice cream. It was Friday night and by this point Friday nights were on for pizza, burgers, ice cream with any number of horrible for me toppings. Mind you, I had lost and kept off a lot of weight for years before this and if I would have kept this up would have been right back there. I stopped at Walmart as directed, got the pizza and ice cream. I had to throw in Oreos and M&M's, cause why wouldn't you do that. Before I even got home half the bag of family size peanut butter M&M's were gone. I would eat until I felt sick trying not to think about all of the things that were really going on.
It was about three years into my journey after my thyroidectomy that I started really listening to myself. See during this time, I had placed the biggest mask on myself. In public I would try showing everyone how OK I was, positive, I had quotes all over my office and home. At this point, I started actually listening to those quotes, relating them to myself, I started talking to myself better. I'll go more in depth on this one in a future blog, self talk is so important. I started being very aware of myself and my triggers and began limiting my time with people who brought me down. Which by the way is very very hard to do especially when they are close to you or family. I started really getting back to my basics of positive learning, books, and quickly became of fan of YouTube and watching any motivational videos I could find. Each of these things helped me get out of the darkness and start building into who I really wanted to be.
Each day is a chance to be the best you you can be, they may not be easy but with each positive push in the right direction you will get better and stronger. You have a tribe here to help and support you. Stay well friends!
As Aristotle once said, "It is in our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."
Supporter of people and growth. I absolutely LOVE helping others see in themselves what I see in them. We all have good in us, we just need a bit of help seeing it at times.