From an early age, I experienced deep feelings of compassion and concern for the world around me. I was often overwhelmed by fear and anxiety for the future of our planet. I worried about the depletion of rainforests, endangered animals and high levels of pollution. I was an enthusiastic member of the “Go Wild club” (junior WWF), but I was extremely sensitive and the evening television news could often send me into enormous waves of panic. As I made my way into the teenage years, my fear for the planet was largely replaced (sorry planet!) by fear of the school bullies.
I was bullied mercilessly at school, mainly because I was small and very shy. An easy target. I longed for the confidence and happiness that seemed to come easily to those around me. I often felt alone, afraid and very confused.
Then I found meditation, or maybe meditation found me. At fifteen years old, I was introduced to Transcendental Meditation by Brian, the father of my great friend, Jade.
It wasn’t easy to begin with but I persevered through my daily sessions of silent mantra recitation, building gradually from a few minutes up to twenty minutes twice daily.
My feelings of anxiety began to subside. I felt lighter and calmer. I experienced moments of clarity and peace and luckily for my impending GCSE’s, I was also able to retain more information with my improved memory (higher grades than predicted were acheived). I felt more confident and able to cope with the turbulent waves of emotion that come with being a teenager.
Over the years, my meditation practice changed. Sometimes it was more consistent and regular than others. I also went on to learn and practice other styles of meditation from a variety of different traditions, so no longer continued to practice TM. I often found that life guided me to the right meditation technique and teacher at the time when it was needed the most. (I am currently training to be a Heart Meditatation facilitator with The Heart of Living Yoga.)
I am now thirty-seven years old and I am grateful each and every day for the gift of meditation. It has been the friend that had my back through some of life’s challenging situations; school, divorce, raising a child and running a business. If I ever began to feel stressed or an inability to cope then I knew I had to meditate MORE!!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. People often ask me how I got into meditation- so here it is!
If it maybe even inspires just one other person to try meditation out for themselves, then that would be wonderful. Feel free to ask questions and/ or leave comments 🙂