WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: Choosing Peace Over Panic: The Beauty Of Meditation And Stillness In This Season
In religion, we call it spirits. In science, we call it energy. In the streets, we call it vibes. All I'm saying is trust it. - Unknown
It is crucial that in this season, we find a spiritual practice; a weapon of defense, to anchor us, and keep us grounded and at peace, as we face dis-ease and opposition at every twist and turn. As we lay that spiritual foundation, we will be amazed at the high vibrations that we can achieve that will not only provide clarity but also renew our strength and build resilience.
We cannot control what life presents us, but we can trust that we are being guided by divine love and energy; even in times of chaos, like now, when the world is on the precipice of a global pandemic.
In the past when I was dealing with challenges, instead of dealing with them head-on, I'd tell myself that I was okay, and I would bury the pain in the recesses of my mind, not realizing that those toxic emotions would soon manifest into physical ailments. I went on like that for years, not thinking that my migraine headaches, the tension in my neck and shoulders, and anxiety were all effects of the emotional trauma that I subconsciously was refusing to let go of.
It wasn't until recently, that I decided that I did not want to live like that anymore.
I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I had enough.
I had to surrender.
That's when I rediscovered yoga and meditation.
I had to get back to myself, and discover who I am in relation to everything going on around me, and figure out who I wanted to become once this is all over.
See, what used to work, never really worked in the first place; but I got so used to functioning in my mess or trauma that it felt normal so I would just adjust accordingly.
In this season, I literally cannot afford to resort to old habits and outdated ways of thinking; none of us can, we are charged with a responsibility to take our lives and other people's lives seriously; because if we don't, it will be life or death.
It's so easy and tempting to choose fear these days when our world is in darkness, and our future seems like it's in limbo.
It is key for us to be mentally and spiritually prepared for what's ahead because we are multidimensional beings, and what we think and how we feel is connected to our immunity.
Now, more than ever, we've got to keep our mental health in check.
Lately, I've been more intentional with my time and energy, and the information that I consume.
These days, my saving grace has been tuning into the amazing online content that wellness experts have curated in this time of need. For two weeks in a row, Breathe by OMNoire hosted all-day virtual wellness retreats with powerful, dynamic speakers; giving me the confidence and inspiration I needed to maintain my focus and my faith during this unprecedented time.
"We are in a collective moment of grief; moments of anxiousness, uncertainty, and fear; a concept that we normally attribute to the loss of a loved one or a breakup; but this a different stage of it now." These words so true, and so profound; spoken by OMNoire Founder, Christina Rice, during her most recent"mindful moment" for the Essence Wellness House virtual summit.
That's when it hit me, that we are indeed, grieving.
Whether it is the loss of a job, someone close to us, or the loss of personal freedom; we have all experienced grief in some type of way.
In her live guided meditation, Christina gave us an invitation of presence; to give ourselves the permission to "step into that moment of grief... about what it felt like when all of the plans we had for this year was gone, and going through those stages and breathing into them; the moment of disbelief, the moment of frustration." She encouraged the viewers and listeners to breathe, to go deep, to feel, and ask ourselves tough questions like What is something you need to let go of? Or it something you need to hold on to? What is it that you need at this moment?
Rather than trying to avoid and numb the pain as if it didn't exist, something that served me in the past, I had to ask myself those tough questions, to have a self-check-in, and honor whatever feeling that was bound to come up. I realized that I had to change my perspective and see the bigger picture.
I know so many of us feel the pressure from all angles to be productive with work or create, but rest and stillness are just as important, if not more important.
Without inner peace, outer peace is impossible.
I had to go into myself, and process how I was truly feeling; not from a place of judgment or shame; but from self-compassion.
I saw a meme the other day and it read, "if you cannot go outside, go inside." The literal and figurative meaning of this quote blew my mind because it's true!
It reminded me of a term I learned about in psychology called, metacognition, which means "thinking about your own thinking."
We can't control what happens outside of ourselves, but we can control how we think about what's happening, and whether that response is negative or positive; the choice is up to you. It requires some effort on your part though, like elevating your thinking and working through those emotions in a more solution-based way.
Instead of viewing this period of isolation as a bad thing, I can choose to see it as an opportunity to become more solid on my understanding of myself (self-concept) and recognize that I have the power to create the desires of my heart.
There are so many amazing benefits to solitude and meditation like mental clarity, relaxation, increased energy, reduced stress, and anxiety, living in the moment, and self-awareness.
I encourage all of you to establish a routine, to create your own spiritual toolbox that you can open and tap into for strength, or just center yourself as a reminder that you are safe, and that you have purpose because you are still living to see another day.
It can be as simple as doing some breathwork (inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, exhale for 5 seconds and repeat for 1 minute), sitting in silence, or expressing gratitude.
"You owe yourself one hour a day of self-maintenance. It can include reading, writing, yoga, exercise, dancing, meditation, painting, r whatever, but you owe it to yourself. One hour, 1/24. of your day. That's less than 5%. It matters, it really does. Make it count."-Anonymous
In these unsettling times, we've got to work hard to keep our vibrations high to build our immunity and to have peace of mind.
Whether you meditate through prayer, movement, spending time in nature, sound healing, or other mindfulness practices; make it your own, and be consistent with it until it becomes a way of life.
We must be intentional with what, how, and where we spend our energy. As they say, energy is currency, and anything that costs you your peace is too expensive!