Meditation... The new Medication
I’m being called to write this blog after a long day at work…. 8 hours of the hustle and bustle that comes from waiting tables in a busy high volume restaurant lunch shift. Now if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant before or if you’ve ever just been AWARE of the quickness of a busy lunch service turnover, you know the hustle I’m talking about. Of the 8 hr shift, theres a solid 6 where Im just grinding and grinding… and grinding.
Anyways, back to my point. At 40 years old, my body is not what it used to be and by the time I’m walking out the doors, I’m physically, mentally, and spiritually whooped. I walk to my car… uphill…and finally take refuge. For a minute. I seize that minute and take some deep breaths. Interestingly enough, I don’t remember breathing once during my shift. That one minute to fill my lungs and body with clean fresh air and exhale out my day gives me the motivation to get in my car to head home.
And then…. traffic, for about an hour. And once again, everything in my body hurts. Im tense, Im tight, Im exhausted, and Im just not well. I get to the house and immediately have to let the dogs out. I’m forced to talk to a neighbor walking her dog. I try to muster some back and forth but I’m barely communicating at this time. I’m defeated. And this is not an exaggeration. This is how I truly feel after a long shift at work… much of the time.
Its 630pm on a Friday night and I’m totally beat.
Time to medicate.
I go into my room, put on the salt lamp, and do about 20 minutes of meditation. Today is a healthy dose of Yoga Nidra guided meditation. My drugs of choice lie in the Insight Timer medicine cabinet. Insight Timer is a FREE meditation app that houses thousands upon thousands of meditations. You just type in how much time you have (0-5 min, 6-10 min, 11-15 min… etc) and hundreds will come up, and you pick whatever you’re looking for. Sometimes I’ll do a self love, or compassion, acceptance, letting go, gratitude, patience, recharge…. You name it, and I’ve done the guided meditation.
And just like that…. I have a chance at a whole new perspective. I'm recharged and refreshed. Nothing hurts anymore. Not only that, I feel AMAZING. And just like that, I’m out the door and ready to have a Friday night free.
If you would have told me this many years ago, I would have saved so much money on self medicating. Think of how many times we’ve had to hit that happy hour to take the edge off. Have that glass of wine to decompress. Smoke or take a pill to calm our nerves. Reach for something outside of us to fix how we’re feeling inside. Even so much as drinking a couple cups of coffee before going out because I was just so tired. Not anymore.
Meditation gives me everything. Gives me peace of mind, clarity, energy, motivation…it’s a SUPER DRUG.
Also, it’s how I start EVERYDAY. I wake up… let the dog out and race in to sit on my cushion, hopefully before having to talk to anyone :) I get to sit on my mat and just breathe. Breathe deep and get connected. I get rooted, and then I’m able to rise. I started with one minute every morning just focusing on my breath. It’s all I was able to do in the beginning. I then moved up to 3 minutes, then 5. Within the month, I was doing 10 minutes every morning.
My life has drastically changed in the BEST ways. Before I would easily be taken down by the day, and that would be it. I’d be off to some form of destructive self medicating and negative behaviors. And now, I am able to catch myself and pull myself up and out before creating unnecessary diversions for myself. I am able to take the couple minutes it takes to completely change my day around or even better…. Get a fresh start. I’m able to show up; present, and alert for everything in my life.
If you’re someone who is struggling with meditation or is on the fence about trying it, I highly recommend giving Insight Timer a shot and starting with some guided meditations. If that’s not your speed, just start with one minute a day and focus on your breath. I have fallen in love with my breath. It feels so incredible to nourish my body with fresh clean air, one giant breath at a time and to exhale all the stale breath and old energy I’ve been holding onto.
Whatever it takes for you. Find your meditation practice and start really LIVING your life.
Meditation… the new Medication