The burden that is placed on our emotional well-being can be quite devastating. It can create a self-perpetuating loop of stressful dialogue that infiltrates our lives in a destructive way. We must explore a way to disrupt the pattern of negative energy and turn it into a positive and transforming experience.
We do this by changing what we identify with – from the at times limited, claustrophobic burden of caregiving to the recognition that we are in fact much greater in scope and perspective than our circumstances.
It is about turning our focus inward and getting in touch with our inner Self. Through meditation we can learn to see and experience our lives in a new way. Meditation is that powerful!
Never underestimate meditation. Meditation is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress. There are so many things in our lives that are beyond our control. We can, with regular practice of meditation, control our mind. A regular meditation practice brings clarity, positivity, focus, a sense of peace and calm. It is a most perfect antidote to the challenges of caregiving you handle on a daily basis.
Can you tell I love meditating?
I started meditating in 1982, and I recall how difficult it was at first. While the simple act of sitting still wasn’t particular challenging, getting my mind to quiet itself was like trying to relax on a roller coaster. It just seemed to run counter to having years of incessant inner chatter as the expected norm. I didn’t even think that a tumultuous mind had the ability to quiet itself. However, with instruction, I created a meditation area, and I sat every day; sometimes for just a few minutes and on occasion, I would sit for a whole hour. During that time, I would do my best to focus on one thing, whether it was the repetition of a phrase, or an image of a gentle flame, a sacred mantra, anything that would distract my mind from itself. What became apparent quickly was that meditation would open up a feeling of space inside me, create a quiet, peaceful openness where before there was only noise.
With regular practice, the simple act of sitting to meditate began to feel natural. I would find myself slipping almost effortlessly into a state of inner calm. Now I look forward to it, as it feels almost like a vacation from my daily challenges. Sometimes, I actually fall into meditation, meaning I sit and my mind just seems to collapse in on itself, almost of its own accord, and there I am, in the center of a warm and peaceful void. My body is actually longing, craving meditation. There is only space, and possibility and it feels like a place where I belong.
The Buddhist teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche tells us,
Caregiving can be a whirlwind of conflict. These challenging times beg us to find a way to remain calm, present and to be able to function “above the fray”. How perfect that meditation gives us that gift!
Different kinds of meditation:
There is no wrong way to meditate. What matters most is for you to leave your daily life behind you and turn your focus inward, for 5, 10, 20 or 30 minutes or an hour. Meditation when practiced regularly will give you the strength and calm, the patience and compassion to be the caregiver you are striving to be.