I have felt this pull in my heart to share more about how and why I begin incorporating meditation into my life. I want to share it with you because I truly believe that this practice is something that can really shape us and allow us to move through our days with more gratitude, peace, and space. I want to share my story with you in hopes that it might inspire you to live each of your days with joy.
By nature I am a planner, my mind is always racing and thinking (or better said, worrying) about the future. I didn’t think sitting for just a few minutes each day would change me…but slowing, little by little over time, I have changed, I am changing and all that was required for this change was a few minutes of stillness.
It was February 2020, almost exactly one month before the US went on lock down for the first time during the pandemic. One week after giving birth to my second child I ended up undergoing emergency surgery for sudden and rapid postpartum hemorrhaging. I can recall that morning so vividly. It was early Sunday morning, the hospital was quiet but where I was receiving care was busy. I recall multiple ER and OBGYN doctors tending to me very calmly and quickly. I was losing blood at a rapid pace.
As I was swiftly wheeled up to the OR, the sun was rising. Golden rays were beaming through the window lined hallways. I remember being so cold but that sun, it warmed me for a moment. I felt it radiate through my body. With tears streaming down my face I looked right at that bright ball of light and asked God for two things – to see my babies again and to see the sun again. I prayed for another day to live.
The surgery was more challenging than expected, longer than expected. But I had an amazing group of doctors, nurses, and staff that used all of their training and heart during that procedure and well, I am here, I am healthy and I am alive. After a few more blood transfusions and a brief hospital stay I went home. I held my babies again and I received the gift of living another day.
Three weeks following that surgery the pandemic made its way to the US and the world locked down. For the months that followed, I filed those memories from that day away. I focused on my family, my children, and like everyone else just tried to get through the pandemic. It was not until December of 2020 that I started experiencing anxiety and excruciating jaw pain. We all went through so much in 2020. On top of the pandemic worries, I had been carrying around that day, and that experience, without processing it – without acknowledging it. That weight that I was carrying started to manifest as pain in my jaw, crippling anxiety and an overarching feeling of being lost. How do I let go of that trauma while holding onto the gift (the perspective of how sacred life is) that it has given me.
One night I found myself googling self care remedies for TMJ, anxiety, overwhelm, trauma, you name it. The one thing that continued to stand out to me was meditation. I said to myself, “why not?” and that night I downloaded a mediation app and vowed to meditate every morning.
I started with listening to guided meditations while lying in bed. Then I started setting an alarm to wake up a little earlier than my kids to sit and meditate. If I missed a morning, I tried for a mid day or evening meditation. I was hooked on it for no one big reason but for many small ones. I noticed during those few minutes of stillness, my jaw relaxing, my shoulders dropping. Sometimes I found myself crying. At first, I felt like the weight I had been carrying was getting stronger, heavier. Then over time, I started to feel lighter. I started to feel like that weight was being lifted.
Then I started to notice how I was better at responding to frustrating moments, to kid tantrums, to situations that I could not control. I started to breathe, to slow down. I noticed that I had a little more patience toward my children. I was feeling more connected with my body and my thoughts. I was working through my trauma. I was becoming more aligned with who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to show up to this beautiful life that I have been blessed with.
For me, mediation has been a journey to connecting with myself on a deeper level and it has been helping me show up on purpose for my life and that is why I keep returning to this practice. I am just getting started and I hope that you will too.