Good morning my loves!! I pray you wake with a renewed spirit, rolling out on the right side of the bed, joyful and inspired full of energy! Whoooo! That was a mouthful! lol Said with love!
I just wanted to jump online and share a beautiful resource with you all today! I've just finished my first meditation course! Woohoo!! :) I've been researching and practicing meditation for about a year and a half now but I'd never taken an actual course in it! This quick and easy class helped me to go back over the fundamentals and for the first time, participate in classes that had no background music or nature sounds (for those that don't know- soothing atmospheric sounds are used to help induce a calming state- and they're great for a mind that struggles to focus! ...like mine...). I was happily immersed in a completely silent atmosphere (you know- me, my headphones and the instructor's gentle voice lol) but I LOVED it!
I've always been a sleep-with-the-fan-on-just-for-the-white-noise type of chick :) so it's a HUGE deal to be able to now sleep with zero sound AND be able to walk away from this course having the ability to meditate with little to no guidance- true silence!
Most of us can't be in the quiet long... our brains start racing with things we have to do or other people (like small needy humans) burst in just as we settle in (hey- I may not be a parent but I've got six God kids and at least 20 nieces and nephews AND a great niece and I'm only 32- I get it bro)!
Anyhoo! As my journey continues on to the next adventure, I wanted to share Jeremy Lipkowitz's Mindfulness Made Easy class with anyone seeking education in meditation or just needing to learn a simple way to BREATHE in the midst of the CRAZY! Jeremy's structure is simple! The class is a quick 14 days long, with two simple sections each day- one roughly 5-10 minute class about the new mindfulness/meditation technique you're going to partake in... followed by the roughly 10 minute meditation practice where he gently teaches you how to apply the day's technique! And it's that simple!
In most online meditation practices, it's recommended to start with headphones so you can learn how to focus- however, some of Jeremy's classes actually deal with the ability to focus even while background sounds are present! So for you parents out there who wish they could adapt such a task into their day to day lives- give it a try anyway! It's fantastic!
My biggest takeaway has been the practice of non-judgment or as Jeremy calls it- "equanimity". Being able to walk through an experience patiently, without judging and becoming overwhelmed by counter-productive emotion is QUITE the blessing for someone like me! As a minister, as just a friend and family member, I've always struggled when someone else is in pain or going through something rough. All my life, I've been one people come to for advice or just to work through things. I've always tried to remain unbiased, keeping an an open heart, that I may be able to give honest lovingkindness to them in their time of need or seeking. However, seeing their pain, would at times cause me to feel as though I had to go beyond just conversation and jump to help do something about it or suggest movements they might make in order to get where they want to be. While I had all the best of intentions, I've learned if you're not careful, these actions can cause you to become quite controlling. I never tried to control people but I didn't try to control the negative atmosphere or headspace they were in while they were thinking. For example- other people sometimes argue while communicating. I didn't grow up in an argumentative household so if the noise level between two people trying to communicate with one another got higher than I could personally handle, I'd assume they weren't being productive and I'd try to make everyone calm down. Again- good intentions right? BUT- sometimes they'd calm down, and lose sight of where they were trying to go with their words and all that passion would just get lost... and they'd give up trying. This left them stuck where they were to begin with- not moving beyond their issues and pain because they were STILL unable to effectively communicate. Sometimes you just have to let people be who they are, no matter where they are or what you think- because all good is not God. While I'm certain, He wants them to get to a place of peace, that doesn't make me the driver. They've got to learn how to drive on their own... and sometimes that car is really hard to maneuver. But if you're there to hold their hand, and pray they find peace- simply being support and a listening ear- then knowing someone cares enough to hear them no matter how loud they are, can make ALL the difference in the world. Besides- I'm sure they know they're yelling- they don't need you to tell them that- right? They just NEED someone to listen, and choose to love them regardless. Once I learned I could far more easily be this kind of non-judgmental, soothing love, I figured out my purpose and the purpose of God in His children's lives. WE are not in control, but the Father knows the hearts and minds of all His people- especially the angry and the heartbroken.
Over these last months of traveling, meditating and learning to give myself the space I need to remain who I am, while also helping others in the ways they need me to- rather than just how I believe I should, the practice of non-judgment has come quite in handy. I can now speak more freely and peacefully, love deeply and still take care of myself (not trying so hard to control things that are not my responsibility) while allowing others to take care of themselves too. It was only ever my job to encourage and uplift. We may think we are showing love by trying to carry others, but true love teaches us that if you can't let them learn to lift and love themselves, you become a hindrance rather than a help. You run the risk of stifling the strength they may be unaware they already have. Tell the WHOLE unbiased truth always -to yourself and to them- and then let God show them what they can do with it.