About three years ago I buckled under the weight of some health issues. I firmly believe these issues had manifested physically due to years of mental fatigue and stress from severe trauma-drama. In fact, while going through some of the worst of the trauma-drama I even told myself that I knew one day all this was going to wreck havoc on my body. It only made sense. The trauma-drama had been like toxic fuel coursing through my body, carried throughout each part damaging it in ways I could not have begun to understand.
So, I decided that I needed to take ownership of being part of what created the mess. If stress could create health issues by golly then, learning to de-stress could possibly change things for the better.
Meditation called to me.
Now here’s the funny thing about meditation. I first learned of meditation in junior high school. If I remember correctly, it was in Miss Hahn’s geography class. We had someone come speak to our class about “T.M.” or Transcendental Meditation. It sounded so intriguing and something I wanted to learn. I went home after school and announced to my mother that I wanted to learn how to do this. I still remember her look of horror- after all, she was a good Catholic!
With absolutely no preamble she said,
“No! That is hippie stuff! It used to worry me that you would become a nun and now this? No!”
End of discussion. Period.
(You see, I remember my grandmother, Nana telling me that my mother worried over how “religious” I was and she sure didn’t want me to become a nun. I guess she wasn’t such a strict Catholic after all!)
Meditation, the best use of “Quiet Space”.
But, once in my early 50’s, I knew meditation was something I wanted to explore. Thankfully, in my search I found Ranjit Deora with Charlotte Meditation. After meeting with Ranjit, I called this time in my life a “before and after” time as meditation opened the door to an entire shift in me. There was the “before meditating” and the “after meditating” division of my life and what a blessing. Oddly enough, I sought to learn to meditate for my health. What it brought to me was so much more. It brought me full circle to the very essence of who I am ~ a loving, spirit filled child of God. Thank you Ranjit for being at just the right place at just the right time for me. I am truly forever grateful. By the way, feel free to check him out on his website, www.charlottemeditation.com. Tell him Jamie sent ya!
Now I meditate at least once a day. It has become as important as taking a shower, brushing my teeth, eating, exercising and sleeping. My body needs it and I have even created a private quiet space in my home specifically for the purpose of meditating.
I know lots of people that meditate as well. For example, my daughter, Sammi meditates. My brother-in-law, Dave Buergler practices what is called “conscious relaxation”. This is a technique he first learned while his children Blaire and Carl were learning ways to prepare for dives and dive matches. I know Carl uses “conscious relaxation” constantly as it helps him to visualize the entire process of a dive. It is amazing that in doing this, his mind and his body work together to produce the best results of his athletic endeavor. (By the way, today Carl is considered an elite junior diver. This makes him one that college coaches watch and follow for the future.)
Consider learning to meditate. It certainly takes practice but, the changes in your life that you will get from it are immeasurable. In my view, meditation is the best way to achieve the benefits of being quiet. And, as a Reiki Practitioner, I have learned first hand its’ benefits.
Silence is rejuvenating.
So, what does all this mean for you? Do you make time for quiet? Better still, while reading this are you understanding what quiet does for you? Your children? Your partner or spouse? Your students, staff, friends?
Here are some interesting things to consider:
- In many countries, certainly America- we are a nation(s) of chaos with many of us going, going, going- just like “The Ever-ready Bunny” on the commercial. We are teaching our children to do the same thing. This going, going, going greatly increases our stress levels.
- Periods of “quiet time” give the mind and the body time to relax and center.
- “Quiet time” is non-competitive. Most everything else we do in life is.
- “Quiet time” needs no special place- you can simply sit on a rug in your bedroom with the door closed; find a private spot in the yard; rock on the porch; swing in a hammock; walk in the park.
- Breathing often changes during quiet moments making the mind more peaceful. Blood pressure often drops as well.
Make a quiet space in your home.
Having said all this, creating quiet spaces in the home does help point you in the direction of observing silence. Think about incorporating both “quiet time” and “quiet space” in your own homespace. It can be as simple as a reading nook or a corner of your garden. Or you can find a great place in the backyard for a hammock- my parents did and ask any of my nieces or nephews, they all remember being squished in together for quiet time while Papa served Tom Collins’s (boy, he could make the best) to us grown-ups at cocktail time around the pool. And, my step-grandchildren Addison and Austin used to head straight for the backyard hammock whenever they came to visit while we lived in Charlotte. Memories in the making!
The possibilities for creating quiet spaces are endless. So, get started. And once you do or if you already do, feel free to share with other readers your ideas. You never know, your idea of a unique “quiet space” might inspire others to make one, too. Oh, and look for Sean Kalooky’s upcoming post on his Zen Garden. You will love it!
Silence is golden.