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Pillar #2 – Meditative Acts

Written by Emily Hartmann MD

August 3, 2020

I’m too busy
I don’t have the personality to mediate
My brain won’t quiet down
I’m not good at meditation
I suck at meditating
I have SAID ALL OF THESE self-limiting beliefs. The reality is that we all feel this way because we are human. Our brains are designed for thinking. Thoughts are its job. We are problem solvers and our brains are incredibly dynamic organs which set us apart from the tadpoles. In fact we pride ourselves on multitasking which certainly is how we get everything done on our massive to-do lists.
The trouble comes from the machine running overload, and then you add a healthy dose of anxiety, and the whole system overheats and we start glitching. How do we reboot and hit the restart button? Enter….meditation. When I heard this word I only thought of a monk on a mountain top. I thought that unless I was that monk with a simple (no children) life and flowing outfit, my life would never accommodate for meditation.
Serendipitously, I came across an interview with Emily Fletcher of Ziva Mediation. She has a grace about her that is intoxicating and I was like “I want to drink whatever she is drinking.” Her approach is for busy people (aka all of us). It is simple and requires only 15 minutes twice a day. I read her book and started immediately because I was so curious what all the fuss was about. I was also impressed by how simple her techniques were and that I didn’t need any special equipment or memberships.
What I found was nothing short of a miracle, but I didn’t immediately feel different. Yes I felt less stressed, but I pictured a glow emanating from my body that didn’t happen. I thought it would be like taking a drug…but I felt the same. Then…..I went home as usual. Typically when I walk in the door at the end of the day I’m in a “don’t bother me, I need my head space” kind of vibe. I embraced my husband and merrily carried conversation without defensiveness. I then casually started a tickle fight with my two youngest kids and we joked around. WHAT?! I hadn’t felt this emotionally free in years, save for the occasional Disneyland trip. But to feel this way after a tiring work day was an absolute game changer. I honestly feel that meditation makes me a better human being. I do it for the people around me, if for nothing else.
Somehow the meditation redirects my thoughts and allows me to put aside my daily stressors and focus on the what is important. It helps me to be a better version of myself and may have actually saved my life. What I also really like about her style is that she is constantly reminding us that thoughts are normal. It is impossible to quiet the brain. We can, however, close out the loud noise and focus only on the important things. This translates to a deep sense of gratitude for life.
Do I mediate everyday twice daily? No. I’m not going to pretend to be perfect but I certainly notice a massive difference when I’m more diligent with my routine.
Do you have to sit quietly to reap the benefits of meditation? NO! You can absolutely gain the same mental quieting with painting, gardening, mowing the lawn, breath work, or dancing to your favorite music.
Below is a graphic to help you get started on your Zen space. I cannot express enough how important this was for me to create a space just for peace and introspection. Have fun with it! Get your favorite candles and cute little things to make you feel special. Celebrate your alone time and the energy you put in will come back to you in spades. Get your zen on!
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