The quiet, calm peaceful feeling I enjoy with meditation can also, for me, be found in prayer. I find they are so similar they almost intertwine. As always, I write only from my own experience and don’t profess to say what will work for others.
Praying the rosary takes time. Like meditation, you get out of it what you put in. I find, like meditation, praying the rosary centres me and gives me peace. A Novena is a series of rosaries for a particular intention. The rosary novena to Our Lady of Pompeii has been a powerful prayerful mediation for me.
Directly related or not, during praying this novena I have become employed and witnessed a family member make a dramatic positive change in his life.
The author, Jon Krop, included a quote that resonated with me: “Discomfort avoidance is the common thread that binds all anxiety problems together.”— John Forsyth, Ph.D., and Georg Eifert, Ph.D., psychologists specializing in anxiety.
Often articles and books present information that is not necessarily new but act as reminders or sometimes are presented in a way that particularly resonates with you at the time. Of course, I’ve read that it’s not the situations you encounter that cause stress but your reaction to them. I’ve read that we create our stress by our thoughts about things and not by the reality of the situation. I’ve experienced myself an increase of stress or anxiety when I’m anticipating a situations and trying to avoid it. Usually facing the situation reveals it wasn’t that bad afterall.
I encourage you to read this article. The section on taking a mindful pause can be particularly useful in managing stress, anxiety and finding calm. Here’s an excerpt:
Basically, the mindful pause is a great “spot treatment” for times when you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed but have lots to do.
It involves taking 30 seconds to tune into your own body, and you can do it anywhere. You can be sitting, standing, lying down, whatever. Plus, no one will even know that you’re meditating. When you’re spinning out into an anxiety loop, sometimes you just need to interrupt the process. Inserting a pause gives you the opportunity to collect yourself.
If you’ve ever experienced the feeling that you have creativity locked inside you, I suggest meditation. Meditations can unlock your creativity, encourage you to let go of the self-judgment that sometimes blocks you from allowing your ideas to flow.
Fear of the judgment of others can also be a block to creativity. It’s so important to clear the blocks and open yourself to freeing your ideas and letting them flow.
Filling yourself with peace and love can help cultivate the energy inside of you. Once you can let go of your expectations and just allow your energy to be and to flow, creativity may follow. It can be difficult to let go of fears, judgment but pushing this out of the way and allowing love to guide you may release your ability to create.
Creativity isn’t exclusive to art or writing but it’s also about creating the relationships you seek and the life you want. Creativity can be how you choose to view a situation, how you find solutions and how you manage day-to-day challenges.
Do you ever find yourself resisting starting something that makes you uncomfortable? Is it tough to jump in to the deep end of something new?
Asked to create a video, I felt that fight or flight instinct kick in. I allowed myself to feel nervous, to resist, wishing I didn’t have to do it and then I decided to ease in gently by using screen capture software. It was very challenging. It didn’t seem to work and even as I wait for the video to upload to YouTube, I’m unsure if it will work.
It’s kind of like that with Meditation. You just gently ease into it and hope that it works. If it does nothing more than carve out some quiet time to relax, isn’t that worth it?
In this video I talk about finding meditation resources including a book called Quiet Mind, A beginner’s guide to meditation. In this book I learned about Tonglen Meditation. It is said that “in tonglen practice we are cultivating the same tenderness of heart that started the Buddha himself on his journey to awakening.”
Tonglen is about breathing in heavy, dark energy and breathing out light, refreshing energy. I have found this meditation makes you feel like you are contributing something positive even when you might feel powerless.
I hope you are getting more comfortable with meditation. Why not go on YouTube and enter Tonglin Meditation. If you find a good one that you enjoy, please share it in the comments.