I begin Blog one in the ‘Wanky Things I Do’ series with the first wanky-ass thing I do each day.
Every weekday at about 5:30am (7-10am on weekends), my alarm softly batters my ear drums, the urgent bells startle me from my sleep. I shake my husband and we both quietly make our way to our regular meditation spots in the lounge room.
We set the timer for 20 minutes and in we go.
I sit there, quietly at first with my eyes closed. I fidget in my seat, making sure my body and head are comfortable, and then moments later I bring in my Mantra, a single word I repeat over and over. My thoughts scatter as my mantra takes their place, it doesn’t last long before they creep back in, as though they’re naughty little children dipping their fingers into the peanut butter jar.
Sometimes, I am stressed or overwhelmed and less focussed, on those days, I’ll find myself down a rabbit hole about anything from- ‘my friends- mums-body-image issues and how that’s been detrimental to the future generations’ to ‘oh my god, how can we change it? And what does it truly mean to raise children in gender-less society’s’? and did I put the school clothes in the dryer?’
It’s when I find myself in those places that I bring myself back to the mantra, and then…
I start it all over again.
During those 20 minutes (sometimes twice a day) I will experience visuals, and my internal body feels as though it rocks and sways or spins.
I experience moments of clarity and euphoria.
Sometimes, I feel pressure on areas of my body, on my arms or between my eyes.
Sometimes it’s images or flashes of colour or light.
Sometimes it’s sounds or feelings.
Sometimes, I cry.
Other times I don’t know where I’ve been.
Whatever comes, I know it is never wrong.
Twenty minutes later two bells chime and we bring ourselves back to reality piece by piece and my husband then start our exercises and then I make school lunches and he cooks us all a big hot breakfast (He’s a dreamboat).
What brought me to meditation I hear you ask?
Two years ago, after a particularly rough day with my childhood trauma induced C-PTSD and anxiety, my husband Shaun said “maybe you should try meditation?”
I looked at him…I recoiled as if he suggested I take a dump on his chest.
“And where the fuck do you think I could possibly fit that in?” I said in stifled fury, appalled that he suggested my mental health could be assisted by some mindfulness.
He had already been meditating for years prior, so all he was suggesting that some of the benefits that mediation has given him, might assist me in my dire time of need.
I always talked about time or my lack thereof and liked to think I ran a tight ship…until all that I was holding, was held too tightly before it all fell down around me.
My time was spent and I succumbed to the idea that maybe meditation ‘could’ help me.
But before I began I was filled with excuses, excuses that often held back my progress.
It wasn’t until after I had done much of my healing from the Trauma that I started to notice that I was seeking something more, it was then that I decided that I was finally ready to sit alone with myself and see what’s inside.
So, one day, almost 8 months ago, I downloaded the Insight timer app and walked off into my husband’s therapy room (he used to use when he was still completing his studies as a psychotherapist).
I set the timer for 20 minutes.
And I spend 20 minutes alone, inside my head, something I had never done before.
I will remember this first meditation for my whole life, it was one of the most intense yet beautiful moments I’d had with myself, it was as though I had finally met myself for the first time. Looking back on that moment I imagine my consciousness, standing in front of me, wearing a white sheet toga while placing its hands together and bowing to me in thanks. ‘Namaste, mother fucker’, she whispers.
My husband and I practice Transcendental Meditation, which was introduced to the west from Vedic by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1955, it wasn’t until the 60’ & 70’s during his world tour that our western cultures took an interest when the likes of the Beatles and the Beach Boys were taught the meditation practice by Maharishi himself.
It is often described as a natural effortless meditation that uses a mantra to naturally settle the mind so one can begin to transcend thought. Which means to be aware, without thought. Other meditation techniques are more about being present in the moment, focusing on your body and breath, which is still very beneficial and if that’s what you do, keep at it. And try to do it once a day if you can for max benefits!
One of the main things I am asked by friends is, “How the fuck do you find time to meditate, and how do you do it when the kids are around and why do you do it.”
Well… firstly, think of meditation like your daily or nightly shower, or brushing your teeth, it’s not optional, it’s part of your daily routine. Like your morning coffee, you just don’t feel right until you’ve had that coffee. Even though we shouldn’t have to think of meditation as something we ‘have’ to do, it’s so beneficial that eventually you just don’t want to risk missing it.
Secondly, we have drummed it into our kids that this is our time, that it is important to us. They have been educated on what meditation is and what it does for us, we make them know that it is in their best interests that they give us that time and for the most part they abide by that. And BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T MUM AND DAD BECOME DEMONS.
Lastly, it benefits me in so many ways. I am a better parent with meditation, I am calmer, more thoughtful, mindful, and rested. My thoughts are generally clearer, and I find that it connects me with me, the true deep inner me that no one else could possibly ever know. It connects me with someone I thought I could never really know.
At the end of each meditation I check in with myself, I see if there are any sore parts on my body, or I check in with my consciousness with a simple question:
“How are you going Neeks?” And usually there’s an answer.
Most people I know don’t meditate, which is really fascinating when most of us know that the benefits are scientifically proven.
So whats that about?
It’s about excuses. We humans can come up with an excuse for anything.
So what’s your excuse?
Here are some excuses you, someone else or I may have used;
“I can’t meditate.”
Well, ya haven’t really tried, everyone can sit quietly and close their eyes.
“I can’t meditate because I don’t have time”
You had time to check your phone 40 times, take a dump and sip 2 coffees… you got time.
“I can’t meditate because I have too many thoughts.”
The thoughts are supposed to come, a human without thought is, not a human.
“I can’t meditate because I get too distracted”
The idea of meditation is to calm your mind, to be patient with your thoughts, eventually this will become easier. It’s a practice.
“I can’t meditate because it makes me anxious”
That’s a big fat lie and you know it.
“I can’t meditate because when I was a kid one of my cats ate my kittens head off and now I just can’t meditate.”
(True story…no excuses)
These are ALL just excuses. Some of them are probably very good excuses, very real excuses; but for whatever reason, still excuses.
It’s not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t.
So, go get yourself the insight timer app, add me as a friend (if you haven’t already) and lets meditate together!