Why Meditate?Dec 07, 2016
By Eva Angvert Harren
What is it about meditation that’s supposed to be beneficial? How does just sitting quietly help? Just sit there? And do what? Nothing?
To answer those questions, I have to tell you a story about a difficult time in my life.
I had picked up my three-year-old daughter and “put her to bed” – harshly. In that moment, a picture flashed through my mind: she had broken her neck – I broke her neck.
And that scary thought showed up again, “I’m going to kill my children.”
I dropped to the floor in yet another panic attack. My stomach cramped up, pressure was building in my chest, and my throat was closing up. I had to scream, but not here in front of the girls, “Wait, Eva, wait!”
I crawled out of the room, pushed a towel in my mouth, as far as I could, and then I let go. This awful sound came out of me, like a growl, a scary loud bear growl. Yet deep inside, I could sense the fear, the panic, the absolute hopelessness.
I could hear the little frightened bear cub that didn’t know how to live, that never learned how to live, that now was responsible for teaching her little cubs how to live.
She shouldn’t even have her own cubs. She is just a cub herself.
The next thought came, “Please, God, help me not to hurt my girls.”
That afternoon I stormed into my psychologist’s office, “Why haven’t you given me Prozac? Half the recovery community is on Prozac! I think I’m going to kill my children! I am out of control!”
Her answer woke me up, “If I give you Prozac, I give you an umbrella. You won’t feel the rain, but you won’t feel the sunshine either.”
“And when I stop the Prozac? I have still not figured out how to deal with the weather, have I?
I was stuck! I had to figure out how to deal with my weather. Drug-free!
If it weren’t for my doctor, Rhonda Emmert, I would have been on a cocktail of drugs to this very day. However, I am not! I take supplements instead.
Because of her medical education and intuition, she has been successful in helping me “balance my chemistry”. She has been guiding me back to life, to a life without drugs.
However, I still had to learn how to stay with those horrid sensations in my body and allow them to dissolve. I was fortunate to discover Dr. Levine and his Somatic Experiencing (SE) Trauma Healing.
I took the training. It changed my life. Body-awareness changed my life!
For me…it was the missing piece.
I could now balance my chemistry with Rhonda’s support and also heal my nervous system with the help of SE. I started to feel better, calmer, more able to be in the world, with my girls, with my self.
For 20+ years I have been learning how to “deal with my internal weather” using Rhonda’s glandular therapy and Dr. Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing module in combination with training’s like Tipi Emotional Regulation Work and Touch Work.
I integrate all modules with…meditation.
I have found a way to be…with me! And you can too!
You can discover your own combination of helpful therapy and training and, perhaps, meditating – a combination that works for you. You can find a way of being that makes your life easier to live, possibly even enjoyable. You may even learn to thrive!
It’s all possible!
Something happens when you connect with your self. There is a feeling of “knowing” your self. A sense of wonder and possibilities. A sense of belonging to something greater.
You may not understand it, but if you can trust that you’ll be okay, no matter what, there is a calmness available that can create miracles. This calmness shows up when you get used to doing nothing.
When you get used to being with You, a weird kind of “opening” forms. As if you’re taking the lid off a pot and allowing more ingredients to be included.
Openness, as in non-resistance, allows more ideas, blending with what’s there, creating a new sense of “taste”, maybe even allowing new ideas to form.
This is what meditation can do for you.
And if you find “meditation” to be an annoying word, call it “visualization”, or “sitting practice”, or whatever word invites you to be quiet and still for a few minutes.
When you get used to meditating, you might want to spend more time just being, noticing the many possibilities that open up for you when you simply stay present.
Often, as we sit quietly, an internal discomfort shows up, something we hadn’t noticed before, a humming irritation, an itch, even a stomach ache, maybe a sense of heaviness or pressure in our chest. We start noticing our “weather”.
You might start seeing the thoughts that are stirred up by your “weather.” Those thoughts that occupy your consciousness. Those thoughts most often control your actions.
Our internal landscape, our internal “weather” is always changing, and we need to get used to it.
My sister has a saying, “There is never wrong weather; only the wrong clothes.”
When we learn how to be aware of our internal landscape without allowing our weather to control our behaviors…we are free!
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