Mindfulness and Simplification
Once I discovered meditation in 2002, I never needed much motivation to continue the practice. However, without prior knowledge or people around me to help me create a routine with it, I didn’t practice regularly. Somehow, though, it always called to me. When I discovered the book, Deep and Simple by Bo Lozoff in 2010, he listed the virtues of leading a simple life rooted in deep spirituality.
That book became a reference point for me for meditation, mindfulness, simplifying my life, and living true to what I value. Actually, I realize that I reference that book a lot. I need to re-read it again.
After that, I begin to realize what meditation was doing for me. I understood that I had a deep need to express my creativity, and meditation only seemed to fuel that creativity. I have always had an innate need to create works of art. My house is full of paintings that I have not given away, though I have given away countless pieces over the years. I have stacks of drawings, and in the last couple of years, I have been drawn to creating coloring pages and mandalas as an expression of this need to create in tandem with mindfulness.
Another reason I meditate is how calm it makes me feel. People around me have asked how I can remain so calm when life’s events seem to get a little crazy. When things do get a little hectic, my default mode is to be mindful of the breath. Sure, I experience the full range of emotions, and I’m not always mindful in my expression of them, but I do have a sense that I recover more quickly, and I feel more centered in general.
Before starting to meditate, I was naturally an anxious person. Now, I still have bouts of anxiety, but I have managed to avoid ever having to take medication for it, or to seek therapy, because I feel like I can keep it in check with meditation.
While I have many reasons I love to meditate, another top reason that I do is because I am and have considered myself to be a very spiritual person. In fact, I really have always been. When I was younger, I was raised in the Catholic Church.
Starting in middle school, when the world “out there” encroached on my well-being, I turned to my faith. I became an acolyte, sang in the choir, prayed countless rosaries, and participated in many other church activities throughout middle school and high school. When the church seemed too small to fit my emerging and evolving spirituality, I began to seek other ways of spiritual expression. It took the form of looking at different Christian churches, but they never seemed to have the depth of answers to my biggest questions.
I began to explore ideas such as the Divine Feminine, and other ways of creating a spiritual life for myself. From 2000 to 2010, I consider this to be my “exploration” period.
Finally, I settled in to my spirituality and meditation – although it continues to evolve – around 2010 (which is the decade of my 30s) and really came to know meditation as a spiritual anchor.
I could explore life’s toughest questions and get insights and answers to that which I sought – all from the depths within. I began to understand how much I needed silence in my life, and how I knew I had an inner wisdom that I could not consciously fathom. Because of all this, I was highly motivated to meditate. I feel like it has become a focal point in shaping my entire life and worldview.
Subsequently, my life has drastically changed as a result. I have simplified. I have an intense feeling of compassion for all other beings. I no longer seek monetary gain as a way to show my success (not that I ever really have), but I seek to build my character and to become the highest version of myself.
At this point, I feel like I must walk this journey no matter what my personal cost. That means I have lost friends in the process. I have been horribly misunderstood in my actions. I have been seen as entirely weird and unconventional, but the door has opened. I have walked through, and there is no turning back lest I close the door to my heart.
By the time this post goes live, I will have completed my meditation certification. I am traveling around Arizona before heading back to North Carolina. Next week, I will be able to tell you about the journey – the eight-day retreat, the written journal I will have kept…
In the meantime, if you leave a comment, please know that I welcome them and will return them in-kind upon my return (though it might take a few days!). Thank you, dear friends, for your support, love, compassion, and kindness!