On finding more peace through meditation.
I’ve been trying to take up the practice of a sitting meditation for years. However, recognizing it held tremendous benefits didn’t seem to bring me to a place of readiness to begin. I would often attempt to start a practice but I never seemed to maintain it. Movement as a form of meditation always seemed much more accessible to me. I have been practicing yoga for years and found a yoga instructor (Jessica Eagan from Halani Yoga & Movement) while living on Kauai that opened my mind to many things, but in particular finding a meditative state through my yoga practice. It was powerful when I realized what was happening.
After months of my good friend, Amaia, patiently trying to encourage me to meet with her meditation teacher, I agreed. Up until recently, I would have sworn to anyone that I wasn’t capable of a consistent sitting meditation practice. I told my friends and clients that I had tried but movement was really my preferred (and only) format for meditation, that is, until I met Asier (Yoga de la Mente Verdadera). Our session shifted many things but most pertinent to this blog entry, I found myself able to commit to a morning and evening meditation practice. Where in the past I would only be able to sit for 5 minutes and rarely could keep the practice going for more than a couple of days at a time, I have been successfully practicing for the last 3 weeks. I don’t miss a day and I find myself carving out the time to sit both in the morning and evening.
Now I will give credit where credit is due, when you find the right teacher it is amazing how ready you are to commit. We have talked before about finding your guides in life and meditation is no different, I had a powerful session with a very wise person, and I truly believe he inspired me to commit myself to a practice. However, I know that for months I was avoiding this session. Telling my dear friend, “I’ll think about it” yet never really intending to act. So you can imagine when I told her I was willing to set the time up to meet with her and her teacher that she said, “email him today Sarah because we know this information may change for you again if you wait.” I had a good laugh with her response—but she was absolutely right. I wasn’t ready to move forward until I was ready. It sounds like a silly thing to say, but incredibly true in all aspects of our lives. We aren’t ready to until we are—and then things begin to move. I was finally ready and in a short time this practice has changed my entire outlook on life.
Now I could tell you the details of my 3-hour session and there may come a time for that some day, but honestly I am not ready to share that with almost anyone right now. It was one of the most personal, profound, and vulnerable experiences I have ever had. He knew and understood things about me I didn’t know myself but when he shared them with me I knew he was right. There were tears of truth and tears of joy—I felt completely understood and cared for. I was clearly in good hands. He said many wise things and taught me how to begin my practice and how to heal certain aspects within my story. Today, I like to share one in particular. One nugget of wisdom that rung so incredibly true it pierced me through and through. He said:
“To accept is not to resign.”
Not that all of his other comments didn’t blow blow me away too, but this one really struck me to the core. I have been living so many aspects of my life thinking the opposite. That if I accept something, I am resigning myself to it. Acceptance allows for both acknowledgement and a response, while resignation feels forced upon us—like we have no choice. But we do, we can choose to accept instead of fighting so vigorously against what is.
I remember when, years ago now, I first read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I was introduced to the acceptance of what is. Here is a memorable quote from The Power of Now:
“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life—and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”
This isn’t always so easy to sustain, for me it requires daily reminders to be present. My current morning and evening meditation practice help. My movement meditations through yoga and nature walks help. Mindfulness techniques support this, as do good friends who remind me. There is a discipline, this work that we do. It takes time. It takes practice. But the power within this work changes our outlook and changes our lives. We need the practice but we also need the people in our lives like my good friend and her teacher to step in and with love show us support and care. We need an atmosphere of acceptance as we start something new and grow. My sweet friend Amaia has supported me for months and months until I was ready to step in and she was there for me while I was in the session. She reminds me when I falter and she encourages me in my growth as I learn.
Who is doing this for you? Who is supporting you? Who is teaching you? We all need people outside ourselves to grow, to accept and to show us that acceptance doesn’t mean resignation. Stop battling with yourself and find peace through connection and support.
Let’s connect today.