Imagine if you will, your favourite sports car. Imagine yourself this beautiful machine through the coastal highway at top speeds, not really acknowledging the speed limit warnings. You have been looking forward to this day for a while, and you begin to dwell on the excitement and destination of a small fishing village up the coast. Being so focused on the destination and freedom of the open road you neglect to notice that the car’s temperature gauge has been slowly creeping higher and higher. With little change in the cars performance, you keep the revs high and burn through the winding road.
A short time passes and you start to notice check-engine lights and warnings flashing on your dashboard and your engine to clunking out, losing all power to the engine. Fortunately you manage to safely pull over and find hospice in a lodge that is located right where your car began to shut down. A friendly old man comes from the front office and asks if he can lend a hand as you start to looking through the engine bay, trying to figure out what went wrong.
Being very mechanically gifted, the man points out that the car has no radiator cooling fluid, and the extra heat caused your engine to seize. Panic arises through your body and you are flooded with worry. The man explains to you what is needed to revive the car and you are blown away by the costs associated with the repair.
Pointing to a small hose in the engine the man says, “here is the typical culprit”. It was a small piece of rubber hose that connects the cooling fluid to the engine, allowing for circulation of cooling fluid through the engine block. “What does that cost?”, you ask in confusion. The man bashfully smiles and replies ” usually 15 dollars”. Turns our that a simple regularly maintenance and replacement of this 15 dollar part could have saved you from this tragic experience that will cost you thousands of dollars and emotional turmoil.
Much like the powerful engine in your sports car, your brain can overheat and shut down when you are under excessive stress. Would you rather take on the costs associated with sudden break down, or would you rather take the small regular maintenance steps that would require a significantly smaller investment?
Most people would love to experience the benefits of meditation, but few want to invest the mandatory time needed reek the rewards and avoid the catastrophic failures. Science has proven that the brain changes through the meditation practice of at least 8 weeks of daily practice. Sounds like a small price to pay considering the costs associated with mental and emotional breakdowns. Your hyper-sensitive amygdala won’t stand a chance against the powerful meditation practice!
“What Can I Do!”, You Ask?
Whether you are doing seated meditation or body scan meditation, you should be aiming for the 30 minute mark, every single day. I know this is a practice that revolves around non-judgment, but you really won’t get the benefits if you aren’t putting the time in. Like everything else in life, we can follow the work in = results out formula.
- Set your cell phone alarm to ring every hour and take 2 minutes for mindfulness.
- Monitor your breathing as frequently as you can throughout the day.
- Place reminders around your desk/car/office/bedroom to take a moment or two to be aware of your surroundings.
- Bring awareness to the physical stresses your body is experiencing (headaches, tense jaw, muscle tension, shallow breath). Look for patterns every day/week. What took place before your body reacted with these symptoms.
- Monitor your basic human needs of exercise, intimacy, nutrition, sleep, and physical touch.
- Trust in the process of meditation and the internal recovery process. Meditation is not reserved only for ‘special’ people. This practice can reward absolutely everyone who puts in the time and effort.
How often are you meditating every week?
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