When I began meditating seriously (only a few months ago, surprisingly) I didn’t know what it was going to do. I think part of me hoped it’d be an instantaneous cure all for every perceived problem I was encountering. I hoped it would magically alleviate all of my fears and self doubt, and replace them with supreme inner strength, patience, and trust. The other part of me didn’t believe it would do any of that, but didn’t stop the hopeful part from having their fun.
Now, after maintaining this disciplined daily practice for several months, I am barely starting to see the subtle shifts it has catalyzed within me. A great example is as follows. Almost exactly 3 months ago, I remember meditating and I wasn’t able to clear my mind. Throughout the meditation session I would repeatedly be whisked away by a train of thought, notice it, and then come back to the meditation. I did my best, and I knew that thoughts are normal, but I remember at the end of the session I felt a small pang of disappointment. I opened my eyes at the end and thought something along the lines of “I’m sorry, Universe. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.” And that experience of guilt and regret, that I didn’t do it right or I messed up, stuck out to me. It made me realize that I was bringing a certain expectation to this meditation practice, and that I was relating to myself and my practice conditionally. I would feel good toward myself if I was able to keep a clear head consistently, and I would feel slightly sad if I wasn’t.
Today, the same thing happened. I had a lot of wandering thoughts during my practice today, and I noticed it and felt a huge surge of energy rush up my spine. I began laughing, because that energy felt like pure gratitude. I felt so thankful to my self, for not judging the fact that I had a busy mind today. I felt so much love for my own little self, and it felt unconditional. That surge of energy felt like part of me was telling another part of me, “I love you and am grateful for you right now. Of course, even when your mind is busy! Why would a busy mind change the fact that I love you?”
That experience was such a huge contrast to those feelings of not meeting an expectation I was having just a few months ago. To me, that’s the difference meditation makes. It doesn’t magically take our problems away, but it does magically help us relate to them with much more ease, calmness, and levity.
I have been a huge advocate for having a daily practice for the past year (I had a different daily practice before doing the type of meditation I do now). I really think that a consistent, devoted daily spiritual practice is the fastest way to effect positive evolution and growth within ourselves. Which is ironic, because it seems very slow to just do a tiny bit of something everyday, instead of going to an intensive spiritual retreat and doing all the work at once. But in my experience, the daily devotion to my evolution is much more gentle, enjoyable, and faster than any intensive I’ve experienced, because even all the work that I’ve done in intensive containers takes time to unfold. Earth magic takes time, and I think it’s sweet to show up for your self everyday. That act alone is a remarkable gesture of unconditional self love.