Updated: Jun 15, 2020
As the lockdown has continued these past weeks, I've hesitated saying much online. Withdrawing from social and mainstream media has been one of my coping mechanisms to stay sane. But even as my 'media minutes' have become fewer and fewer, my daily 'meditation minutes' have grown. I figured now's as good a time as any to share a bit about my own meditation journey and about some of the ways my practice is supporting me in these trying times. As I've considered what to share, it turns out I have a fair bit to say on the topic. So rather than doing one long meditation post, I thought it might make better sense to split my story into a few posts. I'll try to touch on one aspect or style of meditation in each.
Many athletes get their first tastes of meditation through sport and I too got my introduction from my skating coaches. I'm not sure exactly when they started, but by around age 8 or 9 I have clear memories of being asked to close my eyes, remove myself from what was going on around me, and spend a few minutes visualising myself acing my routines. We would come to do this especially before competitions but also in practice sessions. These days I'm not that competitive with my physical pursuits, but still heavily rely on visualisation to help me recover from illnesses and injuries. I've also come to rely heavily on visualisation in other areas of life, helping me define and strive towards my goals and better manage emotions and relationships.
These days I'm mainly visualising in a couple ways. Where Im facing challenges in life, I visualise surmounting them, coming through the other side thriving. To help with that sometimes I also like to think through and visualise worst-case scenarios (within reason), to help myself put them in perspective and to realise that often even if things don't go perfectly to plan, that I'll still be able to move past them and carry on.
The second way I'm visualising often these days is towards strengthening my body and improving my overall health. I first learned this technique when I was 12 and my mother was recovering from breast cancer, using audio recordings from Louise Hay with guided visualisations about a health immune system and a recovering body. I'm trying to do lots to keep myself healthy these days so maybe it's difficult to say how much my visualisations are helping, but I know for sure that imaginging myself (and the people close to me) in the picture of health must be better than worrying if they or I might fall ill.
OK, enough for this time. Till next time,