This third guest blogger has inspired me to really reflect and check in with myself when I feel the need to. One of the most important things to remember when you deal with anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness is to be in the moment. Take your mind out of past or future fears. Live this moment now, because it is fleeting, and you will miss it otherwise. When I visit her wordpress site – that you can find here – I feel at peace. more backstory on Always ask “how?” here.
Karen Wilson, Author of ‘7 Illusions: discover who you really are’ and ‘Meditation Workout: 30 days- 30 meditations’, and teacher at Awaken Meditation Retreats.
In her mid 20`s, Karen has practiced long periods of meditation which completely changed her life and her perception of the world. Since then, she has been passionate about spreading the benefits of meditation to the world, to help people find their true self and their true power.
“I was there but I was not. It was me but it was not.” These first two sentences from one of my books describe best my self-healing, self-discovery journey.
At the time I wasn`t into a place of sickness as such, but neither was I in a place of well-being. Outside of me everything was fine, but inside I wasn`t so sure. I have never been diagnosed with mental illness and I never talked about how I was feeling. I was doing ok on the outside so I presumed I was alright. I`ve never seen a doctor about it, but a few times though I wanted to see a psychologist. I didn’t think I was crazy or unwell, I wasn`t really sure and I didn`t know if other people were the same. What I knew is that my mind was overpowering, too fast, non stop, thinking too much, way too much! But the worst was that these thoughts were unhappy thoughts. I reckon that about ninety percent of the thoughts crossing my mind then were thoughts of fears, worries, guilt, stress etc. It didn`t matter what I was living on the outside, I wasn`t really there! I was caught in this incessant nightmare of my mind. Talk about a life!
Meditation changed everything. Not that it was easy! It took a lot of work, lot of discipline, to sit down daily and try to meditate. I had no help, no teachers, I went to no classes. I read about it and thought I should try it. I really felt it would help me. But I didn’t know how, how long it would take and I actually didn`t really believe it could work. I was Identifying with my mind, that was my world, that`s all I knew and didn`t think it could be any different.
Yet I persisted, thanks God!
It took a while, and many many hours of sitting, but gradually I became in control of the mind. It became quieter. Then I realised I could choose and change my thoughts. And finally I found the peace of a silent mind. I became more aware, I became present.
There I was, finally. And I was not my mind!
Now I still think, my mind is still chattering. But not as much, and I don`t buy into it if I don`t want to. I am still scared and worried sometimes, but not as much, maybe only twenty percent of the time now which give me eighty percent of happy thoughts!
But the most important for me is that I found the switch. I found the button that completely stops the mind anytime, no matter what I am doing. And when it stops, here I AM. Right here , right now, completely present, completely living the experience of the moment. That is priceless for me. That is living.
Thank you so much Karen! This was a great read. Remember, friends, you ARE allowed to think different thoughts. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.