How to Find Happiness Through Meditation
By Debbie Mandel
Many of us live in numbness, accepting that this life is as good as it gets. We go through the motions during the work week anticipating the weekend. The weekend arrives; yet we feel vaguely unhappy and donít know why. Tired and drained, anticipation gives way to reality. We have become accustomed to living with unhappiness. Where is our sense of fun? Where is our enthusiasm for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary?
The reason we feel empty and fatigued is that both internal and external stress chips away at our lives. In the past we were aware of stress and sought to counteract it. However, now we have become numb, desensitized by four basic daily stressors: physical, emotional, intellectual and environmental Ė bombarding us simultaneously. Do you realize that stressors can be as small as mosquito bites and viruses or as large as the fear of terrorism? We have calloused ourselves to protect us from vulnerability, but we have also hardened ourselves to happiness.
There is something wrong with being afflicted with a long to-do list, having no time for the self. Busyness takes you away from yourself, your longings and your creative impulse. Do you take a few moments daily to tune into your five senses to experience the sound and sense of your world - the angle of the light in late afternoon or the fragrance of a flower? Do you stop and think: Where am I going? What am I doing?
The antidote to the energy vampires in our lives is learning to find a quiet time and place to relax our hearts and restore our spirits. To be still means to observe and absorb, to become more natural. We can achieve a positive attitude through a few minutes of meditations. You donít need fancy candles, a stone fountain or the lotus posture. All you need is a specific image or a few special words to guide you to the buried treasure inside.
Meditation helped me to be calmly active, less reactive, by gently guiding me into my true motives for doing things. Once I became more acquainted with myself, I realized my unique contribution and stopped comparing myself to others which was essentially sabotaging my own uniqueness. As a result, I began to sleep better breaking that nightly worry cycle. Just a few minutes of meditation before bedtime, quieted the noisy voices in my head which were predicting failure and magnifying my problems. It was as though an overwhelming burden was removed from my back. I felt light and open to fresh new surroundings - a world that I could create for myself. I eased up on setting deadlines for myself allowing more time to get things done. And if I didnít get it done today, I would do it tomorrow.
In my meditative journey I discovered that no drug or food could ever give me the endorphin rush of a liberated mind. Breakthroughs really do happen when we connect to our positive energy. I then started using visualizations at the close of my stress-management workshops to help participants heal their illnesses and their spiritual resentments Ė often the two were interrelated. Meditation over the course of a few sessions will make us more receptive to fulfilling our true selves because if we are always running around, we are too busy to notice the signals or the coincidences that guide us. At the very least after meditating, we feel happier, healthier and more confident!
Here are the benefits:
Many of my readers have requested that I create a CD, so that they could be guided in their specific visualizations. As a result, I created a studio qualityl CD of four meditations to Turn On Your Inner Light, addressing the basic impediments to joy: anger, fear, letting go and patience.
- You gradually cultivate an aware mind. Once you are aware of negative behavior patterns you can work on changing them or reasoning them away.
- Your senses are heightened and you enjoy your surroundings and interacting with others more intensely.
- You know who you are and convey that sense of self to other people, so that you do not have to be aggressive or feel envious.
- Patience becomes an integral part of you counteracting an arrogant, demanding selfish world. You grow to be patient with yourself and with others.
- You are not afraid to step aside the box. If you fail, you view it as a learning experience, not as a bad mark against you.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com