Women: Tune out so you can tune in
I make my way to the small cushion on the floor of a dimly lit room and take a seat. It’s 5:30 a.m. My day begins with me allowing my body and mind to settle into the same stillness and quiet as my surroundings. As I become an observer of my thoughts and feelings, I create the possibility of understanding, acceptance and a more peaceful state of being.
I am practicing mindfulness meditation.
Our high-tech, fast-paced world creates an environment where people of all ages are overstimulated, overworked and overstressed. And most are at a loss when it comes to managing the impact that all of this overage has on our mental, physical and emotional states. As the Eastern philosophies that were initially introduced to the United States in the early 1900s continue to progress and popularize, we see practices like meditation and yoga challenging our traditional — and often failing — methods for improving our health and quality of life. While these practices may not be considered mainstream yet, it seems it is only a matter of time before they are widely accepted and integrated into our modern culture.
Growing research continues to discover and support the wide range of health benefits resulting through the mind-body connection. Meditation and yoga are gradually making their way into our nation’s schools, prisons, rehab clinics, hospitals and even the workplace. Regardless of how we are first introduced to the practice of meditation, it will be the experience of connecting to who and what we are that will eventually bring us back again.
For many, the thought of starting something new is intimidating and overwhelming. The word “meditation” tends to bring up images of Buddhist monks with freshly shaven heads, their lean bodies draped in orange as they remain still like statues for days in silence. While this is a beautiful image to me, this is not what my meditation practice looks like. In fact, no two people will ever have the same practice or experience. Simply carving out time in the day to unplug from technology and do a quiet activity or sit in a quiet space is a great place to begin. The key is to tune out the distractions so you can tune in to your own thoughts and your surroundings. Start from where you are. Meditation and yoga are called “practices” for a reason.
Catherine Franklin is a co-owner of Absolute Title Inc. and the founder of True Evolution. She works, studies, teaches and lives in Ann Arbor.