You do it because you feel better when you do

When I first started meditating more than 30 years ago I found the whole concept fascinating and I wanted to learn more. As I searched I discovered that there were all different ways of meditating, including going away for 10days and spending that time in silence. As I had four children, was working full-time and paying the bills was our main focus 10 days away didn’t seem like an option. I must say that the silence didn’t appeal to me at all as I had spent too much time unable to speak when I went to boarding school at the age of seven (although silence from the constant bickering and ‘mmmmuuuuuummmm’ did sound rather blissful!) So I had to find something that worked for me. We lived in a very small house, the six of us, and finding a space to be alone was impossible, that is until I discovered that if I had a bath I could legitimately locked the door! As everyone else in the household was mad about football, but me, they would watch it 5 nights of the week. It was too early for me to go to bed with a book and I could still hear the commentary. I would take myself off to the other end of the house, lock the door and sink into a bath full of bubbles. The quiet was shattering. It was in this quiet that I learned to feel comfortable. It was such an odd experience when my life was filled with noise, but after a time I began to crave it. There is much you can do in the bath. You can have candles, music, be in the dark or read a book. Put on a face mask. Be alone with your thoughts This is where I started to practise the meditation techniques I had learnt. For a few minutes to start with and then I would read a book. Slowly I began to enjoy being alone with my thoughts, something I had avoided in the ‘real’ world by constantly surrounding myself with noise. If the ids were at school I would have the radio or TV on for some background noise. But what I was in effect doing was avoiding being in the silence, that, I was terrified of. I moved out of the bathroom and began sitting on my decking first thing in the morning with a cup of herbal tea before the rest of the house stirred from their slumbers. There is something magical about being up before the rest of the world. It is so quiet. And then the birds start to sing – just for you. What I started to noticed was I began to feel different. I was calmer, deep down inside. I had found small moments of peace. And the more you do it, the more you want to do it. So you begin to make sure you fit it in to your day. Meditation became an escape. It was my way of retreating from the world. As I say in my classes, when you are little you clean you teeth because your mother nagged you, or got you in a head lock and did it (ask my eldest son!) or you were scared of the dentist. As an adult you clean your teeth because it feels better when you do it … and that’s how it is with meditation. It doesn’t mean you have to sit on the top of a mountain cross-legged chanting mantras, although that is rather wonderful. You have to find what works for you … in your life, now. And then … You do it because you feel better when you do.

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Maiya's Latest Musings

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I remember reading his book Love, Medicine and Miracles back at the end of the ’80’s and it resonated so deeply with me, something shifted inside.

Women of my generation have been taught to be perfectionists

We were taught that we need to be all things to all people

We were taught that to do something for ourselves,

to think of ourself was selfish … the very worst sin you could commit it seemed

Then you had people screaming that women can have it all

You could have children, be a mother AND have a high powered job

You could do anything and everything a man could do

What happened as a result of those high expectations was a generation of women who exhausted their bodies and their spirits trying to pack in all that they thought they were supposed to do

Be the 1950’s housewife with the perfect home & perfectly behaved children
and at the same time compete with men in the corporate world.

What an unsustainable, insurmountable goal that was!

In order to attempt to juggle all those balls in the air women had to sublimate their own needs to the needs of others.

When that happens our emotions have to shout louder and louder in order to get out attention

and because there is no time or space to focus on ourselves, plus we’ve been taught that to do so is wrong
thoughts and emotions get pushed further and further down
and that’s when the physical symptoms begin

[I read that martyrs experience chronic resentment – that was so me when my children were younger!]

When you look at this very simplified explanation you can see the problems this created,

both in my generation and the generations to follow.

Each generation tries to rebalance the wrongs they felt the previous generation inflicted upon them

I see the same things manifesting in my clients,
each generation having their own set of issues
and most of them say they feel stuck.

At the crux of all of it is the need
to be seen and heard, to be validated and acknowledged

and how quick the turnaround and change begins when that happens!

Focusing on yourself is not selfish,
experiencing pleasure is not selfish,
they are both crucial for vibrant health!

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