How are you doing?
A question we hear several times a day in its various formats. But after several weeks talking about meditation and the tips and different forms of meditation, it’s time to stop and take stock, time to ask yourself ‘How am I doing?’
Meditation is a kind of journey. A journey of self discovery. A journey that comes with side benefits and more than a few challenges.
Well, meditation is a process of growth. The speed and direction of this growth is determined by the meditator. Some see the end-goal and forget to look around on their travels. Others are so busy admiring the view they forget to take stock and see how far they have come.
Whichever way you meditate be sure it is the right way for you. It is personal. But stopping regularly to evaluate your meditation experiences on a regular basis is essential.
The more you benefit from meditation, the more changes will manifest in your life. Some so obvious you can’t fail to notice them. Others so subtle that even those closest to you can’t quite put their finger on the changes going on in and around you, but they sense them. On some level they DO sense them and often that makes them uneasy.
They may still be on the same road they were travelling when you began to meditate. While you are moving forward at the pace that is right for you, they are still travelling on their journey at their own pace enjoying their own experiences.
If you have been keeping a journal of your meditations, then now is a good time to get it out and read it through. Can you see any unexpected patterns forming? Are there things going on you were unaware of? Are there any signposts to your future?
And the big one?
What is happening between you and those closest to you? Are you as comfortable around friends you’ve known and loved for years before you began meditating? Or has there been some indefinable shift?
When we meditate, we are actively seeking change within ourselves. The knock-on effect will –at some level- create changes around us. Perhaps our wonderful job is not so wonderful any more? Or that dream you promised you’d follow tomorrow and not got round to following has suddenly taken on a new energy and is driving you to act.
Or perhaps it is far more subtle. You discover that things that fired your anger in a nano-second no longer bothers you so much. That inner strength and tranquillity you sought when you began to meditate has revealed itself.
Whatever it is, take time out to sit quietly with your journal, and read it through and weigh up the messages it holds for you.
You didn’t keep a journal?
Well then, just take that same quiet time and sift through your weekly reactions to your meditation and tap into your feelings. Tap into your inner self and focus on the first thoughts and impressions you get. You can repeat this search for answers as often as you feel the need. But do consider writing down your ‘answers’.
I am not a journaler. I am not comfortable with having one lying around that others may find and read, but… keeping a journal makes these stock-taking times so much easier.
They almost become an adventure as you discover, and through journaling you will see more clearly, just how far you have come. You will be able to sit with your journal on your lap and ask yourself, ‘How far have I come?’
Open your journal and you will discover the answers that have come from deep within you. And next time someone asks ‘How do you feel?’ You can smile and tell them you are feeling great. :-)