Meditation has given me superhuman powers.
I swear it.
My practice was very disciplined for a year straight—I meditated for 365 days consecutively, morning and night. I maybe missed one session a few times, which I would make up for at another point in the day.
Even if it was only a five minute sit, I still practiced. I committed to this year of dedication because at the end I thought I was going to be able to say, “Nothing works—now leave me to my misery and my choices and be gone, all of you.”
We could say that I was a difficult person. I was incorrect in my predictions that I would see little to no results from a daily practice.
I’ve seen drastic results, which I’m choosing to share them with you in the hopes that someone looking for a change decides to give meditation a solid try. I hope to encourage those who may be discouraged to stick with their practice.
I want to share the message that there is a better way to approach life. I never knew it. I mentioned earlier the ways and behaviors that I now incorporate into life were once foreign to me. Alien even.
I didn’t know that humans could actually act and live at this level of contentment. The shifts in my perceptions and behaviors towards life are nothing short of drastic and miraculous. If meditation can bring me to this point, I’m sure that it can help anyone.
I was a hot mess. A train wreck. A beautiful disaster. A force of nature.
I was Hurricane Lindsay.
I’m still a force to reckoned with—that’s just my energy—but I am no longer destructive. People instead tell me I inspire, I guide, I light, I heal. They come to me for compassionate and non-judgemental listening. They seek me out for honest feedback. They tag me on Facebook for yoga poses, namastés, love hearts, peace signs, and happiness instead of critical, bitter, jaded and sarcastic negativity.
This is truly amazing to me.
I still incorporate a daily practice, still going strong two years after I started.
I want to share the five major things that have shifted in me thanks to a disciplined mediation practice—which, if you knew me before, you would agree with me that these are indeed superhuman abilities:
1. I learned how to respond rather than react.
I no longer have to react to everything that happens. I have the amazing ability to choose how I want to respond to events and people around me. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not Buddha, I’m still human and I have moments, but they no longer dictate my behaviors all the time. I am free of so many of the inherent and programmed reactions that were built into me by others and by life.
I used to just shut down to everything that was remotely vulnerable, without even realizing this is what I was doing. Now, I am able to recognize these types of reactions and choose a new way to act in any moment. I am not claiming sainthood, I fall short and I do so often, but it’s such a freedom for me to see it, and not just be a prisoner of programming all the time.
Every time I pause and respond in a new way for me, the feeling is worth each one of those back steps. I enjoy my flaws now.
2. I no longer see right and wrong.
I no longer need to be right about everything. I no longer find myself attaching to views/opinions/identities to separate myself from others and feed my egoic need for an “identity.” I no longer seek to make my point known and “right.” I more often come from a place of trying to gain understanding and share understanding which to me ends in love. To understand our enemy is to love them.
I was someone whom never walked away from a good argument, and then I would attach to my viewpoints and spend my day being angry that I couldn’t get someone to agree with me. No more. Sometimes I get bummed when I can’t shed a new understanding or spark a new and unique thought in another’s mind, but I no longer attach to my views and try to force them on others.
3. I’ve learned about true self-love and acceptance.
I can observe myself with love and humor instead of criticism and judgement. I have a genuine feeling of self-acceptance which shows in my overall acceptance of other people and their imperfections.
Now, this is not to say that I won’t constructively push other people to stretch out of their comfort zones into areas of growth, that’s my purpose, but there is no judgment attached to anything that I point out to people who come to me for growth and coaching.
Neither is there judgment present when my dearest ones act in any way that I once would have labeled and judged. Instead I am able to separate the person from the behavior and take it for what it is. This is a miracle, because I judged everyone, all the time. My ego used everything everyone did as the perfect reason to believe that I needed no one. I hated everyone, because I hated myself.
4. I’ve established my own emotional boundaries.
I am able to separate my own emotions from those around me. As an empath this was something I never could do, or understand. I spent a lifetime taking on everyone’s emotions and not realizing that they weren’t mine, and I spent years trying to escape the drowning flood. It almost killed me.
I had to completely separate my intellectual and emotional centers by blocking my 5th chakra to survive. Now, I can feel others pain/sorrow without it drowning me. I can observe it and heal it and send it back with love without letting it overtake my emotional climate. Fear of emotions kept me prisoner for years, so this is really the biggest freedom and behavior that makes me feel like a superhero sometimes.
5. I mainly work from a place of fearlessness.
No more fear! Not to say it doesn’t arise, but it no longer rules me like it once did. I open to it now and observe it. I acknowledge it. This is amazing because I spent years dead set on proving to the world that I had no fear. Now, I own it. I breathe into the most frightening and difficult things that arise. Even pain and anger, two things that my fear of dictated my life.
I can breathe through the worst of it and let go of the worry and need to find the answers just by coming back to my breath and being present! From yoga asana practice I learned that the most difficult poses can be held just a bit longer by returning to the breath. When I incorporated this to my meditation and life practices, I saw phenomenal results.
Meditation helps us to observe, acknowledge and unlearn all of the things we have learned in life which hold us back. It allows us to just be who we are in any given moment. It’s truly beautiful. I don’t want to tell anyone how to meditate, as there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. I will however offer a few suggestions that helped me in the beginning:
Use whatever feels comfortable to you on your heart level.
Breathe. Observe your breathing. Is is deep, shallow, labored, tense? Just take notice.
Start off with small goals as it can be difficult to sit for lengthy periods, but stick to those goals! Even if your mind is all over the place. Sit and Breathe.
Don’t judge yourself! Acknowledge your thoughts as thinking, see where they go, but place no harsh judgement on yourself for thinking. Would you yell at your arm muscle the first day you work it out if it can’t bear 100lbs of weight? No. So be gentle with yourself.
Use visualization if needed.
Focus on breath again.
Download a guided meditation. Find one that soothes you.
I started with a mindfulness practice as taught by Thich Nhât Hánh and Pema Chödrön. Two teachers I think are wonderful for beginners, as they are understandable, simple, and gentle. Always come back to your breath.
I would love to hear other people’s experiences and practices that worked for them in the comments below, so that together we can all grow collectively from one another’s experience.
Happy practicing everyone!