So you think meditation is a big pile of donkey ass, huh? I did too.
Trading a box of half eaten strawberries for admission to a small festival in Topanga Canyon, CA really did a number on my mind- including my opinion of meditation. I know what you’re thinking- I got involved in this weird situation and came out believing that meditation was a savior- a new way to be one with the earth. Waking up face down pants down at a festival like this is a sure life changer. Peace, Love, Hippies, YES! Down with the Government!
In reality, the all natural leg & body hair of the females parading around the festival was enough in itself to make my stomach hurt, not to mention the naked man burning sage on top of a hill- holding it up over his head in triumph like a trophy, in complete stillness while meditating.
As judgmental as my Tennessee rooted mind could be, I’m thinking, “What in the hell is going through these people’s heads? Where did they grow up and why haven’t they left this place. Are they brain washed? What a bunch of silly Wooks.”
I specifically remember one young fellow, dressed in black and yellow monk like attire, who was assisting in the meditation of another, with his hand placed strategically on her head so that his powerful fingers could stimulate certain pressure points of her scalp. Her life-length blonde hair swayed across the ground as she positioned herself Indian style throughout the odd sequence. Her deeply satisfied eyes occasionally rolled to the back of her head. It was like her body was being intruded by outer influences. She was at her Nirvana.
I remember gazing at this display for about 20-30 minutes, wondering how strange it would be in that position.
Heady vibes, bra.
I laughed the entire time- and I still do thinking about it to this day- but not for the same reason.
Back then, I was laughing at how different they were because of how they looked and what they were doing. Now, I laugh because I believe they were experiencing a euphoria that is undeniably crucial to my daily practice today: Meditation & Mindfulness.
I’m not saying the cult like atmosphere wasn’t a little overboard and weird to me, because it was, but I truly believe they were defining happiness in their own way.
I didn’t go looking for meditation thinking it was the answer to my stress, anxiety, and ultra hectic life. I am busier than the average person, but it’s a dedication I’ve made to create a new foundation for the life I truly desire. We can all be happier than we tend to allow ourselves to be, and it all starts with being thankful for and loving the lives we have. The moment you decide to be free, you are free.
Being a type A personality growing up, I always cold-shouldered the thought of meditation because it just seemed ridiculous. I didn’t have time for it- I didn’t need it- I definitely didn’t want it. No way I was going to step out of my comfort zone to try and make a change- I was doing everything right.
I was living every second in the quicksand, barely keeping my head above the oxygen level. Something needed to change. Life just wasn’t what I envisioned as a child anymore.
Then I came across an interview with Kim Nicol– a mindful and meditation teacher who left her straight laced career as an Attorney after a few really tragic experiences and interactions with death.
You are alive, and this will not always be true. This is not a reason to feel sad, but it does make you wonder: How do you want to spend the time you have? How alive are you willing to be? –Kim Nicol
Those first few lines on Kim’s website set off an explosion of fireworks in my head. I questioned everything.
I immediately sent Kim an email, interested in her story and practices. She responded in a very confident fashion, sending me a quick 5 minute starter meditation, guided by her, and asking me to write down my experiences for 5 days in a row with a few words. She wasn’t pushy, fake, or trying to sell me anything. I could feel her energy just through reading the email.
Fuck it. Let’s do it.
Guess what? It was the KING KONG DING DONG!
I finally felt alive. So so so alive. Believe me, I was surprised more than you.
This might not be the case for everyone, but from the very first meditation, I was simply mesmerized. 5 minutes turned my entire day into Christmas again.
These are the experiences I sent back to her:
- Day 1: Intriguing & Confused (I was in awe at the effect of the meditation on my day)
- Day 2: Blurry (when you open your eyes, the experience is often blurry and distorted at first. This has become one of my favorite parts of meditating.)
- Day3: Distracted-Green Colors (mediations aren’t always perfect- in this case I couldn’t concentrate at all and was distracted by my thoughts)
- Day4: Revived – Stuck in a Daze (I felt consumed and stuck to the chair, like I was one with the earth. The feeling was indescribable)
- Day5: Calm – Eyes Better / New Feeling / Blue Colors (Have you ever been in the hospital and hooked up to a pain killer of morphine? That is how I felt J)
And this is the email response I sent her after my very first mediation:
“I just did my first meditation via your instructions, and I find myself wondering how and why it took me this long. When it was over, I literally felt glued to the chair – and I could not stop smiling. This morning was very stressful, and now all I have is a feeling of giddiness or excitement – almost one I haven’t felt since being a child. It is very strange and intriguing. The 5 minutes wasn’t long enough! I want to go back.”
To live is the rarest thing in the world, most people simply exist.
What we see depends mainly on what we look for, and Kim has helped me realize that simply accepting myself and my surroundings for what they are is the first step in opening up the gateway for creating the life I love.
Meditation is simply a privilege tool that can be used to minimize stress and revolutionize our beautiful lives through comfort, acceptance, satisfaction, inspiration, and truly feeling alive.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim on Episode #4 of the podcast, and I highly suggest you listen to her powerful story and get in touch with her. Listen Here
It may or not be your thing, but you should totally give it a try. You never know what doors it might open. I did, and it changed everything. Maybe one day you could be the naked dude burning sage on top of Topanga Canyon. Why not.
To read about mediation in Kim’s words (which I highly suggest), please visit her amazing blog post here: What Meditation Looks Like