Meditation, my saving grace
I hate travelling.. But not in the way you're thinking! I mean the actual moving from one place to the next. The means of getting from A to B, from one amazing destination to the next. The car, the bus, the plane ride. The sitting in my plane seat whilst the crew does their safety checks and juggles people's overhead luggage (I really, really hate that part!).
Many of you must be thinking,"then why in the hell would you have gone on a nine month trip around the world to 20 different countries??"
Because I really, really love it when I get there. The new places, the people, the cultures, playing explorer in a new land of adventures. I love it so much so that the physical travelling part becomes a means to an end and just something I have to suck up and do. Taking the good with the bad. The shade to my light, the work before the reward. At the beginning of my trip, I really dreaded the travel days. Every minute of the journey as well as the day leading up to it. My mood changed, I carried around with me a negative mindest and tried to envision myself anywhere but the present moment. And once I arrived at the new place, it was almost as though I became a whole new person and could finally breath again.
I realised that travelling made me anxious, antsy, impatient, all "just hurry up and get there already". I've travelled for long periods of time before, but for some reason I noticed it even more so on this trip. More so I think because I've grown to become a lot more aware of my behaviour and reactions in the present moment.
And this is where meditation started to play an even bigger role in my life. I started meditating towards the beginning of last year, before going away, primarily when I began reading Gabby Bernstein's "May Cause Miracles" (a must read if you haven't already). I really loved the way sitting in stillness each morning set the tone for my day and how grounded it made me feel. But as with many of my at-home rituals, this fell to the side once on the road and it wasn't until I began to feel like my anxiety was taking over my holiday that I rediscovered it on a whole new level. I began to meditate again, daily, and started each day reaffirming my intentions for the day, reminding myself of what I am grateful for and detatching myself from the day's outcomes. I began to once again feel calm and could notice a significant change in how I was feeling on travel days. 12 hour days of multiple chicken buses, and waiting around at border crossings will never be a good time in my eyes, but I certainly have came to accept them. I began to accept their purpose in my journey and in some ways appreciate them for the way they encourage me and allow me the time to sit in stillness and reflect. Meditation has helped me to enjoy the present moment for what it is and instead of anxiously wishing the day away, celebrate that I am blessed to be in this position first and foremost. I have learnt to truly embrace the process and simply let go.
Is there an area of your life which makes you feel anxious, uncomfortable or takes you away from the joys of being right here, right now? Perhaps meditation could be one thing you try this week to help you work through that and give you a sense of ease.
New to meditation? Download Gabrielle Bernstein's 'Spirit Junkie Guided Meditations' to help get you started.