Meditation and Connecting to Self

2020, amiright? 

Most would agree that 2020 has been an absolute sh*tshow. So many deep-rooted issues have come to the surface which has left so much divisiveness. It’s torn away friendships, driven wedges into families, and cultivated fear. People are more than ever afraid to voice an opinion or perspective that could be misconstrued. And I never thought I’d live in a world where you have to ask permission from loved ones for a hug. (Not easy when your love language is physical touch). This is not the start of a new decade any of us ever imagined. 

Some of us desperately desire the return to normal. Some of us encourage the realization that there is no returning to the new normal. Some of us balk at the overuse of the phrase ‘new normal’ but long for a better world where we find a beautiful normal we haven’t even experienced yet (me). 

Regardless of your viewpoints, the world is a chaotic mess. And when we are in the midst of chaos, our natural tendency is to either escape by busying ourselves with mindless activities or grip onto things we can control. Or both. I am absolutely guilty of discovering TikTok over quarantine and devoting more hours scrolling (and laughing) than I’d like to admit (seriously, how talented and funny are people tho?!). I definitely binge-watched Tiger King over quarantine, amongst others. (Carol Baskin did it). And I know I’ve found myself stressing over small things I presumably can control to offset the feeling of constant chaos. 

And while of course downtime is important, I also recognize that we often choose activities as a band-aid to soothe us when sitting with ourselves can be uncomfortable. Sitting with ourselves is uncomfortable at first. Every ‘doh’ moment, every misstep, every regret can come creeping back to haunt us.

Me: Laying in bed trying to go to sleep

Brain: Oh so we’re just going to forget about that embarrassing thing you did in 5th grade?

Yeah. It be like that sometimes.

We all know burying things isn’t productive. It doesn’t allow us to effectively process the issue, and processing is necessary if we ever want to forgive ourselves and others, come to a greater understanding of it all, and find peace with what happened. Buried issues just start to fester and eventually will cause us to crack. 

Besides the discomfort with sitting with our feelings, we sweep things under the rug to avoid confrontation. For years I attributed the fact that I swept issues under the rug because I hated confrontation. I now know that is a lie that we tell ourselves. What we are avoiding isn’t confrontation- it’s avoiding being vulnerable, and being vulnerable is a crucial part of healthy communication.

In Minnesota, we are not culturally groomed to talk about our feelies. We exchange niceties very well and engage in surfacey conversations. Those are safe. Those are easy. 

In our society, we are on the precipice of great change- The Great Awakening. Astrologists and healers direct us to the fact that we have left the Piscean age, which was all about control, and have entered the Aquarian age which is about the expansion of consciousness. The wave of consciousness is coming through and we can choose to ignore it and cling to what is familiar or we can open up to the possibility that there is a brighter future ahead, one that will require all of us to accept harsh truths, do inner work, and become better connected to self. This is where meditation becomes instrumental. 

My meditation practice began in the spring of 2018. I had an hour of guided meditation with Vanessa Feils. It’s difficult to articulate what that experience did for me. For perhaps the first time ever, I felt my soul, my aura, and the beautiful connection I have to my higher self. I’ve always had a strong faith in God (some refer to this connection to a higher power- no matter your faith, it is known as pure light and love), but since I began meditating, I feel more connected now than ever. I left that experience feeling lighter and more connected to myself. I then began implementing a daily meditation. I downloaded the Calm app and spent 10 minutes each morning meditating, followed by journaling. It’s incredible to look back at journals and see what is written. Sometimes my pen moves so quickly that I can barely keep up with the words coming in as I write. To me, that is my higher self communicating with me. It could also be my guides talking to me- oftentimes my journals are organically written in the 3rd person. Either way, the messages are always based on love, peace, and comfort, stressing that all I need to do is bring myself to the world and everything will fall into place. 

In times of chaos and change, as we are currently in, meditation can keep us grounded. Prayer does this for many, and I pray daily as well. (I also talk to my grandparents a lot- I sure would love to get their insight on the world right now). The difference with meditation is that it combines deep breathing with becoming still, allowing thoughts to come in without judgment. No matter what we are going through, we can effectively process our emotions and become grounded. We don’t need to scour the Internet for answers; the truths we need to come to already lie within ourselves. Our intuition is a beautiful thing but we are often moving around at such a rapid pace that we don’t allow it to speak to us. When we pause and ask ourselves the difficult questions, we are given the answers with ease. 

For me, meditation has:

  • Given me a sense of peace and calm. I’ve always been extremely chill (sometimes to my detriment- my HS, college, and papers for Master’s were typically completed the night before they were due) but knowing I can tap into a quick meditation to slow my breathing and gather my thoughts has been instrumental in the way I operate. I love to exercise for stress relief; meditation is another outlet I use to release stress.
  • Allowed my inner voice to shine through. Our lives are hectic and it’s definitely easier to mute our thoughts when we are feeling down from being over-programmed than to sit with them. If we continue to do that, we never get through whatever is plaguing us. 
  • Offered free therapy. I’ll be honest, I’ve never been to a therapist aside from our required marriage counseling with our pastor before marriage (which I loved). But I know enough people who have spent years in therapy who have come to the realization that the answers they needed were always inside of them; they just had to get still long enough for them to shine through. 

I wholeheartedly believe we were all created perfect- exactly the way we were supposed to be made (with all of our beautiful imperfections). We all have unique gifts to offer the world. It is only when the world interferes with our highest self that we start to recoil- we develop inadequacies, fear, doubt, and all the things that keep us from being exactly us. What a beautiful world it would be if we all showed up exactly who we are. 

2020 has been a year. But what we do with it could be the blueprint of how we operate going forward. What if we used this opportunity to become whole again? If the world was made up of people who were happy and whole, how differently would everyone be operating?

If you have the desire to begin a meditation practice and better connect to yourself, I highly encourage you to check out Vanessa Feils. You can join with a free week of meditation membership here.

Below is a collection of some testimonials for how impactful her work is.