The key to balance in any area of life is your mind. If you do not have your mind in balance, nothing is balanced! You want to be healthy, but your mind immediately craves chocolate, this creates imbalance. Especially if you follow the craving, then you feel guilty and judge yourself as bad.. imbalance.
One of the BEST tools to creating balance in your mind is meditation. The main reason I think this is so is because meditation, if done properly teaches us acceptance. In meditation, we learn to not judge our thoughts or diminish them, but to let them pass in and out knowing they will dissolve and we will be on to the next. Back to the chocolate craving.(insert whatever your craving du jour is..mine is always chocolate!) You know how when the craving hits, you try to ignore it,, it comes back, you push it down, it gets bigger and starts screaming in your head and it is all you can think about. This is actually meditation. You have let the focus of chocolate take over your brain. You are meditating ON chocolate. We are in fact always meditating on something if you think about it.
The balance comes from learning to sit with all this stuff and see it for what it is.. stuff. That is all, nothing more, nothing less. Stories we tell ourselves. When we can just sit and let the thoughts of chocolate come up and see them and let them dissolve, they are then gone. It is when we judge them as bad and try to ignore that they get bigger. This battle we wage in our heads is exhausting. The energy we waste is immense. Mediation, over time, helps to ease this. It helps us to be sweet with our selves and to stop judging. It helps us to be in the moment. It helps us to know when we are thinking a thought we don’t want, or having a craving get bigger and bigger that we can just look at it, recognize it for what it is and let it go. WOW!
There are so many books and blogs and sources out there on how to properly meditate. You need to find the right one for you. A source that has helped me is yogaglo.com They have a meditation instructor on there that leads you thru various guided ones. They also offer a 2 week free trial membership. No excuse to not try it! There is also a site onlinemeditation.org. A book I am currently reading “Turning your mind into an ally” , so great, and written for a normal person to understand.
Don’t put a time frame on your meditation. Just get comfortable sitting with yourself. Sometimes it is helpful to count your breath (in-2-3-4, out 2-3-4) to calm your system and then just get quite. Watch and feel the sensation of your belly with your breath. If you catch yourself thinking, just think “thinking” and come back to your breath. My teacher just taught me that everytime you catch a thought it is actually a REALLY GOOD thing. It means, at that moment, you are present! Most people berate themselves thinking it is bad that they had a thought, but to catch it means you are taking baby steps to the NOW!!
If any of you have helpful hints towards building a meditation practice I would love to hear them, or if you want more information, please let me know!