I was walking on a beach in Cancun with 900 other classmates, headphones on, doing my walking meditation when suddenly the guided meditation that I was listening to stopped working. I froze for a moment unsure of what to do or how to proceed.
Suddenly, a workshop volunteer appeared and offered to help with my phone and meditation. Within minutes he got it working again and I could hear the guided meditation. I was flooded with appreciation for this volunteer and was expressing it profusely.
He turned to me and said, “ I am totally happy to help, love is my meditation.:
His words reverberated in my head.
Love is my meditation.
What would it be like to make love my meditation, I wondered? Here I am on a 7-day meditation retreat, could I go home and make love my mediation? I felt inspired by the challenge I was thinking about implementing.
Fast forward six month later.
I have plans with a friend but circumstances change and I unexpectedly need to cancel. She is upset and disappointed with me….again.
I begin to feel guilty, misunderstood and resentful. Can’t she see that I have needs too? Can’t she see that I’m not just here to serve her? Can’t she see that she holds me to a higher standard than she holds herself?
I catch myself.
I’m feeling like a victim. Running the poor me, no one understands me tape.
What if love really was my meditation, like, right now.
I’m driving as I have this thought and so right there and then as I’m turning right at the red light I start meditating on love as I drive (with eyes open of course!)
Love is my meditation.
I say to myself. Allowing myself to feel the vibration of the words.
But it’s not fair, she has a double standard. She holds me to a higher standard than she holds herself, my analytical mind retorts.
Love is my meditation; I shoot back at my brain that desperately wants to run its familiar tapes.
(I say to myself.)
Love is my mediation.
Love is my meditation.
And so I drive along this way for another minute or two. Overcoming the voices that want me to be a victim, misunderstood, and alone, and meditating instead on love.
I don’t’ wait till I get home. I don’t wait until I’m in a formal meditation. I just keep repeating, feeling, and embodying the mantra:
And slowly my heart begins to open again and I am feeling love and a new thought enters my head (In my now more elevated state my mind is more coherent and I am able to hear guidance)and I hear a male voice say to me: You are modeling self-care, something she knows nothing about.
And suddenly everything changes. I am no longer hurt. I am no longer feeling misunderstood I am no longer feeling resentful.
Suddenly I see what is so obvious.
My friend doesn’t know how to take care of herself and so she gets resentful and upset when I model self-care. If I can stay steady, then I model a new way of being for her and subtly give her permission to take care of herself too.
If I get upset and hurt at her lack of understanding of me, I muddy the waters and we both get caught in a cycle of frustration and reactivity.
She may hear the message I’m sending now, or it may take years or even life times to sink in. But now rather than feeling misunderstood I feel like a role model. Instead of feeling hurt and victimized, I feel compassion for my friend who works herself to the bone and spends her life meeting the needs of others without any thought or consideration of her own needs. I am flooded with true love and understanding.
Life gives us many opportunities within a day to practice love as our meditation. In fact, perhaps its better to start cultivating the feeling of love before the need even arises, so that we are more prepared for the tests that life will inevitability throw our way.
The theory is that when you can maintain an elevated state, such as love, for an extended period of time, your heart comes into greater balance and creates something called heart coherence. When your heart becomes coherent it sends a clear signal to your brain which causes the brain to become coherent. When your heart and brain are coherent, you become coherent.
When you find yourself in these more balanced states, your health can improve, you mind can settle and you can gain access to greater wisdom and clarity, and decision making can become easier.
So practice love as your meditation today and practice achieving greater coherence in your heart and brain and see what miracles unfold in your body, mind and life.
I’ll be practicing right along with you, doing the work that is challenging to do and yet can pay such high dividends.
And If you live in New England, have a nice snow day!
P.S. After writing this blog, I also realized that my friend is also a teacher for me. She is teaching me to not be such a people pleaser and do my best to listen to guidance rather than try to please those around me. Its an ongoing lesson and experiment in trial and error for sure.