Mindfulness and Meditation

We are in search for better well-being, more healthy relationships, focus. Does the pursuit of happiness has to be futile? Or can it be encountered with mindfulness meditation?

When Bad Things Happen

It all began last summer. I was diagnosed with a recurrent lumbar disk herniation. I had already been operated 7 years ago. Now, comparing the MRI scans I took before the surgery, there was absolutely no difference. I freaked out. There have been very dark days until, apparently by chance, I  went to an osteopath I had been suggested. It has been the most revolutionary experience of my whole life. Because it has led to a privileged access to my inner self. It felt like somebody finally took off the lid of the small box I had been hiding for so long. But for the rebirth to take place, one has to experience death somehow as well. This process is still ongoing for me and still very painful for sure.

Kick-off

Then I went for a training and some person told me about mindfulness. I didn’t know much about it at that time, but the name was ringing at the back of my head. I googled it and found out, that it was a way to meditate linked to psychology. I soon enough discovered that it was possible to find some peace of mind without being lost in thoughts. Just by simply listening to the audio recording of a person teaching you how to focus on your breath for only 10 minutes a day. I started practicing. At the beginning it was once a week or so. Then twice, even three times. Without even paying attention to the benefits, which I got while engaging in this practice. Suddenly, I felt a need for me to meditate in order to find calm and clarity in my mind and body.

Meditating at Work

The next step was doing it at work. I just went in to one of the empty rooms in my office with my phone, switched it to airplane mode and hit play button. The first day I was alone. The third day after talking about it with some colleagues, two people also joined. Then three other people decided to give it a try. By the end of the week, we were 15 people meditating in the same room twice a day at 11.05 am and 4.05 pm for ten minutes!

The Call for Happiness

But what is it that really pushed me and these people, all Italians, all in our thirties more or less, without any meditation experience to follow this practice in such a spontaneous way? The answer is so easy yet so difficult to encounter: the need to feel at ease, the need to taste a bit of peace of mind, the need to pursue happiness, the need to feel that we are worth it. Feelings that we forget as soon as we reach the office, where we are suddenly overwhelmed by deadlines, emails, meetings, boss requests… feelings that we think about nostalgically as soon as we walk away from the same office hours later, thinking that we have lost another day, that we forgot to live.
Yet there is a crucial action that we all do when it’s 11.05: we all make a decision to love ourselves, to tame the mind, not to judge and learn how to accept things as they are.

Storylines

At the end of every meditation, a quick sharing generates spontaneously. We all realize that we have something in common which is to be overwhelmed by the thoughts, to feel the stress in our bodies and in our hearts. In one word we realize we are not satisfied by our lives. Amazing how we can allow certain storylines to play on a loop in the mind, even when they have no basis in reality. What is a thought? Where is it? Can you touch it? Amazing to think something intangible could cause us so many problems. These are words of Andy Puddicombe, founder of Headspace, a digital health platform that provides guided meditation training for its users.

Letting Go in Meditation

When I get in the room I know I will bring with me my today’s experience, my concerns, my ideas of how the world should be, how my body should look, how my life should go and so will my colleagues. Every one of us will practice the art of not letting these thoughts control you for at least ten minutes.
For at least ten minutes, we are all free.
We are so much more than our thoughts and our feelings. It is easy to forget that we are part of something bigger, of which those things are only one transitory part.
It’s certainly not easy to tame the mind, but not impossible. It’s a process that goes through learning how to accept ourselves, to love ourselves even when we feel out of place, or unworthy or not good enough to deserve love. It’s all about releasing and letting go. It’s all about being here and now. For good.
Simona
Simona is a wonderful women, a colleague that works in an Italian office and a friend. A guest author of this post.
Ps. Two weeks ago I found out that people in Dublin office meditate as well. I took 10 minutes to practice meditation with Headspace, and when I was leaving wellness room, there was a queue outside. Since then we meditate together…

5 Replies to “Mindfulness and Meditation”

  1. Thank you for sharing this story! <3

  2. I am so proud of you, only a few months ago you were close to depression and then the miracle, meeting Dr. Cicoira the ostheopat, and then your REBIRTH! Brava!

  3. Brava Simona! I really enjoyed your post. Very inspiring!

  4. A really great way to stop freaking out when stress is getting overwhelming. Thank you for doing this.

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