I Started Meditating…the Story

I have always been in the spiritual world in one way or another. When I was a kid and through a huge chunk of my teens and early 20’s I raised very traditional Christian with the beliefs of a heaven and a hell, the anti-Christ, that you could actually do things to send yourself to hell, and the constant pressure of needing to be perfect and abide by all of these rules. Basically, I lived in fear of screwing up and I struggled a lot with “thoughts” that were so called sinful, struggled to fit the western culture’s society of what women’s purpose is or how life flows, and struggled to figure out why in the hell would a God who we are taught unconditionally loves us can at the same time hate us to throw us in a burning lake of fire with one human screw up. It never made sense to me! (By the way, I write from my own personal journey…we all have our own beliefs, truths and different paths we are on so please do not think I am saying one thing is right over the other…this is simply my own journey) 🙂

Fast forward to my mid-twenties and I pretty much just decided to open myself up to everything because ya know what there were some things in the Bible I liked, but didn’t like….there were some things from Buddha I liked, there were some from Mother Theresa, some from Deepak Chopra, then some from just Miss Oprah so I figured you know what, I am going to take what does sit well as truth for me from all of these and let that resonate until I figure this stuff out! (Ever had this happen?) The thing is that all of these different things had one underlying theme or truth so to speak that I could resonate with and that is simply love. Be love in this world, love yourself, love others…live from a place of love. So I decided, for myself, that the only thing in this life that really matters is: How much you loved….including your own soul.

So I decided to start a journey for myself to unconditional love. In all religions and traditional beliefs, God is love and or Buddha is love or whoever you are comfortable with as your being of love…they are love….and we are a piece of God, or Source, Universe, Life, etc…so in that case wouldn’t that make me in a sense God. Just like a buck of water you draw from the ocean, is that water in that bucket still not the “ocean” or is that water now called water and no longer allowed to call itself ocean? Do you see where I am going? This is how my mind works.

Well, in case you have never sought out to discover what you believe from your own journey instead of what you have been taught, I will warn you, the second you open yourself up to opportunities and moments for life to take you on a spiritual quest…you better be ready because basically what you are doing is opening yourself up to your own journey of unconditional love and life gives you experiences that allow you to show love that normally you would show something else (Like fear, comparison or judgment).

I have always been a generally happy and content person and love to spread good vibes everywhere I go and the last week or so I have had a very melancholy kind of “this is it?” feeling within me. Quite honestly, I did not like this feeling initially and refused to accept it so I busied myself, ignored it, tried to switch to positive thinking to change it, filled my time with other things to distract myself from the feeling, and the more I did this the heavier and louder that feeling became till this past Sunday…

I was in the middle of a beautiful meditation garden that was meant for a place to retreat and just be quiet in the middle of L.A. and it couldn’t be further then that. It was more like a meditation garden theme park full of people with zero room for quiet. (I literally have never lived somewhere so loud, so busy and crowded that you struggle to find quiet even in your own home to hear your own voice). So, I lost it…I found a bench in one of the grassy places in this garden, I sat down and decided Welp, so much for ignoring this feeling and I started to cry.

I had no idea what I was crying for, why I was even feeling sad, or why I had this feeling of discontentment in me, but I made the decision to stop running from my feelings and just be with them.

After sitting for probably a good hour just “feeling”….I made a commitment to myself that every day I would sit with myself in silence and just let whatever thought, feeling, idea came up to just be there.

Do you have any idea how hard that is?! To have a feeling and completely disassociate yourself from it meaning instead of “I am sad”…..You yourself are not sad, however there is a feeling of sadness within you. It makes that feeling just a feeling instead of who you are which gives you the opportunity to observe and allow instead of analyze and judge. How often do you feel something and immediately start to break it down and try to put a label on it? I feel discontent…but why do I feel discontent, I am not supposed to feel discontent, this is bad, I am supposed to feel happy, how can I change this and feel happy, what if this is the start of depression or something else bad, I have a good life gosh I am so unappreciative of how good my life is and now I feel bad for not counting my blessings and being discontent….

And so the vicious cycle goes….but what if instead you just allowed and gave yourself permission to feel any emotion that comes up without any single emotion being “bad” or “good” and just letting them be there and see what kind of insight you get from it. You open your mind and soul to help you discover the message behind the feeling.

This is why I started meditating every day, to shed some light and insight on this feeling and quite honestly any other feeling that comes up. We are taught so much in society not to feel and to just push through and do but honestly, feelings are the doorway to experiences, our souls, life, if we refuse to fully feel what we label as “bad” (sadness, anxiety, discontent, boredom, anger) then we also refuse to open ourselves up to fully feel what is “good” (happiness, joy, love, excitement, peace). Each feeling offers a message….let yourself feel and listen and you would be surprised what you hear in silence. Meditation is like giving yourself a free pass to be 100% unconditionally and authentically you with zero rules, zero judgment, no act or face to put on, nothing but your own inner voice to tell you….You are enough, you are so deeply loved exactly as you are in this moment….not when you lose those 5lbs, not when you reach that goal, not when you stop being this or that…..but right now you are loved.

It is both an unnerving and exciting journey and the best part is, each day you learn a little bit more the parts of you that need love the most while being able to be that source of love to give it! 🙂

If you have never meditated but want to start, I suggest trying a guided meditation like Meditation Oasis, Deepak Chopra, or any other meditation that feels right for you. You can also start by simply being in silence and just writing or journaling your thoughts without judgment too!

Did this post help you? Share it with your friends and family who would also enjoy it!

Love yourself. Love your life.

Ashley 🙂

Authentic Beauty & Strength.

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