Saturday, December 19, 2009

Meditation as Medication

Over the last few years, I have had so many women drawn to my "Joie de Vivre." I'd love to believe that's because of my overall general fabulousness. Then I come back down to Earth and remember...I'm really not that fab. When I look in the mirror, I see a 40-something lady, trying to remember to put herself on the list. I'm a wife and a mom and whatever else I can manage to squeeze in between. Positive and warm and a "girl's girl." That's me. Funny how we can so easily forget the tough times, once on the other side of them.

Truth is, ten years ago, I was in the throes of a very deep depression. I had two beautiful toddlers, a lovely home and a very nice (but emotionally clueless) husband. Having cut off most of my city-life female friendships for a quiet existence in the suburbs, I had also cut off my lifeline to the very women that wanted to support me. Apparently I had always had a mild underlying undiagnosed case of depression. But once I had two babies within 18 months, the postpartum kicked in, and I didn't know what to do. Nobody from my family or the old neighborhood (union and steel mill kinda folks) EVER spoke of being depressed. Everyone worked hard and pushed through whatever adversity came their way.

The only relationship I never lost was my close walk with God. I would pray constantly, all day, in my head and out loud. Pleading for relief and answers. I guess I thought He would produce a Burning Bush in my foyer, or a lightning bolt through the ever-present Southern California sunshine. But instead, he led me to meditation. It was a soft whisper, not a thunder clap. It literally saved my life and brought me to a path where my life would unfold in miraculous and unexpected ways.

If you want to get started meditating, I can recommend a few sources. Marina Spence has a program called It's Easy to Meditate. Kelly Howell at Brain Sync also has helped me tremendously. Also, meditation is not necessarily a "religious" practice. It's about getting quiet and seeking that source of stillness inside that has all your answers without the loaded input of those around you.

So when women stare at me at Walmart and Target...desperately looking for a way to start a conversation, I smile and acknowledge them. They ask, how do you have so much energy and look so vibrant. I simply respond "prayer and meditation." Hoakie? Maybe. But the honest to goodness truth is that inner peace and feeling of being fulfilled comes from the inside out. Meditation is the "superpill" that the pharmaceutical companies will never be able to reproduce.

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