Ever notice how driving a car over the same patch of grass leaves a track? When you continue to drive over the same spot, the track gets more pronounced, deeper, perhaps even destroying the grass beneath it. Your brain, which is soft and spongy, works much the same way. When we teach our minds to react in a certain manner, conjure the same emotions and live the same life, we create those tracks. We teach ourselves every single day how to react, how to be treated and how to move forward. So how do you fill in the tracks on your lawn? You stop driving over them so new growth can happen, life can return and traces of the past disappear. How can meditation heal your mind from old habits and repetitions? Keep reading.
Recognize the presence of fear and worry: Quite often, we hear that nagging voice that talks to us about the future, spinning tales of failure and defeat. We listen to this voice, playing the game of "what if" for longer than we ever intended. We might even find ourselves immersed in the scenarios our mind creates, keeping us from experiencing the moments we are in, where reality exists. Sitting in silence keeps us focused on here and now, instead of when and maybe.
Negate the effects of fear and worry: Emotions can wreak havoc on our bodies over time. Turning on our stress response over and over puts it into overtime and breeds chronic stress that taxes the body so completely the adrenal glands may fail. Seventy percent of our immune system lives in our digestive tract and chronic stress compromises our defenses. You know that knot in your stomach? It's trying to tell you something.
Choose the counter of fear and worry: Meditation practice gives us tools to combat the effects of stress. There is much to be said for the power of being present to cultivate an environment of healing that begins with and in our mind and resonates throughout our entire body. Making conscious choices to think differently takes time and perseverance, but we are all teachable.
Let go of fear and worry: As we progress with our meditation, we begin to connect to another voice within, one that guides us unconditionally — the voice that reminds us we are okay right now, and that no matter what is placed in our path, we can find a way through. Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Move into love and trust: When we connect to our internal guidance system, our intuition, our knowing, over and over again, we fill in the trenches we've created in our minds that compel us into the same reasoning. Just like breaking a habit, or learning a language, our minds have the innate ability to unlearn and relearn. Teach your mind every single day to stay present, connect to your higher self and move forward with love and trust.
Diana Reed is a yoga teacher, writer and co-owner of Gaya Jyoti Yoga in Hernando County. She can be reached at gayajyotiyoga.com or (352) 610-1083.