Meditation is not easy, even though it should be. The instructions are hopelessly simple. Sit, relax and clear your mind of thoughts. Focus on your breath. Stay that way. Sometimes I am lost in thought before a guided meditation even starts. It mostly feels hopeless. How can I not do something so relatively easy?

This is where modern life interferes. When we try to dial back our minds to a simple, basic and essential spot, we find it far to chaotic. I think chaos is the right word. Thoughts are zipping in and out and around like a video game. No wonder I still have so many unpleasant dreams. I can’t seem to get a handle on calming my waking mind, let alone effecting my subconscious. 

With a 21-day guided meditation and loads of discretion over my time, I figured I would excel. I’m pretty good about writing my morning pages, after waking. It would seem logical to slide a 15 minute meditation in, right after. Oh my, not so easy. My mind is so chattery that it was looking for all sorts of reasons to delay the meditation. Some days I had to do 2 sessions because I had skipped. 

Like anything else I have undertaken which is profoundly new, I have to be extra patient with myself. Meditation is no different. It is so foreign to me, I might as well be going to the moon. The simple act of calming down my mind is extremely difficult. But oh how rewarding.

A typical session goes like this:

  • The centering thought – I find myself in a world created by love.
  • The sanskrit mantra – Aham Prema, or I am love.
  • The intention is to focus on love in its many forms. Not just as we usually think of romantic love.

My meditation teacher Deepak Chopra went on to describe it this way:

The spiritual side of love is more than a personal feeling or emotion. Write down the moments today when you experienced any of the following values of higher love: compassion, forgiveness, kindness, tolerance, and non-judgment.

When I think of values of higher love, I find my myself instantly connecting with little moments during the day. These tender experiences might have been lost to me without this exercise of intentionally noticing them. Because we are so good at elevating arguments and discord, cataloguing and remembering just who did us wrong. The seeds of higher love don’t stand a chance against that kind of brute.

The challenge was to pick one of the higher loves we want to experience more of and bring our attention to how that might be achieved. Kindness was my first thought. It seems that life could be so much better with a healthy dose of kindness. Spread that over everything! Some people probably already live that way. All I can say to that is – lucky duck.

It is not that I live in a world of unkindness. Not at all. But the change I was thinking of, had to start with me. I need to be more kind to myself first. I am convinced that if my self talk is filled with kindness, there will be a profound difference in the way I see the world and in turn, how I act towards others. Certainly, my inside voice will be kinder as well.

Upon finishing the meditation and journal for the day, I realized something interesting about myself. I have been so focused on solving problems and watching out for danger, in every role I play in my life that I have missed the opportunity to show kindness. It is not an excuse, just an observation. The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one in the first place. 

I suppose it will take some practice to look beyond what problem I might instinctively see. In the next instant, I need to look away from solving or making better whatever I see which is less than perfect. Instead, relax. See the beauty. Accept everything as it is. Bathe the situation in kindness.

I think I can do it. While walking with my camera, the evening air was delicious. The smell of Spring dirt was in the air. The hopeful promise of what has laid dormant all Winter and is ready to burst forth. The delicate first blossoms with colours so rich against the hardscape. Everything is so fresh and crisp. Springs bounty is a delight after the winter hibernation.

By simply taking a beat to line up a shot, my creative juices start to flow. The process of taking many photos as I move through a place, increases the chances of getting a couple of keepers. Those special images which help form my memory of a place. For this travel year is passing ever so fast. I want to set aside some special memories forever more.

#creaspatreat – Join me in this creative journey. I am on a mission to start a global movement, focusing on the importance of creativity in our daily lives. Together, let us see where we can take this. I look forward to hearing from you! Please share your thoughts. Feel free to send an email to: Christine@dailycreatives.com

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Christine Westermark

I am a world traveller, lucky enough to have a loving family who support my dreams to learn, create and give back by designing creative content which enables a lifestyle we don't need a vacation from.

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Living life with love, a meditation

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