I needed a refill on my sleeping pills. I’d never been a good sleeper and in my mid-twenties found relief through sleeping pills. When I was 29 my PCP was on maternity leave, so I went to see the woman covering for her. Instead of granting my request, she turned to me and said, “Clearly you have anxiety” and suggested anxiety medication. I thought she was bat sh*t crazy but played along with it, fully intending to see my regular doctor as soon as she was back. I just wanted the sleeping pills.
I was confident, outgoing and successful. I didn’t have anxiety. When my PCP returned I shared with her what Dr. Crazy suggested. And to my shock, my PCP said she would have recommended the same thing.
I began learning that some of the things that felt “normal” inside for me were symptoms of anxiety. I felt kind of jittery and uncomfortable in many situations. I would race and feel nervous at times. I’d feel tense at times and have trouble settling into social situations, which made no sense, as I’m extroverted. And obviously had trouble calming my mind and sleeping. I never knew any of this was anxiety. When it’s the only thing you know, you don’t think to ask if there’s a label for it. And you don’t know there’s another way you can feel.
So there I was at the age of 29 on anxiety meds and sleeping pills. I didn’t feel good about it…honestly I felt embarrassed by it. I knew there was a better solution for me, but I didn’t have a clue as to what it was or how to find it. (Please understand I have no judgment towards anyone else’s journey and decisions with anxiety – for me, pills didn’t seem like the solution.) But I just wanted to sleep, so I kept taking the pills.
And then life handed me a solution. I had an accident – a broken bone in my neck. I remember being somewhat OK when the surgeon told me what happened. And then I lost it when he said no exercising for six months. Exercising was the only natural tool I had (at the time) for managing my anxiety. It made me feel happy and clear. When I exercised I slept better. When I didn’t, I felt jittery inside. The thought of not having it as an outlet terrified me, and I thought I was going to lose my mind. Instead, I tried meditating. Some little whisper inside of me suggested it, and I acted on it.
I started with five-minute meditations, which felt like an astronomical amount of time. This was back in the day when you couldn’t access free meditations everywhere online, so I ordered some books and CDs. I wondered if I was doing it correctly. I experimented with different kinds. And before I knew it, meditation provided the same benefit that exercise did. I could feel a difference as I went to sleep at night. My mood felt better. I didn’t feel jittery inside.
Like with many of my clients, once I started doing it regularly, I couldn’t imagine not doing it. I grew to enjoy it and I look forward to it (most days). I’ve been open that some days are not so enjoyable LOL. But regardless of the experience during it, the effect of it is magical. Today I do meditations anywhere from one minute to one hour, throughout the course of my day. In front of my beautiful altar or hiding in the bathroom. LOL (You know I’m a fan of using the bathroom as private space to check your energy!) I do many different styles but Kundalini mediations are my favorite. They are so powerful!
When I start working with clients, I always get them on a meditation routine. The ones who practice regularly always experience the biggest and quickest shifts and breakthroughs. But a lot of people resist. It’s not a sexy solution or a quick solution. It takes time, discipline and consistency. And of course, when we meditate we connect with what’s going on inside, which can feel overwhelming at first. But over time going inside becomes a wealth of wisdom and insight, a comfortable place to reconnect at the end of the day.
The biggest excuse I hear is, ‘I don’t have time.” Well, that’s why I include meditations of all lengths. So you can’t use that excuse with me! 😉 But seriously, I think the best answer is from my teacher Gabby. After asking her how to experience greater happiness in their lives, people tell her they don’t have time to meditate. Her response is, “do you have time to feel like shit?” Pretty much sums it up.
Today, I definitely don’t feel like shit…quite the opposite actually. 🙂 In general I don’t feel anxious anymore. I haven’t been on any pills for many years. I meditate every day, and when I don’t for some reason (ahem, ego), I start to feel the jitters creeping their way back to me. And when I do have moments of feeling anxious (I’m human!), I know how to handle it. That is probably the best part…knowing when it surfaces I have a healthy, natural and effective way of managing it. It feels empowering.
So I will leave you with a 3-minute and 43-second meditation below. I guaranteeeeeeee you will feel a shift in your energy after doing it! After you feel the shift, just image…how you would feel if you did that every day for a few minutes or more a day?!