Meditation has the ability to surprise you, please you and allows you to find out what you really need to thrive in life. Through this, you can learn to stop 'catastrophising' and lead a balanced, happier life. The clarity you’ll gain from modern meditation will empower you to act and respond differently.
Halt negative thinking
Rather than living in the real world, many of us spend a great deal of time and energy living inside our own heads, playing out all sorts of different dramas and stories, full of fictitious expectations and assumptions. We mentally 'catastrophise' our life.
But what if we changed our relationship to those painful, negative limiting thoughts? What if you acknowledged to yourself that those thoughts are not you? In reality — and that is a key word here, reality — you are not the ‘self’ in those stories. You can let go and stop 'living' those thoughts that compress you, making you fear and worry.
In order to get out from underneath that critical way of thinking, you need to generate some space — a moment where you can step back, watch and observe those thoughts, without getting involved. It's this perspective, this increased awareness, that changes everything — it's a cognitive skill and this new mindset grows through modern meditation practice.
Never is this more apparent than in relationships.
Relationships cause a lot of emotional problems for us, as we spend a great deal of time trying to shape and change the outside world to match the one inside our head. This process is exhausting and will lead to all sorts of stress, anxiety and fear — and also the emergence of a critical voice that insists on saying that you're not good enough.
We're pleased to say that a number of our students after practising for some time will make significant changes in their life. It can be nerve-racking, but also very exciting because their change comes from a new place which says, 'I now know why I am so unhappy, why I feel so disconnected it's because of…' — that's the clarity that emerges, a sudden realisation that there is something very specific in your life holding you back and forcing you to be a person that you know you’re really not. This puts pressure on you, on others you want to be with and on those who want to be with you!
Finding the right balance
Relationships are about balance. The balance of giving and receiving. But we can sustainably give only from a full place; it is impossible to pour water out of an empty glass.
The good news is that your glass is never empty. It may feel like it, but that's only because the very basic feeling of love that is already a part of you from day one is hidden by the noise of your negative thoughts. Your judgements, self-criticism, assumptions and worries — all of this generates stress that covers the love you already have. But the answer to this problem is simple — calm the mind.
Meditation gives you precious time to look inside with clarity. Then you see that your fears are not as scary as you think and your merits are worth acknowledging. You will impress yourself with how good you already are and how much love you can feel without needing anybody around.
This is a strong foundation for any relationship. It doesn't mean you don't want to be with the person you love. It means you let go of the tremendous pressure of wanting that person to make you happy. You just let him/her be free of expectation and tension. You create space, which will be filled with love, light and appreciation. Who doesn't want to be in such a relationship?
So the next time you forget how lovely you are, before asking your partner to make you happy, simply look inside.
- Words by Mick Timpson and Anna Kravec.