So it’s three days after my initial introduction to Transcendental Meditation and I’m still impressed with the benefits.
Yesterday I was tired during the day and actually napped while Honey watched something on TV. That’s ok though, my Teacher Mike reminded me of how we can all feel tired for the first few days of a long awaited holiday. I had forgotten that feeling but remembered it well from my days as an ICT Teacher. On reaching the summer holidays I would often feel a relaxed, contented kinda tiredness and that’s how I felt yesterday. It felt good, not a guilty thought in my mind 🙂
My last session was in the evening, with holiday traffic it took almost 5 hours to do what should have been 3. Interesting final session though on Transcendental Meditation and consciousness. We watched several clips including this one by David Lynch:
For me, finishing on ideas and theories about consciousness was a nice end to the course, as the subject is something I have been reading so much on lately.
Thankfully the drive home was much quicker than the drive there so I was home by 12:15. Well worth the time.
Last night I once again had a very deep sleep and woke to feel rested, even though I was in a sleeping bag on the lounge floor!
Today I traveled for 3 hours to spend an hour learning Transcendental Meditation (TM). A technique for meditation involving silently repeating a mantra that is specially chosen for you.
I had been really excited about today, but I arrived at the center feeling stressed and grumpy, some would say my normal state these days. Driving in the city after two hours on the motorway is not my idea of fun, but arriving at my destination to find the parking is horrendous, resulted in a fair amount of stress. My mood really plummeted though when I walked up to the venue and found the door locked and a note saying it might take them a while to open it for me! After a three hour drive I had expected to be able to go to the toilet and rest for a few minutes before the course started, so I was rather surprised to be left sitting outside waiting. To match my mood it had even started raining. In fact I went next door and to a Cafe and used their toilet, but still felt rather grumpy and stressed by the time someone (a receptionist?) did open the door for me.
Normally I would have held on to this mood for a while, probably imagining telling everyone how bad I thought it was, but to my surprise when my first hours instruction started, the mood vanished.
Learning TM starts with your teacher performing a brief ceremony of thanks to their teachers. My teacher, Mike, explained that this also reminded him of the many mantras he has been taught, keeping their sound pure in his mind and helps him select one for me. During the ceremony he chanted Sanskrit in a sing song way and then at the end just told me my mantra and asked me to repeat it. I was expecting more, but that was it. He then explained the technique of using the mantra for meditatio and I practiced.
The publicity material is full of testimonials saying how easy TM is, and I was relieved to agree. The publicity material is full of stories from people who have found the practice beneficial too, even the first session, so I was interested to see what would happen for me.
During the meditation I completely lost sense of time, something I normally associate with hypnosis. In some ways it felt like just minutes of meditation, yet I felt as if I had rested for longer. On the drive home I felt wide awake, I also noticed my responses to others being different. Somehow I was not surprised when the Audi A3 cut me up and then wove through the motorway traffic only to get stuck a couple of cars ahead. What was surprising to me was the lack of my negative emotions regarding the event. Sat in the service station I found myself smiling at the antics of a family walking back to their car. It was almost as if I felt their fun rather than being preoccupied with my issues.
You could say that I was primed to notice benefits from the start, which is true. That does not detract to the fact that there were for me, noticeable changes in my reactions.
As suggested by Mike I stopped on the way home and meditated for a further 20 minutes, then continued driving completely refreshed.
It’s only the first session of four, but so far Transcendental Meditation has lived up to expectation.
To find out more about Transcendental Meditation follow the link!
Meditation does not work if you all you do is read about it, it only works when you begin doing it. So let’s see if I can help you begin your meditation practice, because just reading about it and then making those excuses to yourself, you know the ones; “I don’t have time“, “There are too many distractions“, “I can’t stop my thoughts“, “I’ll do it tomorrow…” just means that you are missing out. For that matter so am I, but I will get to that later.
The reality is that learning to meditate is tough, just like learning to drive, ride a bike, or read. The difference is that most people are motivated by the obvious benefits of skills like driving. Motivated enough that they make the effort, make the effort to learn, to practice.
So how much motivation do you need to learn to meditate? Meditation is FREE and offers so many benefits. Along with benefits to your brain’s ability to function, more and more published studies are showing the benefits of meditation to your emotional and physical health. Studies showing reduction in stress, improved immune response, feeling happier, more connected, it’s all there if you like reading such things.
Perhaps what you really need to know is that meditation can be easier than you think..
What is This Post About
Meditation does not need to be difficult. You did not learn to read by looking at Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings and neither do you need to learn to meditate by sitting in lotus position and contemplating the meaning of life for 30 minutes.
You can begin practising meditation in just a couple of minutes a day.
Why Is This Post Important to Me?
Learning to meditate is an important life skill, because it has huge benefits to your emotional and physical health.
Learning to meditate is important, because you are important. I really believe that. Each and every one one of us has the right to be happy and healthy, and, lets face it, the World would be a better place if we all were… happier and healthier. That’s where I get to gain; imagine a world where more and more people are happy, smiling; calm, that is where I would like to live! Learning to meditate will help create that reality for you, of being happier and healthier.
How do I use the Information in this Post?
Meditation is a spiritual practice, not a religious one and these days the spiritual side of our lives is often the most neglected, the most forgotten, the most overlooked. So this is also an area where there are a lot of gains to be easily made.
One of my favourite methods that you can do almost anywhere is the Heartmath Heart Breathing Meditation. Why not have a go now? Here it is:
- Close your eyes and relax into your chair.
- Put your hand over your heart and focus your attention into that area, into those deep chambers in the centre of your chest.
- Breathe deeply but normally and feel as if your breath is coming in and out of your heart area.
- Begin to regulate your breathing to a count of six.
- Breathe for a count of six seconds into your heart space. Breathe for a count of six seconds out of your heart space. Keep breathing in for six and breathing out for six.
- Focus on your heart area and feel the relaxation.
You may be pleasantly surprised at just how quickly you begin to relax.
Alternatively you could just listen to a guided meditation track for as long as you feel comfortable. You could start with the track I’m sharing with those who sign up for my Newsletter. Just start by listening to first few minutes. Listen a few times and you may be pleased that you notice relaxing more and more, listening to just the first few minutes. Then gently and slowly you can listen for a little longer. You may be be pleased at just how quickly you can comfortably relax and listen all the way through.
Let me know how your meditation practice goes! 🙂
To be honest, it was not that good. Often it was not monthly. Often it lacked… I was trying to think of the what it lacked, but maybe I had it right with “Often it lacked!”. So we (Debbie still works behind the scenes) decided it was time for a new, better newsletter, one that actually contains something useful. At least useful to ‘some people’, ‘some of the time’.
Starting, as it will continue, there is a free self-hypnosis/guided meditation to help you to access your own ‘Inner Sanctuary’ for you to download and listen to after you signup.
During hypnosis I often use the suggestion that the deeply relaxed calm state my client is experiencing can be thought of as a ‘resource state’, like a sanctuary deep inside, somewhere they can return to, outside of sessions when they want to.
So why do I think this is important? Well, many of my clients have said learning to access their Inner Sanctuary was beneficial for them and I firmly believe that spending a little time each day quietening the mind and body is hugely beneficial.
I think we all have inner voices; sometimes our minds are so full of them it can be hard to know which one to listen to, and, of course, the voice you want to listen to is the one that whispers to you; whispers words of love and wisdom. Quietening your mind and body, creating your Inner Sanctuary gives you a chance to connect to sources of wisdom that are normally drowned out by the often chaotic cacophony of our conscious minds. Some of you will hear words, others may find this voice will come in the form of feelings, either way with practice and time it will be there for you.
Wayne Dyer is a wonderful spiritual teacher. He believes that by listening to the inner voice of our ‘Highest Self’ we have a divine ability to manifest and attract what we need or desire. In his blog post entitled ‘Manifesting Your Desires -4 Ways to Get What You Really Really Want‘ he says:
“Go beyond the restriction of the physical plane. The purpose of the Highest Self is to assist you in this. Create an inner sanctuary that is yours alone. Go to this silent inner retreat as often as you can, and let go of all attachments to the external world of the ego.” – Wayne Dyer
I’m inclined to agree with Wayne and that is why this download is one of the first resources I am sharing with you. So I’d like to invite you to signup to my NEW Newsletter now, download the track, listen for a couple of times over the next few days and then let me know what benefits you notice.
Are you plagued by thoughts of the past? Is some experience haunting you? Do you feel your thoughts are out of control? Are you scared and you do not even know why? Are you behaving in ways that you do not want and do not understand?
Have you lost hope that things will ever be better?
If you are saying ‘yes’ to any of those questions you are like majority of my clients.
Emotional Freedom Technique, (EFT or Tapping as it is also called) is the most powerful, effective, efficient and kind way of helping you release the ‘stuff’ that is keeping you from being who you really want to be. Have a look at my explanation on Youtube
It has opened my mind so much that I want to share it, even though I would normally have kept such things very private. So here goes…
A part of me believes my family should always be happy and healthy. After all, I clearly believe that I have the ability to help others become healthier and happier. I have helped enough people, to know that there is some truth in that belief. So a part of me, feels we should always be leading from the front, always full of health and happy. I know that Debbie often thinks the same, as she has also mentioned feeling the same way.
So one of our guilty secrets is that our 3 year old daughter, Honey, would wake up most mornings crying and distressed. It seemed to me in particular, that every morning started early (around 4 to 6 am) with a crying unhappy child and it was getting to me. I was noticing thoughts I did not want, “it’s always like this”, “here we go again” and I knew thoughts like this would not help.
For over three years I felt a bit powerless to change it. I had a feeling that it all stemmed from the family tragedy that occurred just before Honey was born. At the time, which was just weeks from Honey’s expected delivery, we used hypnosis and emotional freedom technique daily to try and shield our unborn daughter from the flood of emotions that coursing through Debbie’s veins. These emotions, grief at the loss of her younger sister and unborn nephew during childbirth, fear that what had previously seemed safe and natural may now be a life threatening event, had overtaken those of joy and anticipation of the arrival of our baby girl.
We were both experiencing our versions of the natural feelings of grief, sadness and loss wrapped up with those of fear. I feel that we did the best we could, but it is also my belief that Honey had learned that life was scary and distressing even before she was born and so maybe that was why she woke up each morning sounding distressed.
Now over the past three years there have been a sequence of events that has pushed me towards believing in our bodies subtle energy systems. Possibly being more open to that concept, I also came across EFT Founder Gwyneth Moss’s talks on surrogate tapping. This is where you use Emotional Freedom Technique or tapping for someone else, by imagining you are them! I’ve discarded this idea in the past without any real thought, but Gwyneth’s background is in science, she graduated from Cambridge in physics and worked worldwide as an oil exploration geophysicist and project management consultant before retraining as a therapist. Her thoughts mirrored mine when she explained her initial reaction to surrogate tapping which was “that’s too weird, that’s for Reiki people, not me”. So if someone with a proven record as both a physicist and a therapist can observe the benefits, would I be able to? After yet another morning of being woken early to the sound of Honey crying and distressed, I very strongly suggested to Debbie that we should try surrogate tapping for her.
How We Did It
As I said before, surrogate EFT involves tapping on yourself on behalf of someone else, so we decided I would ‘pretend’ to be Honey and Debbie would be the therapist. EFT works best when you are not attached to the outcome though, so we spent some time clearing our own issues and emotional responses over Honey’s behaviour. Then I pretended to be Honey and Debbie acted as practitioner. We ended with the choices method around feeling safe and happy in her room. I just imagined myself as Honey and said what came into my mind, in the kind of words she would use. Our session probably lasted for around an hour and half, with around 1/3rd of it being the surrogate tapping.
The Following Morning
Around eight hours later at about 6:45 I almost cried as I lay in bed listening to Honey chat away to herself contentedly. I finally got up and popped my head around her door to be met with a cheery “Morning Dad”.
This blew me away. It was a like a dream. I had expected a change, committed myself fully to the process and believing in it, but such a profound difference, so quickly, was beyond my expectations.
Friday she woke with a cold and feeling ill, but still wanted to stay in her own room…
To date, each morning (to date around six weeks later), she has woken with a much more contented state of mind.
How Could This Work?
Some of you reading this will believe it a mysterious consequence, or wishful thinking. Personally I believe now more than ever, that we are all energetically linked in some way and this is why it has worked.
For now I’m avidly reading postings and books by those who understand what might be happening better than I do.
But I wonder, have you experienced anything like it?
There can be few things scarier than being diagnosed with Cancer, I still remember when my mum was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and given a few years at best to live. As a family we functioned, but in shock and with an almost paralysing sense of fear dragging me down everytime I awoke in the morning. I have regrets over that time because I did wrong, but it was a long a time ago and I lacked the knowledge I have now.
So if I could turn back time what would I do differently? In truth I believe there are many things that contribute towards self healing and being healthy, but I would start with these:
Firstly I believe hope is the most important thing to foster. So watch this now.
Doctors seem paranoid about this and and scared of giving false hope, personally I would be more scared of living without hope because studies have shown that when it comes to beating cancer even ‘denial’ is better than the stoic acceptance that some people think you should have. Hope is crucial because without hope what is the point of doing anything?
I would recommend reading books like: Radical Remission, How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body, You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter etc to read about stories of how other people have survived against the odds and the theories behind how it maybe possible. Once you become open to the possibility that you can survive and thrive in spite of a prognosis to the contrary, you may be surprised at how many others have done so too and maybe you can be one of them. Here is the story on Youtube of one chap who did not consciously do anything, but still survived against the odds.
When you open your mind there is so much out there, and some it from forward thinking Doctors, like that talk from Doctor Lissa Rankin which I find amazingly inspirational.
Secondly it is vital to get into the right state of mind to heal by acknowledging and reducing any fears, stresses or negative beliefs, while promoting positive thoughts and emotions. This is an area that I now specialise in because I know how important it is to regaining health. In simple terms every thought you have, conscious or subconscious starts as an electrical impulse, then creates chemical messengers that flood every cell in your body. Telling your cells which genes to switch on and off, which immune cells to create etc. There are now plenty of studies linking emotions like anger, and fear with various illness and it is well understood that stress or the fight or flight response drastically changes our biological systems which long term have a negative effect on our bodies. So it is vital that you get help to let these go. Find someone with a good reputation, who resonates with you, that can offer techniques such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) that really do help you let to go of unhelpful thoughts.
As every thought you have does result in chemical messengers that flood every cell in your body, so replacing your fears with more positive thoughts is also important. Starting a gratitude diary may seem tough after a diagnosis of cancer, but blogger Gabi MacEwan credits the practice to her survival and it is a good way to foster positive emotions. Read more in my post: Three Strategies for Gratitude If Your Life is Tough.
Practising a daily meditation/self hypnosis to encourage your body to heal is also vital and there are many such tracks available commercially. Email me if you would like one of mine to listen to.
Thirdly, start eating the right foods! This will probably involve you forgetting everything you have previously been told from ‘authority’ figures, but the evidence is there for doing so. Many people attribute changes to nutrition, often drastic changes, as being responsible for beating cancer. One of those I stumbled across recently is Fred Hatfield, who was given three months to live when he came across the idea that adopting a ‘ketogenic’ (high fat) diet would help him. The story I came across was written a year after he adopted that way of eating and he was still free of cancer. Others like Kriss Carr have found a diet of plant based nutrition has helped them. So here is the dilemma, how should you eat to beat cancer?
Now although initially these may look like drastically different approaches, which they are, if you look at the detail there are many similarities. So while one approach predominately involves starving the cancer sells of their primary energy source and the other predominately involves increasing anti-cancer vegetables, they both have similarities in what is avoided (and I have posted about that before).
In 1931, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Otto Warburg, who discovered that cancer cells and malignant tumours tend to feed on sugar (glucose and fructose). This theory has been expanded upon by others such as Dr Seyfried and Dr. Dominic D’Agostino and is the basis of using a diet that is high in fat, causing the body to use fat derived ketones for energy. As cancer cells cannot use ketones they die, while the rest of the body functions well, if not better on ketones than glucose.
So while diets like Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet do not aim at ketone generation, many of the meals involve only sugar derived from carbohydrates, which when combined with increasing the intake of vegetables known to be beneficial in fighting cancer, may be enough for you to beat the cancer.
However, after doing a lot of research into healthy eating I would say that the ketogenic approach seems to make more sense and that is what I now recommend. Here are lots of resources you may find useful.
To Round Up:
Other people have survived and thrived and you could be one of them. Nurture your hope and do what ever it takes to believe that you can survive and thrive too. Your thoughts and emotions are vital to your bodies ability to heal and fight cancer, get the help you need to let go of fears and develop a rock solid vision of a healthy happy you. Ditch the standard western diet and follow a ketogenic diet.
If you would like to know more please see my website.