For many years I have had an intuition that bringing a meditation practice into my daily life would be transformational. It has taken me at least 15 years to move from pre-contemplation to practice. And my intuition was right! in the six months I have been practicing meditation regularly, I have transformed. I would describe myself as an empath, someone who feels with others, and that has been a difficult road to walk not always knowing where I end and others begin. Now engaging in meditation regularly, I can now be with others having significant emotional ups and downs and not be influenced by them. Now, I can be present for others rather than suffering with them. I am also so much more able to be present with my own emotions, less reactive and much more objective. It is a huge relief.
As an unintentional experiment, this last week i didn't practice meditation regularly and i felt it. I unraveled a bit allowing external stressors to seep in to my psyche and i wasn't able to stay present and calm with others... I joined them in their emotional fluctuations. I understand now that meditation is a practice so it must be regular and consistent to be effective.
I am grateful that I began meditating, finally. I am grateful each time i make space... 5 or 10 minutes are great! It doesn't have to be an hour, it just has to be an intentional process. On the days when my monkey mind is even more frantic, I allow youtube to be my friend using any number of it's hundreds (maybe thousands) of guided meditations.
Below is a great article from Kripalu on the benefits of loving-kindness meditation (LKM):
Small Amounts of Loving-Kindness Meditation Lead to Big Change
by Angela Wilson, MA, RYT
"One increasingly popular form of meditation is loving-kindness meditation (LKM), the practice of wishing one’s self and others to be happy, content, and at ease. In the yoga tradition, loving-kindness is seen as an opportunity to “cultivate the opposite.” Where many meditation techniques encourage students to explore difficult feelings or emotions directly, in loving-kindness, the invitation is to send well wishes to oneself (who is in distress) as well as the other (who we feel distress toward). This isn’t meant to suppress the feelings as they arise, but instead it can be thought of as a soothing balm, something gently placed on a wound for healing.