Self-isolation. Lockdown. Quarantine. Social distancing. The buzzwords of 2020 symbolise forced separation in a world so connected yet so far apart. Seeing loved ones is no longer a given, physical touch is restricted, and many are unable to visit the people they care for the most.
When teaching meditation, the right metaphors make all the difference between great instruction and a lack of clarity. I often compare meditation to exercise when teaching. Physical exercise is commonly understood, while many struggle to grasp the technique of strengthening the mind.
This point of reference supports learning. We know exercise is beneficial for our physical health, just as meditation is beneficial for mental health. Developing your practice is like training your mind at the gym, building strength, improving form, developing muscle memory to alter the structure of the brain.
But there is a significant difference between physical exercise meditation. When allowing this metaphor to dictate your approach to meditation practice, it could do more harm than good.
The memory resurfaced. Days-gone-by illuminated my consciousness, beckoning me to leave the present and return to the past. “I miss that time,” I thought, as I remembered a lucid summer from two years ago, a time when I felt vibrantly alive.
I’m content with where I’m at, mentally, spiritually, and creatively, but the summer of 2018 had a different quality to it. I had a powerful spiritual awakening and a huge upgrade in my reality. I’d uncovered parts of myself I didn’t know existed, including levels of creativity never before experienced, and a vitality and aliveness which had me bouncing out of bed each day, eager to get to work on my business, to explore, to adventure.
An adventure it was; those summer months felt like learning how to live again, from a different place. My receptivity was wide open, I’d stumbled across a deeper reality, and I’d never felt more awake, more connected to myself, my spirituality, the universe surrounding me. I was seeing everything with fresh eyes, as if for the first time.
Such highs are common throughout the awakening process, but they aren’t ever-lasting. Since then I’ve continued to grow and develop, with similar moments of aliveness coming and going, with plenty of shadow work thrown in for good measure. Spiritual growth is circular, and although I feel the ways I’ve grown, there’s a certain quality about these months I can’t shake.