10 000 minutes. That’s roughly 167 hours, almost a whole week. How would you spend this amount of time if you could afford? What would you like to have as an outcome of it? Would you dedicate this amount of time to yourself? Or for others maybe?
Well, I spent that 10k minutes entirely on myself.
Yet the whole world has changed and others are also benefiting. How?
I spent this amount of time with meditation.
My story with the meditation started in 2016. At that time I was in a long personal crisis for more than a year already. I was spending entire nights awake as I couldn’t fall asleep. My brain never seemed to be tired, I was constantly producing thoughts and emotions. I tried hard to fall asleep as I knew I would be tired the next day. And I couldn’t afford to be tired because I was not only a mom of an 8-year old boy but also a leader at a multinational company. I was full of duties and I needed all my energy to keep myself up. So you can guess how stressful I was during those nights when I couldn’t sleep… and of course, once I recognized I cannot sleep, it got even worse.
I tried (almost) everything to help myself to fall asleep: was reading in the bed, counting sheep, drinking warm milk, drinking one (or two) glass of wine; doing heavy fitness exercises during the day to be tired, listening to music; taking light pills – nothing helped. I regularly found myself lying in my bed without sleeping.
One thing was always the same though. My brain was crazy active. I felt like all the thoughts of the world are in my head. Not surprisingly my performance and my mood at the workplace also started to change (and of course, I would never have admitted it as I didn’t recognize I was in a crisis).
My relationships also changed. More precisely, they were all disappeared. Some people didn’t tolerate my unpredictable mood, some others got bored with that I didn’t feel like doing anything nor going anywhere – and I pushed away from the remaining ones as I didn’t want a company even if I didn’t want to be alone either. Only just a very few and very close relationships survived this state (and I am grateful for them forever!).
By that time I already knew something was wrong. I wanted to go back to my regular track, I recognized that I was dangerously running out of energy and I knew it was essential for me to sleep well again. I just didn’t know how to do so.
One of these days, a colleague of mine (Jared!) was calling my attention to an app. This was Headspace. The app for meditation. I didn’t know too much about meditation, I just heard it’s super relaxing.
Sigh! I would need something that makes me relaxed so much!
And as Headspace offered the first 10 meditation sessions for free, I thought I have nothing to lose. On that day I went to bed as usual and I started the 1st session. It was a 10-minute long meditation.
The next morning I woke up.
Wait! If I woke up then it means I was sleeping! Oh! My! God!
But what happened?
I remembered that the meditation started and I was following the instructions, I was taking a deep breath several times and I started to count the breaths too. I remembered doing it till up to 10 and then started a new round. My memory stopped at the 4th one, so I fell asleep!
I felt extremely happy that I found my treatment for my insomnia and was excited to see if this would be working the next day again. And it was! I again fell asleep and woke up only in the morning. I repeated this for 10 days and I already started to feel much better.
At that point, I decided I need this tool, so I registered to Headspace and started to use the app each day. My sleeping behavior was changing dramatically and I started to reclaim my energy again. I wanted to understand how it works so I dug into meditation and was reading a lot about it.
That was the point when I learned that meditation is not really about falling asleep …but rather being awake and in awareness… and mainly beginners, like me, are falling asleep during meditation 😊
Oh well… so meditation is not about sleeping well? Oops.
Anyway, it was helping me to be able to sleep well again, so I wanted to really know and learn how to meditate well.
I switched my meditation schedule and instead of meditating before sleeping, I started to meditate in the morning after I woke up. And it was a beautiful experience! I was able listening to the 10 min session without falling asleep and I experienced sounds and senses of my body that I had never felt before.
I became a ‘morning monk’ very soon. There was not a morning that I missed with meditation and I truly enjoyed the discovery! I recognized myself ‘being ready’ in mind sooner than ever in the morning and I could start to believe that there is life before the first coffee as well 😊 My everyday started to bring less strong heartbeats, less heavy thoughts, and emotions and more moments that I just simply enjoyed.
I felt blessed.
I felt that a whole new world opened for me to see and I was so ready to see that! I was so ready to see myself in that new world!
Undoubtedly I became a fan of meditation. I was reading more and more about it and I started to meditate for 20 or 30 mins, going through the thematic sessions in the Headspace app and doing awareness exercises during the day too.
My life was changing as I was changing: I’ve started to see the world and people differently. I’ve started to see opportunities in situations where only closed doors were before. I’ve started to recognize the ‘state of being’ – my state of being. I’ve got the key to my awareness and my mindful potential.
And I’ve entered into that.
1. I completed an 8-week long Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy course to master my meditation skills and learn more mindful techniques.
2. Meditation has become my routine, not only in the morning but also during the day I take deep breaths 😊. And guess what, I can meditate already without the app too 😊.
3. I was working with a psychologist to resolve my personal crisis and I learned to deal with grief and divorce.
4. I gained an international certification in business coaching that is a new profession for me besides marketing.
5. I’ve transitioned out of the multinational world and left my leadership role behind.
6. I’ve become a coach entrepreneur in January 2019.
7. I’ve created my lifelong vision: Supporting people to achieve their best selves by finding and living their state of being so they can access and live their potential.
8. Recently, I have been certified as a Human Potential Assessment Coach to support my lifelong vision. Because ‘When the Being comes Alive, the Doing Thrives’.
9. My personal life has shifted as well, I have re-built my friendships and created new relationships and I’ve been living in harmony with my partner – and myself.
Today I feel like I’m living my potential and I am the person whom I like to be. This state of being of mine helps me to live my dreams, fulfill my goals and to support others with love and kindness.
Thank you meditation for letting me accessing and discovering myself and the world.
And thank you @Headspace, @Andy Puddicombe, for making meditation possible for me. And millions of people around the world.
And, the next 10k meditation starts tomorrow! 😊
PS 1: The 10k is ‘only’ tracked by Headspace as I’m meditating beside the app too.
PS 2: Today’s live meditation with Andy was also fantastic! 😊
PS 3: Yes, you also want to try it .)
#meditation #headspace #awareness #stateofbeing #beingatfullpotential #mindfulness