How To Get To Know Yourself Better
Or: How I started discovering meditation and my mind
Being human is complex – we have an amazing and mysterious thing that we call our mind. Our minds inhabit a body that changes all the time and as if that were not enough –we are constantly buffeted by a whole range of emotions.
This is obvious, right?
How well do you know your mind with its characteristics and habits? And your body, how does it feel? What does your emotional world look and feel like?
I am fascinated by this complexity. And I do not understand why I was never introduced to the importance of self-discovery during my high school years.
The very first time I plugged in earphones and listened to a guided meditation on YouTube, I was in my second year of university and it was exam time. At the time, I was commuting every single day and I felt completely overwhelmed by weeks of presentations, papers and exams. Typically, when I was feeling stressed and anxious, I would seek out my Mom’s loving comfort and support.
One day, I came home late from another exam and another drive home in rush hour. I was miserable. My head felt like it would explode, yet I felt bone tired. The thought of having to study that night for my next exam left me in freeze mode. I was at the end of my resources. And my safe harbor – my Mom – was on holiday.
To this day I don’t know where the idea to try a guided meditation came from. I do know that I was sceptical when I searched for guided meditations on YouTube. I had all kinds of preconceived notions of meditation as being falsely spiritual and part of a new-agey world, and that only people living in this world would do such a thing as guided meditation.
But I was at the end of my rope and knew I needed to do something. So I got down on the floor, put on the earphones, closed my eyes and just listened.
The experience I had, thanks to my sceptical and yet curious attempt at exploring a way to change my mood that night, changed my life forever. I realized when I got up again after 30 minutes that I felt more energized, clear and above all, completely awestruck. Observing my own mind, trying to rest it on my breath, feeling my body – had seemed to be what I needed that moment. And now I had a practice to learn and use whenever I needed it.