To Meditate or MADitate?

I try to meditate often; I really do. As often happens, my mind wanders. This is a pretty common thing when you are relatively new to meditation. My standard deal is to get in a comfortable position, close my eyes, and think “peace, peace, peace.”

But minds love to wander, and mine is no exception. I have to keep reeling it in, thinking “peace, peace, peace” as a mantra to stay focused. Meditation (for me, anyway) is a way to keep stress low and relax. Now, those of us who believe in angels and spiritual guides often get messages and inspiration while in this relaxed state. So far, so good.

The tricky part is when your mind wants to focus on something someone said to upset you, a bill you weren’t expecting, an argument you had with a friend, the time earlier in the day when someone in traffic cut you off and gave you the one-finger salute. These thoughts can make you so upset that all you can seem to focus on is how crappy life has been to you lately.

That’s the state I personally call “maditation;” that is, you focus on all that’s bad in your life. It’s easy to do, and you can slip into it very easily. “Maditation” makes you feel worse than ever, while meditation makes you feel relaxed and grateful for all the good things in your life.

So, how do you stop “maditation” from creeping into your meditation? It’s way too easy to get irritated, riled up and angry over many things. Last September, I was hurt and furious when I was let go of my job of three years. I felt that I had been doing good work, helping our customers, being cheerful and upbeat; in short, being a good ‘corporate citizen.’ Worst of all, only one of the people with whom I worked closely ever called or spoke to me again. Needless to say, I went into serious ‘maditation.’

However, once I cooled off I realized that I had actually been handed a gift. It was around that time that my mother went into Hospice home care; her metastatic breast cancer was back and we knew she was on borrowed time. Now that job of mine was a 145 mile round trip for me, and even as a part-time worker I often worked nearly a full week at a time. There was no way possible that I could do this and be with my parents during Mom’s final illness.

I spent those following weeks and months visiting and staying overnight once or twice a week to help with Mom. Dad and I became a team, with help from the wonderful and compassionate Hospice nurses, we helped Mom’s last days be comfortable and good ones.

Most of all, those precious weeks and months meant the world to me. No job could ever mean more than the privilege and honor of being able to be there with my parents during this bittersweet time.

The difference between meditation and ‘maditation’ is simple; feeling good or feeling bad. I have so much to be thankful for that it gets easier all the time for me to drop ‘maditation’ like a poisoned hot potato. I embrace meditation not just to calm down, but to focus on all that is good, wonderful, amazing, beautiful and satisfying in my life.

I’d a whole lot rather be ‘med’ than ‘mad!’

 

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