As the countdown to my 30s continues, today I am grateful that I’ve calmed my frantic, frenetic mind with meditation and I know the inner workings of my body and mind more than ever.
I’ve been plagued with an overactive mind my entire life. I grew up an insomniac. I would lay in bed for 3-4 hours each night before finally easing off to sleep. My mind would race, flitting from one subject to another, full of ideas and lists–some productive, some not so productive. I wrote songs and stories and plays as I layed in bed all evening. I worried and fretted over tiny details; I relived painful memories and stressful situations. I spent my life constantly waffling between hyperactivity and utter exhaustion. My inability to focus followed me through my college career and held me back during my vocal training. I spent most of my voice lessons worrying, fretting, trying to be perfect, and do everything my teachers asked of me that I became more and more tense which caused further vocal difficulties. It became a vicious cycle where I wasn’t even listening to what my teachers were saying because my inner monologue was screaming so loudly telling me all the things I was doing wrong and overthinking every minor adjustment. Most days, I simply broke down in tears, overwhelmed with the viciousness of my mental process.
Finally, after 6 years of intensive yoga study, I’m making progress at quieting that constant inner critic. I’ve started to recognize when the mental wheels start spinning out of control and I now have the tools and exercises to bring myself back to center and find my focus. I will likely always have difficulty keeping my mind from moving into an energetic frenzie, but it’s a blessing to be in control of my own mind. Here’s to this new decade of peace, deep sleep, and mental wellbeing.
One of my favorite meditative tools is my Muse meditation headband. This biofeedback support reads my brainwaves as I sit and breath, transmitting the intesity of my mental activity into gentle sounds such as raindrops, wind, or waves. This helps me to become more aware of the thoughts as they pass through. Recognizing my mental patterns allows me to focus on recovery and bring myself back to my breath while letting all else go. I am deeply indebted to my meditation practice for changing my health and my life.