My Meditation Journey - In Addiction and In SobrietyWhat does meditation help with?

 

Everything.

 

 

Okay, that’s a bit of a blanket statement, but after practicing meditation for years, in a wide variety of life circumstances, I can truly say that there isn’t a single facet of life that can’t be improved through meditation.

Studies back me up on this one. If you search through the studies on meditation you’ll find that it’s not only is a great vessel to enhance your spiritual practice, but it also has a huge and positive impact on mental, emotional, and physical health too.

I’ve never really shared this before, but my first encounter with regular meditation was for less-than-wholesome reasons.

I was in my very early 20’s, in the depths of my drug addiction, and had moved in with my ex-husband. Nighttime posed a big problem because I rarely slept and my ex, who didn’t use drugs, did sleep.

I wasn’t willing to get clean… yet, but I wanted to live to an appearingly normal life so laying with him for 6-8 hours a night was important. It’s hard to comprehend unless you’ve been there, but laying still for that long on high powered stimulants can very easily become a personal hell. In searching for ways to make it bearable I learned self-hypnosis and also began meditating. I did that almost every night until getting clean about 4 months later. (I refer to clean as off of drugs and sober as off of drugs and alcohol.) I wasn’t religious, and honestly I wasn’t even really spiritual at that time. I just needed something to help me from going insane each night as the minutes dragged on.

I set down meditation for almost half a decade after getting clean, it wasn’t until I initially tried to get sober in 2008 that I started to meditate again.

I fell in love with meditation. 

Being at a point in my life that I was fully willing to at least try be open and receptive to all that the universe had to offer and trusting the path the universe would guide me on, it was like a light switch had been flipped.

My life was still chaotic, but my mind and my spirit were calm and at peace.

Over the years, my practice has dramatically changed.

Initially it was reading and reflecting on inspiration passages on recovery each morning on my back deck with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. After a while I began enhancing my practice by experimenting with different types of meditation. Then when I stopped smoking, I was much less motivated to go outdoors every morning and used my little meditation corner a lot more (which was actually the end of my couch next to a table with some crystals, mala beads, oils, and incense on it). Today I have my go-to meditation I do daily and will play around with different styles and durations.

Just like life, my meditation practice has been fluid.

When I say that meditation helps with just about everything, I’m not joking.

Here is my own first hand, personal experience with what meditation has helped me with:

  • Getting off hard drugs
  • Quieting my mind
  • Ditching negative mindset
  • Becoming solution oriented
  • Establishing faith
  • Learning who I am
  • Liking and accepting who I am
  • Losing over 100 pounds
  • Keeping the weight off
  • Getting and staying sober
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Getting off Paxil after 10 years
  • Not living in reaction
  • Clarity in my life path
  • Consistency
  • Avoidance
  • Getting a proper diagnosis of POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia), then EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)
  • Self-esteem
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Creating a “filter” before I speak and not acting on emotion
  • Finding spirituality in my life
  • The ability to see the good in every situation
  • Being able to love and accept others as they are
  • Being able to accept love from myself and others
  • To live a love driven life
  • Connecting with others through meditation
  • and I’m sure there is more, this is just off the top of my head

Even with all of these ways meditation has rocked my world, I’m not perfect at it. Since at times I definitely can suck at life, it’s only logical that at times I suck at meditation. The thing is, I use tools and routines that are deeply meaningful to me to make meditation more enticing, and when I am still not motivated… meditation doesn’t judge, there’s no wrong way to do it, and even when my practice doesn’t meet my own expectations, any effort I’m putting in is directly helping to resolve my lackluster mindset. (see it really does help everything… don’t want to meditate- the solution is to meditate!)

Today, I get the privilege of sharing the gift of meditation with others through my courses, my podcast, Stress Free Naturally, and workshops which in itself is proving to be a really awesome journey.

 

 

In the comments below, let me know about your meditation journey. If you are new to meditation, make sure to grab my meditation above, then share in the comments how you’d like meditation to impact your life.

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***If you find that you struggle with substance abuse and want guidance on getting sober, please reach out to me at tribe@naturallyashlie.com and I will put in you in touch with the free resources I used in getting sober***

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