What does it mean to meditate? This question could be answered in a hundred different ways, in a hundred different countries, by a hundred different cultures. But I, Jackie Heffer Cooke, live in Norwich, in 2016, so I’ll tell you what it means to me and what you can learn at our wonderful new Meditation Workshop in Norwich which has been specifically designed for mums like me.
Like a lot of people, I have a very busy mind. It gallops off in all directions, pulling and pushing my emotions along the way. Some days my mind is productive, sometimes it’s critical, at times confused and occasionally downright punishing. Years ago I suffered with insomnia when loops went round and round and round with no end. it was exhausting.
I have always wanted to be a more peaceful, content person, and have tried many things to self-medicate; counsellors, cigarettes and alcohol. The counselling was helpful, I talked, she listened, I got some things off my chest, but I didn’t have any answers. Cigs and alcohol, were fun at the time, but those substances aren’t ever really going to find you proper inner peace, particularly not when you are sober and once again alone with your thoughts.
How I found Meditation
I found meditation when I started training with the MTI in massage 9 years ago, meditation was very much part of the journey, although it wasn’t obvious as such. But it was enough to make me wonder about how the mind and body hold tension, in their own sometimes destructive ways. The fact that I had a two-year-old and was trying to process feelings of change/loss of identity, lack of control (over my child and myself), that I was questioning my own parents for their parenting, that I was suffering from sleeplessness and fatigue, my motivation was doubtful, my ‘worst mum’ guilt evident in abundance, lack of freedom, sadness of body image… ok already! Sounds to me like some kind of depression… or maybe just hopeless confusion?
But all the time I felt the luckiest woman ON EARTH to have my gorgeous, precious daughter Megan whom I love with such an all-encompassing muchness I feel my heart tug as I write.
But, I had to sort the mind thing out… for us both.
My inspiration for a Meditation Workshop in Norwich
Here’s where inspiration for our Meditation Workshop stems from and what meditation is for me.
- It is ‘getting out of your head’, grounding yourself into your body and into the present moment. A break from the past and the future. Just in the present. Yoga does this for me perfectly, but so does ‘body focused’ meditation like yoga nigra.
- It is observing tugging, nagging, needless emotional thoughts, which aren’t in the least bit useful, to wind them back, see where they come from, and give them the attention they are so desperately after, in order to calm them down. Just like a toddler tugging on your dress, demanding attention, so your thoughts will do the same until you study them and see either a solution, an outcome, or simply are able to file them neatly away for good (this one not a tactic you can use on a toddler).
- It is learning to look at myself with loving kindness. Not to criticise and self-punish, but to understand when I need to ‘give myself a break’ and just be nice to my Self.
Meditation has ‘processes’ for all the above, and more. Improving focus, centring beyond the senses in ‘the quiet gaps’, and eventually promising the eternal energy and enlightenment, although I’m not sure I will get there in this lifetime.
Meditation has not solved all of my own, or indeed the world’s problems, but it has certainly helped. It has assisted me to self-study and recognise why, when, and how to do things differently, to not follow the old limiting patterns. To be more mindful.
And I know it has brought great outcomes… I am a better person, definitely a better mum, even a better wife (mostly) and a better friend. I don’t have deep complete inner peace, one day maybe (for now my schedule is too busy for that ;-)) but I do have more focus, a brighter energy, I’m kinder and less cynical, I have an inner calm and an ability to see things more clearly. And I have a tool that I can use when times get tough and my head goes fuzzy and my emotions get tuggy. That will do for now…
Join YogaBubs founder and The Orange Grove Director, Jackie Heffer-Cooke, on her Meditation Workshop for Mums on Jan 28th, 11am until 3pm at the beautiful Caistor Hall Hotel. You never know… it might Just change your life… Book today via the Yogabuds website.