Like many of us, Caitlin Cady tried and fell off the meditation wagon several times before it clicked for her, but she says that once it did, it was utterly and profoundly life changing. In this edited extract from her new book Heavily Meditated, she shares how she learned to let go, what it’s done for her, and easy techniques to make it part of your own daily routine.
Terrified of meditating? I know, sounds ridiculous. Like being afraid of a kitten. But on a fundamental, subconscious level, I was absolutely petrified of taking my foot off the gas and loosening my grip on the steering wheel. I was afraid that if I let my guard down, my life would fall to pieces.
I was quite sure that if I slowed my roll, even for a moment, I’d lose my job, my friends and my boyfriend in quick succession. I’d balloon up to 200kg and spend my days lolling about in a muumuu (and not a cute retro one, either). Without a job you can forget paying rent, much less a mortgage, so I’d probably have to live in a cardboard box. I’d never reach my full potential. Meditation symbolised relaxing and letting go. And therefore, meditation symbolised a loss of control and all the terrifyingly bad things that would come with that. Without all that doing and achieving, who would I be? That was a scary thought. So my mind threw up a million and one reasons why I couldn’t and shouldn’t meditate. The resistance was strong.
PARTING WITH PERFECTION
But here’s the thing about resistance: it tells you that it’s keeping you safe, but it’s really keeping you small. Resistance stands in the way of your growth, your expansion, the actualisation of your full potential. And ultimately, you have to make a choice between believing the resistance or breaking through it and stepping into your potential.
I didn’t want to be sick and stressed for the rest of my life. So I chose my potential...
And it worked. Meditating helped me slow my roll and calm down. And that opened the space for my body and mind to realign and get back on track. I said sayonara to the spin-cycles of stress and anxiety. I parted ways with perfectionism and that persistent, paralysing fear of failure. My nervous system found a way to reboot, and my immune system reset itself. Want some concrete evidence? There’s not a trace of the Lyme disease I used to suffer from in my blood now.
It wasn’t easy. It’s an ongoing commitment, a perpetual learning curve. But I can tell you this. Come rain or shine, come sick or well, come screaming babies, aeroplanes, hospital stays or holidays, come pressing deadlines or alarm-clock fails, I show up and meditate. I’m a straight-up meditation junkie. It’s a non-negotiable in my day. That doesn’t mean that my meditation practice looks exactly the same every single day. But I show up, whether it’s for 20 minutes or just 10 breaths.
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