A real-life case study on the benefits of meditation…
Y’all it was not pretty
Ok, so it was not really a case study as much as it was observation of what my life was like without my meditation practice. For me, meditation is the foundation of mindfulness. If we can quiet our minds long enough to connect with our consciousness and awareness, we set the stage so to speak for the other forms of mindfulness. At the end of all my meditations I state my intentions. Joyful energetic body, loving compassionate heart, reactive alert mind, and lightness of being. Today we will be talking about lightness of being.
What is “lightness of being”? Well it means many things to many people, but in this case, I am referring to a way of moving through life. Let’s think about those definitions for the word light.
- The natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.
- Understanding of a problem or mystery; enlightenment.
- Provide with light or lighting; illuminate.
- Make (something) start burning; ignite
So, let’s think about this
The natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible. I like to think of this as the empathy factor. The awareness of community and my connection to the whole of humanity. Think of the scenario where one finger itches and you cut off the whole hand. In this case it does not even make sense to cut off the itchy finger. When we go out into the world blind to the connection, we not only move in the world with darkness, but there is darkness within us. This darkness steals our joy and light as we move through our day!
Understanding of a problem or mystery; enlightenment. When a happening is seen through more than a single point of view the vision becomes clearer. When you are enlightened, and I don’t like to use that word, you can step outside of your ego and look at the situation with full vision. What does that look like you ask? Well I will tell you. Say you have a friend that told you he got a discount on movie tickets that was amazing. He suggested you call and ask for the discount too! You call and the representative tells you there is no discount available to you. When you are operating in darkness your response is one dimensional. Why is this rep doing this to me? This stupid rep does not even know their job. The rep does not want to give it to you because you are female. What do you mean you cannot give ME the discount? Stop, wait a minute. Let’s bring in the light. Hmm…maybe this representative is new. Maybe he is having a bad day. Maybe the discount my friend received was part of a special program that was sent out by a different department. My friend may have given me incorrect information. This representative may not have the authority to offer a discount. The rep may have a hangover. The possibilities are endless and more than likely have nothing to do with you. So, you enter the conversation with a calmer, lighter way of being. By showing empathy and calmness and comradery, you smile and form a partnership with the rep to see what can be done. You ask if there is anyone else that might know something about the discount? Is there a way I got it wrong? Is there a way my friend could have gotten it wrong? What can we do? Many times, you can achieve the result you intended with ease. Other times the result you want is not achieved or the result is different than what you intended. When you are operating in lightness of being that is not a disaster or personal affront. It is what it is.
Provide with light or lighting; illuminate. Have you heard the saying “Shed some light on the problem”? Being light allows the space for truth and communication. As a child, it was so much easier to tell the truth when you knew you would not be punished. By bringing lightness into the situation you are providing the space for expansion, truth and bright ideas!
Make (something) start burning; ignite. I think you get the point by now but let me add one more thing. By operating in the “lightness of being” you cannot help but shine your light on others, igniting something within them. I think of those memorial candlelight services where one person starts with a lighted candle and uses their flame to light the next persons, and the next person uses their flame to light another’s. Can you visualize the light that would result from your one candle? A smile, a compliment, a gentle touch or even acknowledging that you hear someone lights the candle for another person.
Go Towards the Light!
I usually let the light lead me. During this period, no one was leading me but pure ego. Oh, my no! Yes, the monkeys were loose. I swear I thought everything in my life was going wrong. I thought people were picking on me. I did not get anywhere on time. I did not like the way I looked. Could not for the life of me find an outfit that I liked. Not only that, I forgot to send checks to people for services and did not go to the gym. I ate out several times and if anything went wrong it was a personal. Even good things were not a reason for celebration or gratefulness. If someone did something nice for me they had an ulterior motive. If I asked for something, the answer was no it cannot be done. Was I a loving, generous, seeker of truth? Nope. I was the epitome of darkness and negativity. The darkness arrived in the room, or in the conversation before I even arrived. I was cranky and my face and demeanor showed it.
I finally closed my eyes and clenched my fist and out of frustration asked myself, “what is going on?”. This is not how my life is. MY…LIFE…WORKS! This is not working for me. Literally! Then it came to me. Not only was I not meditating, but I was not following my routine. I decided to meditate right then, spent a little time out in nature (for grounding) and continued with my daily routine.
Enter the light! I could feel the shift in my body. I am not saying the minute I meditated I noticed a change. It was if there was a messenger going before me to pave the way for love and light. I lead with a smile and a lightness that is so attractive and lifts other people. Imagine the difference when you are met with lightness and sunshine rather than a cranky being spreading shards of dark energy in its path. When you are traveling with a “lightness of being” it is like you are living in a different world. People go out their way to say hey. I mean even strangers. My friend and I were at lunch at Mary’s Lunchbox in Simpsonville, SC. With maybe 10 tables, the food is simple but amazing. Anyway, I digress. My friend and I took our time with our lunch. People were coming to our table and introducing themselves.
What is going on? One sweet lady said, “We come here all the time, we hope to see y’all again.”. Well that made my day and made me even lighter. Her light was added to my light and my light was added to her light. The light is contagious.
Now, I want to be clear. I don’t want to give the impression that if you are walking in “lightness of being” that you will be walking through this world with a pixie dust shield of protection. Roses will not be falling at your feet as you go. Things still go wrong, People still do things that you question. Sometimes you forget things and sometimes you just loose it! Your practice does not make you less human. The good news is that these things become more the exception than the rule. When these things occur, they don’t tweak you and contribute to an overall sense of doom. You hit it and quit it and keep it moving.
Love and Light Y’all!