By Angelica Gavaldon
I was introduced to meditation during my tennis career. I was travelling 11 months out of the year, my career required me to be able to perform under immense pressure, and I had to keep myself mentally and physically at peak levels. Even when I was supposed to rest, my brain would not be silent. So, I visited the Deepak Chopra Center once a week for meditation practice. It was so simple, yet so complicated. I was instructed to sit still, focus on my inhaling and exhaling, and to not judge my thoughts. I was sometimes also told to repeat a mantra, “Welcome them as waves crashing into the ocean, then the thought is swept away.”
I found myself thinking about what I was going to eat for dinner or if I had trained enough for my next tennis competition. I also thought what a waste of time it was to just sit there and do nothing, when I had such a demanding schedule. Could I not be a little more productive with my time? I stopped meditating after my tennis career, but recently began again and I could not be more grateful!
We tend to forget the most important part of us is simply ourselves. We forget to have self-compassion and to love ourselves, but through meditation and just sitting still, you are forced to go inwards. Slowly, we begin to realize once again that everything is inside of us. The purest form of joy, love, compassion, and patience – it all lives inside of us. We begin to see life and its beautiful journey and that all answers lie within ourselves. Our lives begin to change. Yes, it is possible by simply sitting and breathing and taking at least 10 minutes during the day to be mindful and feel each breath as a miracle of life, and not just as an automatic part of our existence.
When we breathe life, we take care of ourselves, so we can be better for others. We do not feel rushed, we feel more productive with time, become less stressed and grow more patient. We are present. One of my favorite meditations is “I am here, this is now.”
We are always on the go, rushing to our next appointment and getting ahead of ourselves. Our brain is in the future instead of focusing on the task at hand. When your mind quiets, your stress levels lower and meditation puts you in that place where all of a sudden, you feel the day is actually longer, that you actually do have time, and that you can enjoy and love each second of your life.
You see your existence through a different lens – when you change inside, the whole world changes. I recommend you start by finding a quiet place and meditate for 5 minutes sometime during the day. There are many apps and online videos with guided meditations that can help. I personally love the Calm app and my Peloton meditation classes, which have been very beneficial.
Happy meditating and enjoy the beginning of a new, more beautiful life!