I have to be honest, I didn’t understand the power of meditating and I also didn’t realize that I have been meditating in one form or another throughout the years.
Let me first tell you that I am a Global Warrior. What is that you ask? My goal is to visit all the countries on the UN list. There’s a lot of planning, researching and creation of travel sites’ checklists prior to committing to a trip. I was an expert on traveling through a country in rapid speed, like the time I went to Lesotho just to get my passport stamped and eat their “famous” chicken, which turned out to be KFC. Because I sped through some of these countries, I couldn’t always remember which country I was in or had visited. I mean once you go to Bora Bora all the other Indonesian islands are the same, really? How daft could I be, each island is so precious, yet during those global warrior days, it was all about checking off that country by receiving the beloved passport stamp and completing that checklist.
However, I have had three a-ha moments, that changed how I now travel and they all involved meditation.
- FIND A PLACE: Poseidon’s Temple in Greece. After a long day of touring ancient ruins, I found myself on top of a cliff. Not just any cliff, but Poseidon’s Temple. As I walked around and listened to the waves crashing on the side of the cliff, I felt one with the universe. I couldn’t tell you how many people were around me or what the tourist guide was informing everyone. I can tell you that my mind was emptied of all checklist and of all demands that I typically throw at it. That visit changed my life, not because it is one of the most beautiful sights, but because my mind actually took in the wonders without any thought. In that short time of mindfulness, I found a tranquility that became a drug for me.
- LET GO OF ALL YOUR THOUGHTS: Bangkok, Thailand. How can you even think about meditating on the busy streets of Bangkok? I mean, it’s impossible, right? Prior to getting married, my husband-to-be and I went to Thailand. Our first stop was Bangkok, I had my handy list which directed me to go straight to the beaches where I could meditate to my heart’s content. I learned from Greece that I needed the sound of waves to attain that peacefulness. Oh, how wrong I was. You, too, can relax in the most-busiest of cities. My soon-to-be hubby had never visited Asia and was mesmerized with the Thai culture. I wanted to go-go-go and he wanted to stay-stay-stay. Yep, you guessed it, he travels without a checklist. So, begrudgingly we stayed three days in Bangkok, which turned out to be 3 relaxing days in the most hectic city in the world. Knowing that my checklist and schedule were not going to be followed, I let go. I breathed in the beauty of Thailand which put me in a wonderful trance.
- CAPTURE THE SOUNDS AROUND YOU: Anywhere. You want to know the perfect place to meditate? This is the best place in the world! It’s called and is: Anywhere! Picture this, the night before Christmas all stores are closed except Walmart. As usual, I ran out of time and patience, so I run into Walmart. And it was as you would expect, the lines to check-out were so long you couldn’t see the cashier. The Muzak over the speakers with the same holiday music playing over and over again, children screeching for their favorite toys, and the stress of not making it home on time were simply unbearable. However, as I stood there over my cart, I found a calmness with the different sounds that had just annoyed me a few seconds prior. Somehow I turned those sounds into a soft beat to push me to a meditated state. With all the chaos around me, I was at peace.
While meditating across the globe is phenomenal, (the beaches in the Seychelles, the hills in Tuscany and the temples & gardens of Japan are not too shabby as illustrated by my personal photos above), so is meditating anywhere you release your mind. I have learned that just by being in the present eases you into meditation. So, find a place, let go of your thoughts and capture the sounds around you. Then enjoy the peacefulness that your mind will enjoy. You may not get that passport stamp, however, you will go to the most awesome place your mind can take you!