I have some news for you. About 3 months ago I mentioned how I was thinking about meditation as a way to manage the demands of my my job, and my PCOS because a major contributor to symptoms is cortisol, a stress hormone (please take what I say with a pinch of salt, I am a lay man and not a doctor). During this time, a friend starting talking about Transcendental Meditation: he’d gone to the introduction, signed up for the course, and couldn’t stop singing its praises. The post after that one then mentioned how life had, as you could have expected, taken over and I never made it to the introduction.
So last week I bit the bullet and made an appointment, and on Thursday as I left work, even though I had cold feet, I went to the introductory meeting. I thought I owed it to myself to at least check it out. I was sceptical, and I am sure a lot of people are when they first hear about TM, mainly because they speak TM as something that could help people become more compassionate, healthy, and mindful. Something that helps people live in peace with themselves and the world around them. However they charge quite a lot of money for it, and they keep it secret. The money part I could get over, because it would be worth the investment, but the secrecy I struggle with. Knowledge should be freely shared and given – there shouldn’t be any elitism about it. Surely the whole premise about trying to make the world a better place, and trying to help people reach enlightenment is that we’d prefer if everyone had the tools to achieve this?
Anyway, I silenced my inner sceptic and went along to the introductory talk. And because I wanted the things they promised so terribly badly, I immediately signed up to learn the course at the end of the talk. It’s not something I can afford, but if it works, it’s something I couldn’t afford NOT to do.
The meditative state is meant to put you into a deeper rest than deep sleep. In effect this gives your body the opportunity to regenerate and heal. So with 20 mins of meditation, you’d feel well rested, and your immune system would improve. The compound results are that you have more energy, need less sleep, heal faster and have better reflexes. Your creativity and IQ are meant to improve as well. You’re meant to start to feel connectivity with the external world, and so you’re compassion for the earth and towards humanity will increase.
What’s not to like?
But my greedy and hopeful ego still half hopes that with this special meditation I will suddenly become a super charismatic person, eloquent and political like Russell Brand the celebrity philosopher, or suddenly successful, suddenly amazing at writing or drawing. That opportunities will start to flood in, and new paths will open up. I’ve had two days of meditation, and while the first day was pretty great, I’m not sure I can give that credit to TM, because today has been pretty dire.
I woke up at 6.30 for a morning meditation, and as I settled into my mantra, my David, whom I love to tiny bits, starts playing the soundtrack of Cocktail (full volume) while he showers. I’m ripped out of meditation, and I am raging. I sulk about the flat until he leaves for an early shoot, and I settle back down. But of course this is when the construction workers start to hammer and bang away. I persevere but it’s shaky and forced, and after 20 mins I get up and leave for work – to one of the worst days I’ve had yet. Who’s to know though, maybe if I hadn’t had the two days of TM, I’d be crying in the ladies toilets – which I have done before. Instead, I am just dealing with the ‘challenges’ (we don’t call them problems) as they come, and batting them away as best as I can – maybe it is working because I don’t feel consumed by the stress. On a normal day, the thought of heading into a TV shoot with half of the variables unknown – that needs to be approved by Monday (it’s Tuesday today), restarting creative for a print campaign that needs to be supplied in three days, and having to leave the office on Friday for a two hour meeting in Milton Keynes (which is five hours away by train) would reduce me to a screeching hot mess(on the inside of course). But I don’t seem to be phased, just not happy about the way things have gone. Crediting this to TM is something to consider.
When I first started this blog, my aim was just to FIND aim. I identified a few practical things I could start doing, in the hopes that the result would be a better idea of what I wanted out of life – these things were: meditation to deal with stress and treat my PCOS, this blog to practise writing and explore my creative options, and capoeira / dance to answer the part of my personality that calls for physical expression. And through the subsequent posts I explored dance, academia or staying in advertising. The last few weeks an idea has started to slowly take a more solid shape – freelance editorial writing and illustration. It feels right. So I am happy to report that I have successfully kept up the writing, starting a bit of illustration, gone back to capoeira and the gym, started TM and started a high fat / protein diet (to tackle the insulin side of PCOS – more on this later).
I think this is all working…
Image copyright: Elph