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After Resisting Meditation For Years, I Finally Gave In. Here’s What I Found



If there is one thing I know about myself, it’s that I am efficient...

I don’t know how to sew on a button and I have been known to put both cashmere and leather in the wash (I wish I could say that this was a one-time occurrence), but I do know how to conquer a to-do list. I can clear my inbox in 30 minutes, can plan a birthday party in an hour, and can have said party cleaned up before it’s even over. (Purveyor of fun over here, I know.) But writing this story has taken me months. While I usually like to power through an article at the moment the idea reaches my brain, this one was a little different. I pondered, I deliberated and above all, I procrastinated. After all, it was about my experience with meditation. Something that has been on my every to-do list and resolution plan for the past five years. And yet, I’ve avoided it like my 2-year-old avoids cauliflower. With fervour. It’s not like I haven’t heard (extensively) about the benefits. I’m a regular consumer of Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations. I adore Arianna Huffington. My Instagram feed has been overtaken by wellness influencers who swear by their ‘practice.’ But there was something in me that resisted. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I was perhaps a little too attached to that aforementioned label of being ‘efficient.’ If I was calm, centred and Zen, wouldn’t I lose my edge? My ability to do things? That little pit of anxious energy that pushes me to get sh*t done? Have I made enough excuses for myself? So, when I was gifted a membership to The Broadplace’s Enhance Program (very kind and subtle, Georgie) to review on The Grace Tales, my excuses slipped away. Suddenly this became part of my job, and for that reason, I would need to commit. I signed up, and then waited weeks (in the Christmas period where little else was screaming for my attention) before opening the course.

Holding image: Julie Adams | Go to www.thebroadplace.com.au

 


Jacqui Lewis


The first thing to know about The Broadplace is that it’s run by Jacqui Lewis, and she’s nothing like the picture of meditation I had imagined...

She’s stylish, appears highly approachable and (perhaps most surprisingly) is so fast-talking that she makes me feel slow. My first impression of the Enhance course is that it seems to have been created entirely for people like me. Those of us who want results (fast), but wouldn’t mind some lifelong lessons thrown in there too. Let me say… This course delivers in spades.


Enhance is divided into three modules – Creativity, Clarity and Consciousness...

All of which provide lessons from Jacqui, practical tools, and of course, a meditation that’s accessible at any time. What surprised me most about the modules was that the focus wasn’t on sitting down in silence. Rather, the focus was on what you could gain from this type of practice; from this type of living. In a nutshell? It was everything I wanted: clarity of vision and purpose, the ability to be truly creative, and most importantly, to be equipped with the tools to experience ‘consciousness’ and presence in the everyday.


Beyond providing me with what would be a kick-start into a meditation addiction (more on that later), Enhance quietly taught me a lesson that I’d been dodging for years...

That is, that life will always be challenging. Whether it’s little children who don’t sleep, a demanding work schedule, financial pressures, or of course – when things truly get much harder – if we’re dealt one of life’s cards. We can never rid ourselves or our lives of these realities. And even if we did, it would be fleeting. What we can do, however, is learn how to sit with them. How to manage with resilience. How to keep going – rather than being derailed by a setback, a mistake or an inconvenience (something I’ve always been guilty of).


The course encourages you through an exploration of your values, in a way that feels natural and non-intimidating...

And rather than emerging with a laundry list of generic attributes, what you’re left with is a clear, precise understanding of what matters most. Not what should matter, or what matters to other people, but what is important to you. While the meditations are undoubtedly valuable, it’s this exercise that creates the biggest shift in my behaviour following the course. It turns out, when you’re clear on what you stand for, decisions become infinitely easier (tell me I’m not the only one who has only just had this lightbulb moment?). I also found myself more able to “talk myself down from the edge” in those moments of complete overwhelm and anxiety. If my values were in line, it was all going to be okay.


Put simply, the Enhance course is a game changer...

Of course, I could tell you that after each meditation, I was so calm and centred that even a toddler tantrum couldn’t throw me off my Zen. The reality is that the tantrums, the food on the floor and the constant demands of small children still did grind my gears. And my to-do-list remained enormous. But rather than finishing a meditation and then hurrying to the 25908 other tasks that awaited me (as I’d always thought I would), I could come to them with a sense of perspective. I wasn’t rushing. I wasn’t behind. If anything, I was clear-headed, focused, and I got things done more efficiently. What’s more – I could enjoy the moment. Because if Enhance has taught me anything, it’s that all of this craziness – be it kids, work or home – is what makes for a beautiful, rich life. A life that’s completely aligned with my values. So, for that reason (and so many more), I’ll be returning to my meditation practice, every day, for the foreseeable future. In fact, it’s at the very top of my daily to-do-list.


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