How I Learned to Meditate

A few years ago I was experiencing a very stressful time. I was living alone and having difficulty dealing with my current situation. I’m a nurse and spent the better part of my life guiding people through their health issues but I didn’t know how to help myself. I wanted to to avoid taking prescription medications but I was being steered toward that. Someone suggested that I incorporate a fitness routine and meditation into my life.  The exercise part was relatively easy to add but I was struggled with the meditation part. I knew nothing about meditation. I didn’t know anyone who meditated or taught meditation and besides, asking for that kind of help would expose my weakness and I just couldn't make myself do that.

I had isolated myself so I turned to my current best friend, the internet. I began searching youtube for free samples of guided meditation since money was tight. I eventually found a 30 minute guided meditation by Laura Silva https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSGmBGOClQk  . I loved her voice and the sound in the background. She came across as genuine and compassionate. This was exactly what I had been searching for.  

I started listening to her ‘long relaxation’….but I didn’t relax. I tried and I tried and I tried. For about 6 weeks I listened to her audio tape at least 5 times per week. I created my meditation routine, I locked all the doors, turned off the phone, closed the blinds, and I just wasn’t feeling anything special, but I kept listening. Shouldn’t I feel nirvana, bliss and all those woo-woo, close to heaven feelings? I was pretty sure that I just was no good at meditating - that it worked for some people but apparently just not for me.

I was ready to quit and here’s the funny thing about surrender….I stopped trying so hard to relax and guess what happened? I RELAXED! The day I surrendered was the first day I relaxed. I listened to Laura one more time, and this time, my body felt weightless. I felt calm. Laura had been saying to me for weeks to ‘make a mental note of how I feel’ and now I finally could. My body felt weightless and my mind was calm - not quiet, but calm which is actually the goal.  I took ‘mental note’ of how wonderful I felt because Laura told me to. She was so right.

Fast forward a few years, a new town and a new husband and I'm the proud owner of a Himalayan salt room in Erie, PA.  Many of my customers have told me they’d love to be able to meditate, so I now offer live, guided meditation sessions in my salt room. I have a wonderful meditation expert who joins the customer(s) in the room during the 45 minute salt room session and guides them through a meditation. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never meditated or if you meditate daily, Valerie can guide you to a wonderful sense of calm and provide you with tips to be able to do this on your own.

Nothing brings me greater joy than helping others experience the sense of calm and, yes, bliss – that I now get from meditating.

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