Thinking of my meditative journey often leads to thinking of my Mom and how she struggled with fear, anxiety and depression most of her life, all while doing all she was able to do for others.  I say “able” because when you live in fear every step is a push. It prevents you from doing what you desire but every now and then you “push” past your fear to do something extraordinary!

What does fear, anxiety and depression look like?  It’s usually very different than we think. For my mom it looked like:

Raising two daughters who walk in our God given purpose;

Earning a master’s degree in Education;

Lovingly and in spite of fear and worry, caring for her father, sister and mother until each of their deaths;

Teaching children out of her passion for education;

Being kind all while being emotionally paralyzed from worry;

Being a phenomenal talker, spinning words into a beautiful tapestry of wisdom and shade; 

Never fully able to express herself but deeply wanting too;

Always grateful but never quite happy.  Depression robs you of joy giving you the illusion you don’t really have anything to be happy about;

Wanting more but too afraid to go after it;

Being a friend to everyone because you love genuinely and authentically.  You do the best you can with what you have.

You exist but are too afraid to live.  I can only imagine the joy she could have experienced if only she knew there were holistic tools to help her navigate her mind.

I’ve struggled with anxiety, fear and depression and by the grace of God overcame panic, but I have a beautiful foundation upon which to build my wellness including faith, meditation, therapy, aromatherapy and if needed medication, that my Mom didn’t have access to.  This is why I have several Meditation Certifications and created my meditation studio, Ustawi Wellness Studio, to help the Polly’s and Tanya’s of the world learn to tune in and not tune out. To embrace the beauty of a complicated life and live out loud. To remove stigma from mental and emotional pain and to give practical tools, techniques and strategies that help overcome self-defeating mindsets, so we live vibrant, whole lives.  I have zero shame or embarrassment about my journey, it’s absolutely made me who I am….and quite frankly, I freakin rock!!!!  

As I reflect on my meditative journey, I smile in knowing that every step my mother took formed an imprint that lead me to this moment.  I definitely would not have chosen the path I had to take, but I wouldn’t trade the life’s lessons and wisdom for anything. So, I rest in my meditative practice to unlearn and learn, to surrender and grow, to intentionally do and non-do, to reflect and be restored.  This is the beauty of meditation, you’re never really leading the process, your heart is always doing the leading, your mind is always being directed by your heart and your mind learns to peacefully yield to the present moment, becoming aware that now is not then and today is not tomorrow, you’re simply present to process.  

This is the benefit and the grace of meditation; this is what meditation does……. it’s not all roses, unicorns and butterflies.  It’s often insight and deeply buried emotions rising to the surface asking for your attention so it can be released in peace and you can take full advantage of this moment knowing you’ve survived all the other moments before.  

Grace & Peace