Until this year my bank holidays have always been synonymous with celebration, time out with friends, unforgettable bashes and ultimately everything but real rest. This time however I decided to swap festivals, parties and food for something a little different, a mindful retreat; which may actually have added a couple of bank holidays to my delightful existence!
A few months ago, as work got really busy and life seemed to speed up, I started experiencing significant stress and had a really hard time relaxing. I shared my newfound woes with a friend of mine who recommended Vedic Meditation after trying it herself. Being open minded and partial to new experiences, I started considering it as a possible solution. After a few trial attempts on my own I finally got in touch with a teacher practicing meditation in Brighton, Will Williams.
Will's an empowering and inspiring person and after attending a few group meditation sessions at his centre in London, I decided to delve deeper and participate in a 3 days retreat here in Brighton.
So it began on Friday morning with a one-to-one meeting, during which Will guided me through an introduction to Vedic meditation and allocated me my first mantra. Everyone is apparently given their own mantra, unique to their own individual needs. This was not only helpful for the upcoming group meditation, but it truly gave me into such positive energy for the rest of the day. I literally got out of the meeting, looked up at the sky and found myself gawping with a big smile all over my face. I'm still not quite sure how that happened!
When I arrived the next morning I received a warm welcome from Jess, Will's girlfriend, and herself a practicing meditation teacher. She let us in with a generous smile and a mug of warm tea. Just time enough to relax before the course started.
All holding our hot cups we were attentively listening to Will's knowledge on Vedic meditation, soaking in the studies and stories that would only help us to make the most of this practice. As the day went on we fed ourselves with many facts and insights about meditation that after our training, we would be able to apply to our respective daily lives.
Whether it would be about stress relief, alleviation of depression or greater mindfulness it clearly appeared that meditation was something that could help us cope up with the trials and tribulations of life, both now and in the future.
We spent Sunday afternoon practicing and exchanging our own personal feelings to understand how each of us will be able to better practice meditation.
After two days spent meditating and considering further perspectives of my inner-self, I must admit I felt like I jumped off a major step in my life. This retreat guided me toward redefining my priorities in life, giving myself more space to actually enable a broader focus on my objectives, which had been restricted by the surrounding stress.
I must admit, at first glance I probably underestimated how much I could think about meditation as a real personal therapy. Finally it was evident that the people like Will and Jess, right here in front of me, had found the ultimate way to fuel their lives with greater, healthier and more energizing vibes that any of us present that weekend. And among all the passionate teaching and studies that Will and Jess highlighted during the retreat, they themselves were those who convinced me to include some meditation in my day-to-day-life.