Find the new now.

By Arden Martin

Sometimes, things get heated with my darling husband. Usually, this looks like me yelling and/or crying while he expresses an endearing combination of caring and bewilderment. Before I started meditating, our arguments would "end" with him feeling peaceful and ready to move on, and me wallowing in bed feeling teary and unsettled for the rest of the afternoon. "How can you just get over this and be cheerful right away?" I would ask. "We were just yelling at each other a few minutes ago. I'm not mad anymore, but I need to process and recover from this."

I thought I was a sensitive, delicate flower who needed time to emotionally heal after conflict. The truth is, I wasn't allowing myself to acknowledge the root of our arguments, which often stem from my own insecurities, so I couldn't move on with my day after the conflict had technically been "resolved." In the words of Brene Brown, I was operating from a place of shame, and meditating has helped me let go of that shame and be vulnerable in difficult moments.

Meditation is not a panacea, and it does not produce blissed-out hippies who float above the real world and its problems. Because I meditate, I do feel blissed out a lot of the time and my problems are more manageable, but I still battle inner demons and make poor choices. The difference is I feel things fully now and can move through them quickly. I am able to be vulnerable, admit what's really going on, and find the new now.  

How does meditation facilitate this? Each time we meditate, we chip away at the "I suck" voice that tends to sneak up on us when we get quiet. When we sit and surrender to whatever our mind wants to think, we stop judging what comes up and eventually stop judging ourselves when we're not meditating (ie. in daily life). Before meditation, I would push away ugly thoughts by turning on the TV, eating when I wasn't hungry, or blaming others. Those things still happen sometimes, but now I'm able to catch them quickly, course-correct, and acknowledge the root of what I'm feeling so I can move on.

CONSIDER THIS: What unconscious habits do you employ to push away the "I suck" voice?What might it be like to feel difficult feelings without judgment, so you can move on to the new now?