M is for meditation
I wonder do you meditate ? Many of you will say you don't ... I certainly used to say I didn't .. I used to think there was something a bit dodgy about meditation, mind emptying ... a waste of time . It was a break down that brought me to the realisation that I was missing something by not meditating on God's word. Up until then I had studied, read and analysed the Bible . I love words . I know loads of them . But I had not really meditated on the bible until those long empty days of illness.
Now I had definitely been meditating before that ! Meditation is to go over and over deeply a word or phrase .. the Hebrew word implies muttering or repeating or chewing. I had been meditating on worries , negative meditation ! I was really good at it. My mind and heart would often go over and over and over something I had said or done or that had been said or done around . This was often something I wished I could change . My much meditating on things that had passed or were yet to come had little effect on the outcomes and had a big effect on my mental health. Learning to replace the worry or obsession of the mind with a deeper phrase that I could chew over in my inner being has been one of the most important parts of my journey to better mental health.
I realised as I came to meditate on today's Psalm phrase ( we send these out every Friday so do email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join in) that it takes me the whole of my cup of tea drinking time to let my many thoughts settle and come to rest. By the time the cup is empty I am ready to settle down and turn over and over in my mind the phrase of the day . I don't just turn it over in my mind though I try to breathe the words deeper into my soul. By using the in and out breaths to let the words settle me I find my busy mind begins to stop racing and come to rest on the one thing that is good and true. This can then become the thing around which the other thoughts orbit rather than letting every thought that passes through my mind take over my day.
Today I will be sending out Psalm 116 and the phrase " Return Oh my soul to your rest" seems very appropriate ! This is what meditation does for me... returns me to my rest , my being held by God, that sense of who I am and who He is.
How does meditation work for you? Have you tried group meditation ? We love this in our Renew spaces. Do chat with others about this part of your wellbeing journey. I think it is key.