Get to Know Your Mindbliss Authors
How did you get into meditation and how has meditation impacted your life?
For over 30 years, I suffered from chronic insomnia and sleeplessness in which conventional medicine provided no relief. During most of my professional life, as a registered nurse, I found myself in a crazy cycle of exhaustion, anxiety, and depression, only to be given a cocktail of pills over and over and over for some sense of relief.
I felt like a walking zombie most of the time, yet I could still perform effectively in my career and family responsibilities, or at least I thought I could. I became very skilled at faking that all was ok eventually to find that my body, mind, and spirit were being detrimentally affected.
I had reached a point in which I literally wanted to DIE just for a good night’s sleep and get some relief from this overwhelming cycle. That was until I experienced the miracle of meditation to heal my heart and mind and after only eight months of consistent practice, I was off all medications and my sleep had returned to normal. Anxiety and depression faded away. As you can imagine, this impacted my life in quite a miraculous way and this transformation ignited a fire and passion inside me to help others experience the same.
How does it feel when you are in a meditative state?
This is actually a bit more challenging to describe only because every single meditation is different. Just like knowing that no two snowflakes are the same, or grains of sand, the same can be said for meditation, no two meditations are ever the same, EVER, and for someone just starting out this can be quite helpful to know because often times when we dive into a practice like this, we create a preconceived notion of what our experience will be like, yet this can work against a meditator keeping them out of a meditative state. When the mind is seeking to get something, to experience something, to feel something, it is unable to rest in complete stillness. So, adopting an attitude of allowance and acceptance are key qualities to bring to your practice.
All that being said, for the most part, if one can be still and simply focus on the breath, slowly but surely, you WILL transcend your thoughts and rest in a void. In other words, you relax in the space between two thoughts or rest in the space between two breaths. You surrender your sense of self and as you do, you transcend your own thinking mind. It is the definition of mind-bliss!
It may be worth noting that there are actually several physical sensations a person may experience while meditating, especially in the beginning, such as intense heat or cold deep within the body, or a slight sense of nausea or dizziness. Some may feel a ‘sway’ deep within their body as well, while others may feel extreme heaviness or lightness making them feel as if they are floating or expanding into the room. Others may become so relaxed that they feel as if their respirations slow to the point of ceasing all together.
These sensations are all normal, however, they can be a bit unsettling, so it is good to have a teacher or guide that you trust to help reassure you that you are on the right path.
What is the top 3 most valuable life advice you can give from your life experience so far?
I currently have three special plaques hanging on my kitchen wall. These are the three things I try to keep in my conscious mind and live by, so I share them with you today. Each one requires an action step so you will note that that is my additional advice to give.
#1 You must SEEK IT!
“Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” ― Rumi
#2 You must DO IT!
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. – Jesus
#3 You must BELIEVE IT!
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” – Buddha
What is your favourite quote?
“Be Still and Know”
What is something easy and simple that we can do right now to make the world a better place?
As soon as your eyes open each morning, decide that you will be whatever it is you want more of in the world.
If you want to experience more love, then YOU be and give love. If you want more Light in the world, YOU bring the light to someone’s darkness. If you want more peace in the world, then YOU live by peace. If you want more happiness in the world, then YOU be happy. As Gandhi once said, you must, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.”
This is such a simple concept that can create unimaginable beautiful waves that can ripple across the miles and across people’s hearts and minds. The key, however, is to actually live it. Which for many is quite demanding. The good news is, is that the more one lives by this simple call to action, the easier it becomes.
What would you say has been the biggest benefit from meditation?
The biggest benefit meditation has been for me is that it allowed me to connect with my true self, transcending the one full of false illusions, lies, worry, fear, and pain. It is my experience that meditation is the gateway to the Divine essence from which we all come from, Love and Light. This is where much of my own personal healing took place which has now afforded me the opportunity to help others heal as well.
What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome? How did you overcome it? And what lessons did you learn from it?
Loving myself and knowing my worth.
Somewhere along the way, most of us have become forgetful to our true nature and divine essence. In this forgetfulness, we start to believe untrue notions about ourselves. These beliefs hold us down and limit us from living the life we are meant to live. They keep us in fear, anxiety, depression, worry, anger and so on.
Meditation is a way to aid your journey of self-discovery and help you remember and get in touch with your true nature. The Divinity within. As I mentioned earlier, this truly was my saving grace and at the same time, I had to consciously rewire those negative pathways I created about myself over the years. The combination of reprogramming and the stillness promoted the healing process, and the beauty of this, is that it is a possibility for all those that dare to seek it.
When you think about happiness, how do you define that for yourself?
For me, being in the moment, with a clear mind and calm heart, lends to me being content and at ease. When I am content and at ease, happiness seems to naturally flow.
Do you have a message for our Mindbliss Community?
“If you are looking to experience deep inner peace, first recognize that the human mind likes to distract and complicate all of life. Your job is to learn how to work with, around, and through the distractions and complications, because they are never-ending. Meditation affords us the opportunity to learn how to do just that and to realize from a different, more loving perspective, that the more simple we live, the more sacred life becomes and the more sacred life is, we realize just how simple it really was to get there.”
~ Love, Julie.