Why meditation?…a personal note of a personal journey.

I am a mom of two incredible boys who are now blossoming teenagers. I chose to stop working as an elementary school teacher and become a stay at home mom when they were born. It has been such an incredible journey with its ups and downs…mostly ups!

A typical day when they were young would be waking up early, playing, breakfast, going to the park, snack, reading stories, lunch, nap, snack, more play time, dinner, and so on and so forth. The days were fun, action packed, and exhausting for me. Oh and what about my other responsibilities of running a household? I had a big to do list of groceries, paying bills, laundry, cooking and finding certain people to help fix things around the house that I couldn’t. What about quality time with my husband? How was I going to fit that in?

As life was rapidly progressing in a fun and busy way, I was so involved with the kids and trying to get through the day, that I LOST myself. I did not realize this until my relationship with my husband I had been with since the age of 18 was strained and at risk of falling apart. My mother, being the incredible woman that she is, encouraged me to go away on my own and take some time to myself.

I chose to go to a place in Sedona, alone, to a resort that was offering an introduction to meditation retreat for three days with this woman named Sarah McLean. I knew nothing about meditation but I decided to give it a shot and try something new. This decision changed my life!

In this retreat, I learned how to breathe and pay attention to my breath. I allowed myself and gave myself permission to relax with the breath. I learned how to pay attention and to become aware of the sensations of my body without judgement. Through self inquiry practice, I asked myself the question “who am I?” Who would have thought that gentle breathing would be so calming to the nervous system and be a catalyst for so many transformations?

I learned many types of meditations those three days from my incredible teacher, Sarah McLean, who I am so grateful for. I continued to practice at home daily. After about 8 weeks of continuous practice, I noticed some positive changes in my life. I was more calm, less reactive when challenges came up, and I was more self-aware. Life went on, there were stressful situations, and struggles along the way but the way I handled those were completely different than the way I used to before I began meditating.

I have been meditating almost everyday now for five years. It has been such an incredible tool for me to navigate life with. Through meditation and mindfulness, I FOUND myself and take care of myself and learned why it is important to do so. I want to share my knowledge with my students and make a difference in their lives. My intention is to help people better their lives by reducing their stress and healing their bodies.

-Silvi Winthrop