Insight: One of the best reasons to “bother” meditating

insight - woman staring at her reflection a window

The insights I mentioned an an earlier excerpt might be the best reasons to bother adding meditation to your movement.

When I began to slow jog in middle age, running quickly became my go-to mood lifter. But soon after I’d started to run, a doctor told me I shouldn’t
because of a congenital defect in my ankle. With his words, my depression began to return.

I was fortunate to have both a meditation practice and a good psychiatrist.

The insight gained from meditation (“Um, wait…I’m already running, and my ankle is okay”) and my psychiatrist’s inquiry (Who is that guy anyway?)
gave me the courage to question the doctor and find out for myself if what he said was true. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t.) A decade later, I gratefully continue to use movement meditation as part of my mental health tool kit.

When we meditate, these insights become common. They could be as simple as “Oh! Now, I understand why that piece of the shelf doesn’t fit,” or
as complex as, “Wow! I just experienced a hit of oneness. This is so cool!”

Insights can be about relationships or humanity or your whole purpose for being. Each is as important as the next. Later, I will talk more about what to do with insights, especially the big ones that might change your life’s direction.

Insight can arise as a thought or a body sensation, such as a deep knowing in your gut. These insights, especially ones that change a perspective or inform you, provide another powerful reason to meditate. They differ from thinking about something. It’s the same mechanism at work when you get your best ideas in the shower, right before you fall asleep, or when you first wake in the morning. Something pops in. It’s a bit of an aha moment.

As a writer, I welcome this part of the creative process. I trust that letting go of a problem and heading out for a walk or run might bring a solution
my logical mind couldn’t find. Of course, there is a time and place to think, analyze, and strategize. But meditation is a time to let all of that go. It  offers a technique to encourage those openings, creating conditions that allow insights to happen naturally, in their own time, even while we’re  moving.

This excerpt is from Make Every Move a Meditation by Nita Sweeney which is available now through Amazon and Mango Media.