It is January. I don’t know about you but December sends my nervous system into overdrive. Then hits the long, grey cold of January. It’s tempting to tune in to digital devices and external sources of entertainment to fill the void. But those things don’t settle the body or the nervous system. They don’t connect us to what is going on in our immediate world, or our inner landscape. They take us out of the present moment. The notifications ping and the binge-fest asks, “Are you still there?”, after 3 or 4 episodes have played in a row.  Are you still there? Am I still here? Am I still? Am I here? How do I find out? Mediation is a powerful answer to this question. 


Meditation is more than just a trendy wellness practice; it’s an age-old practice and a  profound technique for cultivating inner peace, reducing stress, and fostering a deeper connection with oneself and the world around us. At its core, meditation involves training the mind to focus and be present, often through techniques like mindfulness, breath awareness, or guided visualization.

One of the most remarkable benefits of meditation is its ability to alleviate anxiety. In today’s fast-paced world, anxiety disorders have become increasingly prevalent, affecting millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, numerous studies have shown that regular meditation practice can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and promote emotional well-being.

How does meditation calm anxiety? By encouraging us to observe our thoughts and emotions without judgment, meditation helps us break free from the cycle of negative thinking and rumination that often fuels anxiety. Instead of getting caught up in worries about the future or regrets about the past, meditation teaches us to anchor ourselves in the present moment, where anxiety loses its grip.

Moreover, meditation promotes a sense of spaciousness and perspective, allowing us to step back from our worries and see them with greater clarity. Through regular practice, we develop resilience and inner strength, enabling us to navigate life’s challenges with greater ease and equanimity.

Relief from Anxiety

But meditation isn’t just about finding relief from anxiety; it’s also a gateway to discovering the sacred in the seemingly mundane aspects of everyday life. In our fast-paced society, we often overlook the beauty and wonder that surrounds us, dismissing the ordinary as unremarkable. However, when we approach life with a sense of mindfulness and presence, even the simplest activities can become imbued with meaning and significance.

This month Nashville experienced more snow and cold than it has seen in the last 2 years. The meditative act of watching snow fall was a beautiful exercise in mindfulness. Was there also mess, muddy boots, broken sleds, endless cups of hot chocolate, spilled cocoa dust, and extreme days of cold? Yes. Absolutely. But the quiet moments of watching the world turn white offered a meditation moment guided by the fall of the snow. It helped make the other moments a bit more mindful. 

 Consider the act of drinking a cup of coffee. In our rush to get through the day, we might gulp down our coffee without giving it a second thought. But through mindful awareness, we can turn this everyday ritual into a sacred ceremony. We can savor the aroma, feel the warmth of the cup against our palms, and taste each sip with full attention. In doing so, we connect with the present moment and experience a profound sense of gratitude for the simple joys of life.

Sacred in the Mundane

Similarly, mundane tasks like washing dishes or taking a walk can become opportunities for meditation and reflection. There was one particular winter where I stood amazed by the beauty of a sink full of sudsy dishes, lit by the winter sunlight. The rainbows swirled and the hot water steamed. The meditative act of cleaning these dishes was enhanced by the beauty of the moment. By approaching these activities with mindfulness, intention, and awareness, we can cultivate a sense of reverence for the interconnectedness of all things and find beauty in the ordinary.

In essence, meditation is a powerful tool for calming anxiety and rediscovering the sacred in everyday life. By practicing mindfulness and being, we can cultivate inner peace, reduce stress, and awaken to the beauty and wonder that surrounds us. So take a deep breath, quiet your mind, and open yourself to the transformative powers of mindfulness and meditation. The sacred is waiting to be discovered—in the stillness of this moment.

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