I come from a community where most people believed that therapy was only for those with serious mental health issues or something only for white people. I grew up in South Central LA in the 80s. At that time, our communities were being targeted by police as the war on drugs rippled through our neighborhoods.
In a city like this, talking about personal feelings felt insignificant. There were much larger things to worry about.
I stumbled upon meditation as an undergrad student. At the time, I had endured so many deaths in my life that grieving started to feel like the norm for me. After about a year of my meditation practice, I was inspired to find a therapist. It was the combination of the talking and silence that helped me to see parts of myself that for many years, I was too afraid to touch.
It wasn’t until 2013, after a few years of my dedication to therapy and my meditation, I lost my sister...she was four years older than me. I couldn't ignore the immeasurable pain in my chest. The silence was so loud, and I needed something to help. I practiced yoga asana occasionally, but never enough to enjoy it. But I stuck with it until one day, it all released.
Everything that I had been holding in broke open through my chest. I began to release my hips as I sank deeper into pigeon pose. Tears welled in my eyes and I began to sob uncontrollably. I felt the gentle hand of my yoga teacher on my back.
My journey to finding meditation was painful. I share this because so often I hear students say that they aren't ready for a practice or that they just aren't in the right headspace. That can be true and I'd also say that there is no perfect place to begin from. Often, we come across our practice from places of discomfort or pain. And that is okay too.
This turned out to be a longer post than I planned but if you are still with me, I'd love to hear from you. What stories are beneath your practice?
Great post and thank you for sharing. I found meditation from a place of pain and brokenness. I felt stuck in a job that I thought was my dream position. Having a meditation practice helped me find peace and the courage to move on.