Of course, it's news to no one that circumstances change constantly, and to some extent we know and can accept that life has always been that way. But at no time in history has change been as pervasive and relentless-or affected our lives so deeply as during the past 15 or 20 years.
Sociologists call this period the postmodern era, where constant change is becoming
a way of life and time-honored values and truths are being rapidly dismantled.
How do you navigate your way through life when you no longer know what's true
and you're not even sure how to find out?
Read on to understand how modern life moves us to mediate...
You might already be experiencing at first hand that such relentless change exacts a steep emotional and spiritual price.
Let's take a look at a few of the negative side effects of life in the postmodern age and consider how mindfulness and meditation can support you to embrace and appreciate impermanence whilst helping you better navigate the challenges of our modern predicament.
Anxiety and stress
When the ground starts shifting beneath our feet our first response is often anxiety or fear. This is a gut-level response that has been programmed into our genes over millions of years. Our minds are wired to scan our environment for danger so we can remove ourselves from perceived threatening situations and ensure our survival, and by extension the survival of our species.
These days, unfortunately, our nervous system is constantly stimulated and small fears accumulate and congeal into ongoing tension and stress.
Known for it's calming and relaxing effects, meditation and mindfulness can provide a much-needed antidote to help us diffuse the daily accumulations of stress in the mind and consequently release the tension stress creates in the body.
In the not too distant past, individuals lived, shopped, worked, raised their kids, and spent their leisure time in the same community. Today, however, the demands of modern life require people to shuffle their kids off to school or daycare and commute long distances to work while checking messages on their phone. Evenings are spent collapsed on the sofa, aimlessly surfing the web or catching up on Netflix. We change jobs and partners more frequently than ever, and when our children grow up they often move away from home.
When our lives appear to be made up of disconnected puzzle pieces that don't fit together, no wonder we wind up feeling completely stressed out. Instead of connection, continuity, community and safety, we experience fragmentation.
Meditation can really help with this by connecting us with a deeper wholeness that external circumstances can't disturb.
Many people work in jobs that pay the bills but fail to connect them to a deeper sense of value or purpose. Simultaneously, statistics suggest that more people are flocking to small towns in an attempt to recapture a sense of community. And apparently fewer and fewer people are voting in each election because they believe that they have little power to change things.
Never before, it seems, have human beings felt so alienated, not only from their work and their government, but also from others, themselves, and their own essential being-and most of us don't have the skills or the know-how to reconnect!
Meditation can help to heal our alienation from others and the world at large by bridging the chasm that separates us from ourselves,
Loneliness and isolation
With people moving from place to place more frequently and families fragmenting and scattering across the globe, many people have less regular face to face contact with the people they know and love Even people in the same city seem to struggle to connect on a regular basis, overloaded by their busy schedule, lengthy commutes, and sheer exhaustion. As each of us is hurrying from one activity or job to the next, it becomes harder and harder for us to end up in the same place at the same time with those we care about - and even when we do, we are often too preoccupied or tired to relate in a mutually fulfilling way.
Whilst mediation might not be able to stem the forces that keep us apart, it can help you improve your self-awareness and ability to become more present in every moment so that the time with your loved ones can be quality time.
Depression & Stress-related illness
When we feel lonely, alienated, stressed out, and disconnected from a deeper source of meaning and purpose, it's no wonder that we can end up feeling depressed. Today, globally more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression, making it a leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. From tension headaches and acid indigestion to heart disease and cancer, the steady rise in stress-related illness reflects our collective inability to cope with the instability and fragmentation of our times.
Regular exercise can boost your mood if you have depression, and has been shown to be especially useful for people with mild to moderate depression.
In addition to exercise, practicing meditation can be really powerful helping you to connect to your own, always present, inner source of contentment that naturally dispels the clouds of depression. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the regular practice of meditation can also actually reverse the onslaught of many stress-related ailments.
Mindfulness coaching can create a powerful shift for your outlook on life and create internal transformation that will support you and help you develop resilience for facing the challenges of life today.
Are you ready to move forward with your life in an empowered way? Let's talk.