Meditation is a powerful tool and it often brings up things in our lives that are painful and that we may not want to address. As a meditation and mindfulness teacher, I think it’s important to share the truth about meditation, so people know that what they may experience is common and “normal.” In my workshops, I always provide new meditators with information about how meditation works and what they can expect when they establish a regular practice.

The truth about meditation is that the practice may open you up to be vulnerable and learn some things about yourself that may leave you feeling uncomfortable.

As you begin to quiet your mind and get in touch with your true nature and yourself, you may be surprised at what you find out about yourself. It’s actually fair to say that meditation isn’t for “sissies” because going on a journey inward is often difficult as we expose those areas about ourselves that we may not feel good about.

Let’s face it, it’s sometimes more comfortable to keep our head in the sand and pretend everything is great. It takes courage to peel away the layers that have accumulated over the years as a protective mechanism. The “truth” about ourselves and our lives can be painful.

I found this to be true in my own life. When I began to meditate and go on that inward journey, for the first time in my life I really got to know myself. When I got to know myself, I realized that some of the things that my life was based on decisions I had made when I didn’t really know myself. So when I began to know myself, there was no way to go back to not knowing and that created a lot of conflict in my life.

It created conflict because it meant that I needed to make some changes.

We all know that changes are often difficult especially when it impacts others. For example, I found that I wanted to take some classes and the classes were in Calgary and to commit to the classes I couldn’t spend 6 months in Phoenix with my husband. My decision to take some classes created a huge ripple and change in my life. As I spent more time in Calgary and less time in Phoenix, people wondered what’s wrong with my marriage and me. My husband and I had to figure out how to make this new long distance relationship work. These types of changes are never easy.

I also realized that I wanted to start a business, The Compassionate Mind, to share my passion for meditation. Starting a business doesn’t happen without challenges, and I was coming out of retirement to do it. There I was facing a whole other set of challenges, all based on becoming more connected with myself and what I wanted in life.

I realize how much I’ve changed since I started meditating, but the truth is I’ve become more of myself.

I’ve become more aware of my purpose in life and how I’m meant to live. I’ve let go of the need to make decisions based on other people’s life path and take responsibility for my own.

Meditation is really the beginning of a process to get to know ourselves again. It opens the door and for those courageous people who walk through the door, there is no going back. It’s not always easy but there’s no other way to return “home” to yourself without turning inward and shining the light on yourself.