by Harper Spero, a lifestyle management coach at Tournesol Wellness
As a teenager and in my early twenties, yoga and meditation really didn’t mean anything to me. I wasn’t spiritual, I didn’t exercise, I didn’t really take care of myself in general. By my late twenties, I took a liking to yoga due to the physical, mental, and emotional effects that it had on my wellbeing. I knew that a yoga class would often help me recover from whatever I had dealt with on a given day. I never really paid attention to meditation until the David Lynch Foundation came into my life, and it quickly transformed my every day.
I continue to love and practice yoga, but it’s not a daily thing for me. Transcendental Meditation (TM), on the other hand, is an every day practice. The benefits have ranged from lower blood pressure to a general sense of clarity. In my afternoon meditation, I typically feel revived, awakened, and more apt to productivity for the remainder of the day. In the past year, between practicing TM, quitting drinking, and leaving my phone in the living room at night, my sleep has never been better.
There are certainly times over the past year that I wasn’t in the zone and wouldn’t practice TM, but I quickly realized how different every inch of my body and mind felt without it being a part of my life. I felt weird doing it when staying in hotels with friends, even when they knew that I did it daily. I felt weird closing my eyes on a subway, concerned about what was happening around me and potentially missing my stop.
What I’ve realized is that I need to own my meditation. Who cares what other people think? Who cares if people judge me for meditating? If this is something that I find beneficial to my life, which I certainly do, then why do anyone else’s beliefs matter? They shouldn’t have an impact on me when I know how much of a positive impact TM has on me. I value TM and shouldn’t let anything get in the way of my practice.
The eight benefits of transcendental meditation are:
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved sleep
- Greater sense of clarity and productivity
- Lower blood pressure
- Greater sense of calmness throughout the day
- Reduced cortisol
- Lower risk of heart attack or stroke
- Improved brain function and memory
In times when I think I am “too busy” to meditate, I remind myself of these benefits and how important they are for my health and overall wellbeing and make sure I take time for those two 20-minute sessions each day.
Earlier this year, my friend invited me to join MediClub, a community for young modern meditators. Aside from my amazing relationship with the team and community at the David Lynch Foundation, it was the first time that I truly connected with other likeminded individuals that meditate. If you are in the New York area, join New York’s Central Park Summerstage and MediClub for The Big Quiet, a giant meditation on June 20, 2015 at 4:30pm. The event is completely free. Reserve your spot at: www.bigquiet.nyc. Please note, you are not required to be a meditator in order to attend this event. This event is also not specific to Transcendental Meditation, all forms of meditation are welcome.
About the Author:
Harper Spero is a lifestyle management coach at Tournesol Wellness in NYC. Harper is a graduate of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) who has spent the past ten years leveraging brands through marketing, public relations, event production, and digital media. Her previous clients have included corporate heavyweights such as Johnson & Johnson, Disney, and Ann Taylor as well as leading nonprofits such as the David Lynch Foundation, Headstrong Project, and Bent on Learning, among others. Today she uses her own journey in health and well-being to inspire, motivate, and drive people in the direction of their dreams through one-on-one lifestyle management coaching. Harper regularly contributes to The Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen, and has been featured in amNewYork.