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Piece 4, S/S 2023 Collection Be Big, Be Home

As the infamous and apparently motivational saying goes, you can either go big or go home. It’s an either/or kinda situation. You cannot do both. You either do something bold, risky and thrilling with high risk but high reward. Or, you go home. Which is presumably the more pedestrian and less rewarding option. For most of my life, I have been a highly active do-er. Always on the move. Always on the look-out for the next reward, validation, pleasure or success. Playing more in the Go Big than the Go Home part of the playground. I am not an adrenalin junkie level extremist but for most of my life if I decided to do something, and I always had to be doing something, then let’s just say I didn’t do it in halves.

I have reflected in the last few years about what this chronic obsession with activity and doing something, anything, was about. Three words come to mind. Distraction, avoidance and validation. Distraction from things making me worried or anxious. Avoidance of questions or reflections I did not consider myself either qualified, or emotionally stable enough, to answer or face. And validation of my ego, my smaller sense of self, my identity that I was worthy, successful and fulfilled. There is no denying that doing can and does provide the temporary relief I was seeking. But man, it makes you tired.

And if you are anything like me, you don’t just do all the doing. While you are busy doing the do, day after day, you are also keeping that good old mind and intellect active. Perhaps even also in overdrive. Asking yourself, ironically, What the hell am I actually doing?! Not literally. But metaphysically. Like, why I am here? Who am I? What on earth is the point of what I am doing right now? Despite all the doing, it never feels like enough. You never feel enough. And so, off you go, you make the choice. You go BIG. Nobody wants to just go home. No. We want to go Big Mac level bigger, better.

As one antidote to this life phenomenon, I started to dibble and dabble in meditation. At first it was with guided meditations. I used to be one of those people who, when someone suggested that meditation could be revolutionary for an overthinking action Barbie like me, would just become too overwhelmed by the suggestion that I would have to sit (aka stop moving) and be silent (aka stop talking). And so, I tried first to listen to other people speaking soothing words which was relaxing, and motivational, but often created even more contemplation and mental diatribe about who I was and how I needed to go bigger.

When I found Vedic Meditation, all of that changed. I gotta be honest here and say nothing takes you down to the ground with your legs crossed and a willingness to shut the hell up and heal than a round in the ring with cancer. Or the fear of it ever coming back. It was the heightened anxiety that came with that old chestnut which led me to become an all-in, lifetime member, chief of the fan girl club of the Vedic Meditation technique, lifestyle and worldview. There is no requirement to concentrate on your body, breath or other peoples’ words. Rather, you are taught to close your eyes and with absolutely no effort at all, silently repeat a mantra that has no apparent meaning to distract the intellect with. You do this until the mantra becomes more and more subtle and you are able to transcend both the mantra and all of your thoughts.

I do this twice a day for 20 minutes each time. And have done so now with the discipline of a military soldier for 4 years. The most common question I get asked when I divulge this, is where on earth do you find the time? I don’t remember if I ever found that a struggle or not because I was so motivated by my cancer recovery. But honestly, once you experience the impact it has on your life ‘where on earth do you find the time?’ becomes an almost rhetorical question. You would not miss it for the world. After having undertaken in depth studies over the last three years about the ancient knowledge system underlying this magical mystical meditation technique called the Vedas, I am about to extend that learning by studying how to teach Vedic Meditation to others myself one day.

The star on the top of the Vedic Meditation Christmas tree though has got to be the realisation that it is the furthest thing from a technique that will provide you with a portal to the answer about how you need to change, what you need to do in order to get happy, how it is that you can make better your life. No. At birth, we arrive into this world in the purest state of awareness, being-ness just observing, absorbing, learning. With time, that pure and more expanded state of awareness starts to become conditioned by society, opinions and other peoples assessments of who it is that we are. Vedic Meditation is not about how you can become fulfilled. It teaches you to remember that which you already are. It teaches you to remember that you already are fulfilled, big, unbounded and limitless.

So, you close your eyes, repeat a mantra until it fades away naturally and access that more expansive layer of your consciousness that has and always will be there. There is no need to go big, you already are big. You already are home. No. Doing. Necessary. Be Big, Be Home. And all at the same time. How wonderful.

PS: If you are interested to learn meditation, click on my ASK ME ANYTHING page and I can suggest some teachers in your area. Or, you can wait and be my guinea pig!

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