In late 2016 my whole self was in turmoil, everything plastered in darkness and suicide a constant thought.
Before this heavy and dark time, I had been living what I thought was my best life, ‘a good job’, a loving fiancé and a beautiful daughter who filled my days with laughter; at least that’s what I wanted the world to believe.
Inside, I was dying. My anxiety attacks were at their peak, my work environment toxic and I spent most of my days googling how to kill myself in the least dramatic way, I just wanted to stop the pain. A pain I couldn’t explain, pain my fiancé tried so hard to relieve me of.
One night after drinking 2 boxes of wine, something I did every day; I found myself kneeling on the floor next to my bed loudly singing Amanda Black’s Amazulu with tears rolling down my cheeks. At that moment all I wanted was guidance, a sign that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
That morning I made that dreaded phone call to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), booked myself in for a few therapy sessions and after some self-introspection and research on alternative ways to conquer anxiety and depression I discovered the 21 Day meditation series Destiny and Desire with Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra.
It was strange that I had not heard of meditation before then, or maybe I might have but I had not taken time to engage with what it all meant until that fateful night.
Meditation saved my life; literally.
After attempting suicide a number of times in my teens, I was adamant that this time I would do everything it took to make it happen. I didn’t understand why but I just wanted to die, at that moment, my life had no purpose.
Starting the 21-day meditation series transformed my life, it allowed me to step outside of myself and be able to see things from a different viewpoint, it made me believe in living again, suddenly I had a purpose. I found yourself thinking about my role in my life but most importantly realised that my ego-driven mind was quick to jump to conclusions and make false assumptions. Meditation helped me become more aware of what was happening within and also allowed me to relate more directly with myself through self-compassion.
I embarked on this transformational journey to become the person I wanted to be by releasing limiting beliefs and shifting my perceptions to see hidden opportunities in every situation, all through mindfulness practice.
Meditation taught me the value of NOW.
I grew up without a mother and the thought of my daughters growing up without me breaks my heart, but during that dark period, I thought my daughter was better off without me, that her future was better without me. My mind was constantly racing with thoughts of regret and guilt from my past but meditation taught me to not only recognise but also distance myself from these noxious thoughts.
The awareness – mental, spiritual and emotional made me realise that within my turmoil my fiancé, my daughter, family, and friends were here with me NOW and the present moment took center stage.
Never did I consider how taking my life would affect them instead I was living in my head, something I had been doing for years. I was a prisoner of my own imagination always focusing on what happened and what’s going to happen and never enjoying what is happening.
Meditation helped me stay in the present moment, not pulled into the future or sucked into the past. Till today, I try to live my days with no expectations or worries, something I have not fully mastered but a practice that showed me that everything is temporary, that emotions are not to be seen as good or bad but to be noticed and learned from.
Now, meditating has become part of my family’s daily life, be with a little bit of resistance from my now husband and 5-year-old daughter. It doesn’t matter if we are tired, bored, busy, confused, depressed, or angry we try and sit to meditate even if it’s for a minute.
Daily, I read about it, talk about it, use a lot of free resources and apps and spend my days encouraging friends and family to start meditating. We have now embedded mindfulness practices into our daily routine, with my 5-year-old constantly reminding us to meditate.
The Voice in my head is not ME!
Oprah and Deepak are currently running another FREE 21-day meditation series titled Manifesting Grace through Gratitude.
Meditate with Oprah and Deepak for just 20 minutes a day to: