Learning how to relax is important for one's emotional well-being, and particularly when living with Parkinson's, avoiding any stress or anxiety is very important. Those who meditate always look so calm and serene, I thought meditation would be a perfect addition to bring some tranquillity into my life, but let's be honest, can you imagine anyone with Parkinson's being able to sit still?!!! Nevertheless, I thought I would give it a try.
I once attended a class in the hopes of learning how to switch off my busy brain, clear all thoughts and meditate. There were 8 ladies in the class and with eyes closed, we listened to the teacher who in a calm pleasant tone, talked us through a scenario, a story of sorts. At some point in her account, she told us to open the imagined door that we saw before us and told us we would see something of meaning or importance. I opened the imaginary door in my mind, but I saw nothing before me; I felt nothing, and before I knew it every day thoughts started flooding my mind. I opened one eye to peek at the others around me. All the ladies still had their eyes closed and were immersed in meditation. After a few minutes we were talked gently back to reality and told to slowly open our eyes. The teacher went around the room asking each of us what we had seen behind the door. Everyone had seen something, except me.
I have never been able to master the art of meditation; my mind is too full of lists of things to do, articles to write, ideas and thoughts and that last item I forgot to put on the shopping list! I have a mind that is far too busy to turn off and think of nothing. The teacher seeing I was upset and quite frankly a little humiliated at being the sole person in the group who could not meditate, asked me what I like to do. I told her my hobbies and when I mentioned gardening and how I often lose track of time out there as I de-head the roses or geraniums, she told me that this is my form of meditation. Doing something outdoors in the fresh air, away from phones, computer or television, a repetitive activity that requires little thought, I go into auto-pilot, and this is where I'm able to empty my mind. This is my personal form of meditation. So should you wish to meditate and have difficulty like myself with the traditional manner, if you have a garden, try spending some time out there. You may have another hobby that is similar to gardening, needing little thought and that is repetitive or rhythmic, allowing you to empty your mind for a while. Whether you have Parkinson's or not, we all need a little quiet time to "switch off" from this busy modern world we live in.