How to Overcome Despair and Limiting Beliefs with Meditation
I’m a first-generation American from Chile. My family came here in the 1970s to give my sisters and me a better life when the political situation was volatile in our country. I wish I could say life was easy once we got here, but it wasn’t. I grew up in a very challenging household with poverty and a lot of limiting beliefs. In the words of Dr. Jim Doty, “poverty robs individuals of their dignity and spirit through despair and hopelessness.” I can tell you that I have a personal relationship with limiting beliefs and understand them very well. Unexpectedly, meditation helped restore my dignity and conquer limiting beliefs. Meditation changed my life forever.
Thriving is the right of every human being
I believe that every human has a right to flourish, have dignity, and thrive regardless of where they are born. That is why I consider myself a humanist. But, it wasn’t until late in my life that I believed thriving was my RIGHT. At a very low point in my life, I started seeking solutions. Going through a divorce process even further drove my quest into meditation. As they say, when the student is ready, the teacher will come. That’s when I discovered meditation, and it changed my life forever. I went from a life of limited possibilities to one of unlimited possibilities.
Most of us focus so much on the external world that we rarely pay attention to our internal landscape. When we do that, we become disconnected and fragmented. Some of us had to because of the environment we grew up in. I know I did! This can result in anxiety, depression, and lots of self-doubts, just to name a few. Many of us learned to dismiss our own needs and our own inner knowing.
No one cares more about yourself than you
It’s critical to quiet the noise and get back to silence. Why? When we quiet the noise and find stillness, we get centered and more balanced. It’s a gateway to answers and guidance. This usually leads to more happiness and peace. Some of us are afraid to get quiet because we don’t want to face what we hear and inside and believe to be true. I get that. I was one of those people. The level of care you give to yourself will be matched by the people around you. Because here’s the thing! Your external world is a mere reflection of your inner world.
Meditation is not new. It’s been around for thousands of years. There is so much data supporting why it helps you on a physical level and helps your mental and emotional well-being. When I first started, I will tell you that it was hard to sit still and quiet my mind. But the more I did it, the better I got at it. And now I crave it every day. I have a daily meditation practice, which on average is about 30 minutes, but if I only have 5 minutes, I’ll take it, or on the other hand, if I have an hour, I’ll take it. If you ask me, there’s never a bad time to meditate.
I’ve noticed that my intuition is much sharper, I get clear on things, and I am much more at peace. It really does help you get into a flow. That is because it’s in the stillness that creativity, ideas, peace, and joy can come in. Now that I was experiencing this myself, I wanted to share it with the world. So, the first group of people I shared meditation with were my colleagues.
Spreading stillness and peace in the corporate environment change performance levels
When I decided to start group meditation in my office, I researched companies that already offer this to their employees. I came across a great article on how it improves performance at work. They talked about how Harvard Business Review says it’s no longer a “nice-to-have” for business leaders but a “must-have.” And they mention how neuroscientists are now showing the benefits concerning the body and brain. But here’s the thing… it’s not just for business leaders… it’s for everyone. Why? Because it taps into the most precious resource in any organization: ATTENTION. It’s a vast resource that we use everywhere…at work, at home, and yes, at school.
Meditation is like building muscles at the gym – it takes practice and will change your life forever
You can try guided meditations to help you get started. I also use binaural beats sometimes to help me meditate. But ultimately, you want to get still and quiet. Start with just a few minutes and keep extending it. That’s what I did. The goal is to allow space to come in between the thoughts. So, an easy way to do that is to just focus on your breath. Thoughts will come in, and when they do, just put the focus back on your breath. Then you will start seeing the world from the inside out. It’s a very different view, I can tell you that, and it is wondrous and changed my life forever!
When you start, you will most likely find, like I did, that it is more challenging than you think. But don’t get discouraged. Your brain is a generator and receiver of thought, so be gentle with yourself. Keep at it. It’s like a muscle. You have to go to the gym to build up your muscles. You have to practice meditation to see the benefits.
Intriguing insight from a most successful innovator
Steve Jobs planned every detail of his memorial service down to the farewell gift he gave to each attendee. The Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda was the gift. This book is about self-realization and meditation. It’s about the journey from your individual self (ego) and realizing your true universal self.
In high school, Steve read this book, then reread it as an adult while staying in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. He reread it every year from then on. Steve Jobs said it best when talking about the benefits he found by practicing meditation, “Your intuition starts to blossom, and you start to see things more clearly.” It has been suggested his brain age was only 27 at his untimely death at 56 years old. Meditation works.
I’m not surprised that Steve Jobs was into meditation. Many accomplished men and women subscribe to meditation as it helps you get out of your own way and moves you toward success. We self-sabotage so much and often get in the way of our own happiness and success. We overthink and get lost in the noise. Meditation does more than just calm.
A few parting words that could change your life forever
I want to leave you with these words. Well-being, abundance, and prosperity are your birthright. Once you believe they are, they will begin to show up in your experience. So, as you continue your journey, know that it is never too late to claim your birthright. At 47 years old, I feel like a new and exciting path is just beginning for me. I truely changed my life forever.
Your life is unfolding in a way that is unique to you. Trust the process and enjoy every minute of it! Be true to yourself first and foremost. Be your best authentic self in everything that you do. If you focus on what brings you joy, the rest will follow. I wish you all the best in your amazing life experience.
Johanna is a first-generation American. She is a native of Delaware, but her family is originally from Chile. She is honored to be the parent to a beautiful daughter named Grace and a handsome buff tabby named Oscar. Johanna is Head of Operations of global mindfulness for a Fortune 500 company. She is a Registered Corporate Coach™ through the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches™ (WABC™). She has a new app out called Moksha – stay tuned for details.