Why is Meditation the Carabiner of Self-Improvement?

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When you want to climb a mountain—like Everest—you need a lot of special equipment. There are long lists of tools including rope, harnesses, ice axes, pulleys, boots, helmet, carabiners and more to make the climb safe, efficient and fun. Gathering the right material is a critical component of preparing for the climb. But did you know that self-improvement has a carabiner? Yes, it does. Meditation is the carabiner of self-improvement.

Photo by Andrei Dumitrescu on Unsplash

Keep reading to learn why I say that.

The Carabiner

One of the unsung heroes of climbing equipment is the carabiner, a handy little piece of equipment that is used to quickly and reversibly connect components. Different types and multiple numbers of carabiners are essential in every climber’s backpack. They need to be strong, reliable and easy to use since you are fastening and unfastening your ropes as you inch your way up a rocky mountainside thousand of feet from the bottom. One person said they are used “to connect things to things.” And those connections hold your life in their proverbial hands. Carabiners are an essential component of a safe climb. (and, as an aside, there are many uses of carabiners. Just for fun, Look at these).

We have tools in self-improvement too.  We have books, websites, blogs, music, brainwave entrainment, visualization and more. The one that links everything together, the carabiner of self-improvement, so to speak, is meditation.

Self-improvement involves the whole being—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—and what affects one part of you affects all of you. Meditation, like a carabiner, hooks them all together when you are focused on improving in one area or another. So, stick with me and humor me, when I say that meditation is the carabiner of self-improvement.

Let’s look at physical fitness, for example. You look in the mirror and determine that to be healthier you need to lose some weight. You know that getting some pounds off will help you feel more energetic and look better in your clothes. It sounds simple, doesn’t it? You decide to go on a diet and, without putting much thought into it, you decide to eat more protein and fewer carbs or you follow someone’s diet program. Great. Two weeks into it, you realize you have not lost any weight but, in fact, have gained a pound. It’s not working!

Let’s start over and plug in meditation

You look in the mirror and decide it’s time to do something about those extra pounds. Knowing that you would meditation is the carabiner of self-improvementfeel and look better if you could get them off,  you decide to “tune in” to yourself to get some clear direction. You begin to spend time in meditation, looking into your “whole self.” You ponder what the weight is doing for you. What is it’s purpose? Do you need it for anything? Protection, perhaps? Is there a part of you that needs this weight to feel safe? Is there a part of you that feels as if you aren’t being seen so you get bigger to be more visible?  What are you eating that put that weight on in the first place? Too much comfort food, maybe? What part of you needs comforting? You get the idea.

You continue asking questions and waiting for answers. As you become more self-aware, you begin to program in better eating habits and you find that you have the energy to get more exercise. You may realize at some point that the weight is coming off without a stringent exercise and diet program. Or you may get clear information on what you are hungry for. You may notice that you are feeling more satisfied with life in general, and you are lighter emotionally and spiritually as well. Meditation, your carabiner, hooked info the all parts of you on your climb to physical fitness and weight loss.

This, of course, is the simplified version. It takes dedication and effort and following the inner guidance you receive over the long haul.

Meditation

Meditation has become popular in the Western world and instructions are readily available in books, audio, and video for those who want to learn. You are no longer thought to be weird or into some strange religion if you meditate. To get you started, here are the best meditation videos of 2017  This site allows you to experience several approaches to meditation. Further, you can find guided meditations on YouTube, the Chopra Center and many other places. (In keeping with the topic of weight loss above, you might like this 21 day guided meditation by the Chopra Center).  You may find a meditation group in your area by doing an Internet search or you can find a local teacher for Transcendental Meditation. There are many options and the payoff is huge in terms of self-growth.

Just as a carabiner helps you scale the mountain safely, meditation helps you scale the heights of self-improvement. Do you want to work on anger-management? Start with meditation. Do you want to be less stressed? Meditation is the starting place. Do you want to discover roadblocks to financial success? You got it—meditate. Like a carabiner, there are many selections and there is the right meditation approach for you.

Make your decision to meditate and schedule time on your calendar to make sure you do it. Even if you begin with just five minutes each day, that is a start. If you are distracted and can’t get your mind quiet, don’t get discouraged. Most of us experience that. Be patient with yourself. Know that your carabiner, meditation, will help you as you scale slippery slopes of self-improvement.

Have a lovely climb!

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