Wednesday, March 18, 2015


by Leigh

1. to ramble without a definite purpose or objective; roam, rove, or stray
2. to go aimlessly, indirectly, or casually; meaner
3. (of the mind, thoughts, desires, etc..)to take one direction or another without 
conscious intent or control

Sometimes all we need is some space to wander.  When we wander around in a new place or familiar surroundings we are physically moving, but we also can allow our mind to wander off as well.  Meditation has become a part of my life in the last year and it can go hand in hand with wandering. It's that time of quiet that helps to keep me grounded and connected to myself and my surroundings.  It isn't always easy and there are days where I tell myself that I don't have the time to sit to meditate.  How can I accomplish anything if I'm just sitting doing nothing except focusing on my breathing while thinking of…nothing.  But when I let too many days pass without meditating, I notice the impact that it has on me.  I feel more frazzled and little things can get to me easier. My conclusion was that it's not about fitting it into my schedule.  It's about making it a part of my daily life just like brushing my teeth.  

Some of you are probably reading this right now thinking…oh here goes Leigh….the hippy granola wanna be.  You might be visualizing me sitting cross legged on the floor chanting "ommmmmmm" and sometimes that is me, but very rarely is that my "style". Meditation is not just some hip new craze or a bandwagon to jump on.  It's more like an anchor to hold onto that keeps us connected.  For me it can be listening to a meditation podcast while lying in bed before falling asleep or it can be that precious 20 minutes in carpool line where I can close my eyes and just breathe. I have found apps, podcasts and daily emails that help to guide me in my meditation journey.  Who knew that just 20 minutes a day doing nothing could have such an impact on daily life. It's a type of deep relaxation that can be more refreshing than a night of sleep.  It's still relatively new to me, but what would I have given to have learned this early on as a child.  To have the ability to calm yourself down, connect to your breath and find clarity.  I have started to introduce meditation to my kids.  For my daughter certain breathing techniques help her to calm down when she's getting fired up and angry.  She is a very strong willed child whose temper can escalate quickly.  Learning breathing techniques helps her to learn to calm herself down instead of passing the point of no return.  My son is the people pleasing, sensitive type who can have his feelings hurt easily.  Guided meditations have helped him to relax and destress a bit after a long tweenager type of day.  

I bet a lot of you meditate without really realizing that you're doing it! As photographers we like to wander around to find new things to photograph.  Wandering can be a type of contemplative photography which I believe goes hand in hand with meditation.  Wandering around a familiar place, wandering around a new place….just wandering with my camera without other thoughts running through my head.  Wandering appeals to all the senses and a perfect place to just meander around inside your head as well. It's my time with myself, with nature, with God.  All the worries and stress of the day fades away.  The phone calls that need returning, emails to write, schedules to update are no longer occupying a large part of my brain.   Instead a sense of peace and calm has taken it's place and I feel like my photographs reflect that as well.   Wandering gives me fresh eyes to see things in a new way.  

So what do you think?  Do you meditate without really realizing what you're doing?  If you don't, do you want to start?  Need more reasons to give it a go?  check this out!
Studies have been conducted that show meditation has the following benefits on the nervous system:
  • lower blood pressure
  • improved blood circulation
  • lower heart rate
  • less perspiration
  • slower respiratory rate
  • less anxiety
  • lower blood cortisol levels
  • more feelings of well-being
  • less stress
  • deeper relaxation
All of those benefits…available through meditation no prescription required!

Here are some resources if you are interested in meditation.
The Meditation Podcast-I listen to these through a podcast app on my iPhone
Meditation Oasis-I listen to these as a podcast too


Carol said...

As I was reading this, I was thinking that I needed to email you to ask you what podcasts, etc you use. I was so happy to find them at the end of your post. Thank you! I too am exploring all this, and have been using some of those resources. I have always been a believer, but somehow never got around to focusing on it. I do treat people in my job who have persistent ringing in their ears. Over 40 years of trying different types of appliances to help them, I will tell you that meditation has worked better than anything. Its that connection thing again - our minds and bodies are one - I'm convinced!

kelly said...

oh yes leigh. I swear I feet calmer just after reading this post. and I love how you compared it to an anchor to keep us grounded. that's beautiful. thank you for sharing your resources as well....this is something I want to explore further. xo

kybarb said...

I've been seeing a lot of articles lately on meditating and being creative--knitting, drawing, art, etc:

I follow Art Therapy Without Borders on Facebook and love sharing their articles. I enjoy making cards and scrapbooking and learning new art techniques for rubber stamping and lettering which all are very relaxing and meditative for me.

Dotti said...

Great post, Leigh, with some very useful information. I've tried meditation before but my biggest challenge is emptying my mind. I know ... shocker. Well, I decided to begin in a simple way this morning, setting my phone timer for 5 minutes and just sitting comfortably, eyes, closed, breathing - in, out, in, out, good, bad, good, bad. You know, breathe in the good, expel the bad. And I do feel more relaxed then when I started. I may do this again today! Thanks, Leigh, and I plan to check out your resources. I also thought of you this morning when I had my morning tea in my butterfly mug. :-D

gina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gina said...

You make a very convincing case of meditation. I'm totally with you. I've been meditating for several years, and taught it to my Kindergarten students and they responded very well. It's calmed me down and quieted my "monkey mind". Such beautiful photos to go with your words. Thank you.

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