A journey into being…

In early 2020 the world changed. With it, my world changed. The seven-week lockdown was the longest I’d been at home in eight years and I think like many others, it was an opportunity to re-assess and re-position how I wanted my life to be. For me, I suddenly felt it was a time to ‘be,’ rather than ‘do.’ 

For me, ‘being’ is the state you are, that sits behind what you are doing. For example, if you are cooking dinner, you are doing dinner, but you can do dinner happily or grudgingly – that is your state of being behind what you are doing. Maintaining a positive state of being can be tough in the modern world – especially when there are so many demands on our time, the doing seems to take over who we are, leaving little space for choice on how to be. 

In 2020, my state of being had become overwhelmed and I longed for a simpler life. Over the next two years I would take a series of steps back from BePure, the wellness company I founded in 2004, freeing up my day-to-day time to simply focus on being. 

With my increasing amount of free time I slowed down, taking time to be mindful of what I was doing, practiced meditation and would spend increasingly more time in a remote, very beautiful part of New Zealand – the Mahia Peninsula of northern Hawke’s Bay.

I had originally been trained in meditation through the lineage of Kriya Yoga over 15 years ago. Since that time I have been exposed to many types of meditation, with three types remaining my favourites: Transcendental meditation – which requires specific training, but involves repeating a mantra (a specific word) repeatedly; Opened-eyed meditation (usually best performed in nature, like looking at a sunset); and Guided meditations – where a meditation instructor guides you on an inward journey. 

For me meditation is actually a state you practice being in, to be in meditation means you are in state of thoughtlessness (although this lofty concept is rarely useful for the practice of meditation itself).

This place of thoughtlessness is a wonderful place to be, primarily because there’s no stress! There’s nothing to do, no place to go, the past doesn’t exist, nor the future and compared to the activity of the mind on a day-to-day level, it can actually be deeply blissful. 

The challenge that often comes with the practice of meditation is that the mind tends to stay busy. For most of us, we have been practicing continuous thinking for decades and so it can take a while for the mind to unwind and slowdown – the more we practice meditation, the easier it becomes.

If you’ve not practiced meditation before, the great news is that simply by practicing a form of meditation, you will achieve many of the benefits associated with being in the meditative state. I’d recommend starting with a skilled meditation instructor, as a skilled instructor will themselves lead the meditation from a place of thoughtlessness, assisting you in relaxing back to this place. By practicing these states we are often able to experience a greater ‘beingness’ through our day, which often brings a greater sense of lightness and joy to living our daily lives.

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