May 10, 2018

Why I decided to do a 3 month Meditation Sabbatical

When I was growing up, I hated meditation. Sounds bad to say these days with so much talk about mindfulness and meditation,

…but it’s true.

When both your parents are meditating every day in the ‘meditation room’ (aka the converted shed in the backyard) and that’s the best time for your brother to pick on you, you’d probably hate it too.

So for the first 30 years of my life, I had a huuugggeeee aversion to meditation. I’d convinced myself there was no way I could sit still long enough to ‘quiet my mind’ and it was just straight out boring anyway.

The most annoying part…every time I asked my Dad (who is a Psychologist) for advice about pretty much anything, guess what he’d almost always say?

“…Sarah, you just need to learn to meditate.”

I wanted to scream.

Secretly, I vowed never to meditate and NEVER to become a therapist like everyone else in my family.

From the age of about 10, I spent every school holidays working at my parents College where they ran Counselling & Psychology courses – soooo boring…

Fast forward 30 years – I’d been through a divorce, suffered with anxiety and depression most of my life and low and behold I came upon some very good therapists.

Coupled with starting my Coaching business which required me to retrain (aka doing a shed load of personal development), I was making huge inroads in my life.

At the same time, my Dad finally convinced me to ‘try’ a meditation retreat with a Psychologist & Buddhist Meditation Teacher from Harvard (that sounded a bit more interesting than the boring idea of meditation I had in mind).

And guess what?

I loved it!

So it would seem that the two things I HATED for the majority of my life – Meditation and Psychology, have turned out to be the two things that have helped me the most.

Together, they’ve helped me heal my anxiety and depression and manage my thoughts and emotions so effectively that I can now assist others to do the same.

Thus, I’ve been feeling pretty chuffed with myself lately…

But recently I did something that’s taken me to the ‘next level’.

Vipassana.

That’s the style of meditation my parents were doing all those years ago. Still Buddhist, though different to what I’d been doing with my teacher from Harvard.

To learn it though, you have to do a 10 day silent retreat at the meditation centre. This was part of the reason I never thought I’d be able to meditate.

Me…10 days…no talking… You’ve gotta be kidding!

That was, until 2 months ago, when I decided to tackle this meditation bootcamp for the first time.

Although I’d done 5 meditation retreats to date, none of them were silent, so this kinda felt like a big deal – doing my first 10 day silent Vipassana course in the Blue Mountains.

And guess what? I’ve never felt so happy and relaxed in my life.

From the moment I got there, I felt like I was home.

It’s possible, as my parents have both done over 20 courses each at this Centre (my mum did two when I was in utero) that somehow this style of meditation was in my DNA the whole time.

So much so, I didn’t want to leave when the course was over!

‘What now?’ I asked the Universe on Day 10…

The message was loud and clear…Come back to the Centre.

This felt so right I had to pursue it!

So I’m off on a 3 month Sabbatical in the Blue Mountains where I’ll be living and breathing Vipassana. I’m not sure where I’ll land at the end of this adventure but nothing has felt quite this right for a long time.

If you’ve ever struggled with anxiety or depression, or just wanted to learn to meditate, check out Vipassana. There are 170 Centres around the World and everyone is welcome. Courses are run by donation and founded on the premise that each person is ‘paying it forward’ for someone else to take a course rather than paying for yourself. I personally love this idea!

I hope to see you there.

Walking beside you,

With love,

Sarah xo

 

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Instagram post 2170116817347232908_1688634438 ‘We need to have the love of starting with the discipline of finishing’ - @marieforleo .
A perfect reminder, as this is something I have typically struggled with.  I have so many ideas which I’m great at starting but then fail to keep the momentum going and stick with them 💃. .
Big thanks to @businesschicks for putting on a great event last week ❤️🙏.
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Instagram post 2110038789586226099_1688634438 Now is the time. Don’t wait a moment longer to become who you know you are destined to be. We must let go of all the ideas of who we think we ‘should’ be, in order to step into the possibility of becoming who we could be. Let’s do it together 😌❤️x
Instagram post 2082339406950638347_1688634438 It’s so easy to worry about what others think of us and interesting how rarely we believe they’re thinking nice things about us!
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I’ve recently taken to reminding myself that what happens in other people’s minds is actually none of my business. Whether they think nicely or otherwise about me is completely out of my control...
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Worrying about something I can’t change is a waste of time and energy. Instead I prefer to focus on my own thoughts about myself. Because these are the ones that matter most and I can always change them! .
Sx ❤️
Instagram post 2078657947849004025_1688634438 Loving my new threads from @lizzie_moult 🙏😍 #best #tshirt #organic #cotton #wildsuccesslive #livingabravelife
Instagram post 2075802097887383456_1688634438 So often I make things waaayyy more complicated than they need to be!
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So I’m practicing letting everything be easy and taking the path of least resistance.
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This is taking some time for my mind to reprogram and allow life to be easeful every moment. But I’m committed! 👊
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Sx
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Instagram post 2074412155261077908_1688634438 Continuing to get out of my own way by letting go rather than holding on, pushing or driving is a continual lesson that I keep on learning.
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My latest manifestation of this was a moment a week or so ago of inspiration to do a Masters in the US. It was super last minute with the course starting in 8 weeks. I had to work really hard to get my application and all the associated bits and pieces rushed through. I was exhausted. This should have been enough of a red flag for me! But no...my taurean determination 😳 kicked in and wanted to give it everything. Having done and given it all I had, I surrendered the outcome to the Universe... and got knocked back! I didn’t get in. All that efforting and energy spent pushing uphill for the last week and a half. .
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It’s clear to me AGAIN - that when things are right they’re EASY! And that my pushing, blocks the natural flow of energy that is already right here in this very moment.
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Warm hugs, Sarah ❤️xo
Instagram post 2062017934847768958_1688634438 Hi 👋 I’m Sarah. I’ve been finding it hard lately to articulate what I do when people ask me since I do a number of things. And I’ve been thinking long and hard about what I really value and what Living A Brave Life stands for. So I thought I’d give it a shot today. .
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Connection, Courage, Curiosity. This is the mantra of Living A Brave Life. As a Soul-Connector and Meditation teacher, I help others to develop a healthy relationship with themselves so they can have fulfilling relationships with others. In an increasingly disconnected world; anxiety, loneliness and feelings of isolation are becoming more common. These symptoms of 'disconnection' block the energy with ourselves, stopping us from connecting with others. Through whole hearted relational coaching and mind mastery meditation, I take people on the journey back to their true selves. Fusing the best of Science & Spirituality, either one on one or in small group workshops, I've had the privilege of working with people all over the world in helping them to live a brave life.
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Hope that makes it a bit clearer! 🤗❤️
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Instagram post 1987675979557126173_1688634438 This lovely book by @akalpritam is a beautifully illustrated heart felt guide to peace and happiness 💕 pick one up @taigarose if you’re in Byron.
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It’s liberation from within...freeing yourself from your old thought patterns and behaviours. 
Now that’s true freedom 🙏❤️
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Instagram post 1967404728347677863_1688634438 Join me in this lovely space @thenimbusco in Byron Bay on Wednesday at 5.15pm for a 45min guided Meditation class 💕

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