“Emotional balance is one of the first results of meditation, and our experience bears this out.” NA Basic Text p.47
Emotional balance is not something you or I can achieve from external sources for any length of time. Balancing ourselves emotionally takes place within us. We have tried to balance emotionally with drugs or alcohol, but that was and is only a temporary balance that leads to more imbalance. In my case, my emotional imbalance was so great that it affected my mental stability as well. Through working my steps, I improved my relationship with the God of my understanding. This set the framework for successfully continuing to stay in recovery and completing Step Eleven of the program.
Step Eleven says, “We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying for only knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” Although I have a religious upbringing, my relationship with God was never like it is now. Before it was “give me, give me” and now it is “what do You have for me.”
I look at prayer and meditation as two distinct contact with God. Prayer is me talking to God. Meditation is me shutting my mouth and allowing God to speak to me. Meditation was never my strong point because it takes work to maintain a steady relationship of listening. Without meditation though, I know my life would not be any different than before. Now, because of meditation and listening, my emotional well-being is more stable and as a result it shows through my interactions with other people.
Meditation is a state of mind. First, find a quiet place where you know you won’t be disturbed. Some people find it helpful to sit in a chair with their back straight, feet flat on the floor and their arms resting on their lap with the palms turned upward. Others prefer a more common approach of sitting on the floor with legs crossed Indian style or in a lotus position. Again the forearms should rest on the legs with the palm of the hand facing upward. The idea is to place the awareness to the brain that this moment of time is for meditation.
Close your eyes, and just feel your surroundings. Take a few moments to relax and ask your Higher Power what His/Her will is for your life at this moment. Begin to take long, deep breaths. Feel your breathing and focus as the air moves through your nose, into your lungs and exhaling through your nose. As you focus on your breathing, you will notice that your mind begins to wander. Just allow your thoughts to come and go. Continue your breathing and meditation for as long as you want, preferably for at least ten minutes.
Continue practicing your meditation every day. Adapt the meditation however feels comfortable to you. You will begin to notice that your mind wanders less, and your thoughts become one with your Higher Power. As you practice you’ll find that your emotions are more in balance and your day is less stressful.