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Episode 5 - Why Meditation Can Make You a Badass

courage Oct 14, 2019

In today's episode, I'm going to breathe some light beyond the feeling of peace, calm and focus and onto bigger and more badass things. You may want to meditate just to chill, but once you are all chilled out, then what? What does life's palate look like?

I once taught someone to meditate that was going through an awful divorce; he said the future looked like a giant grey palate, but by making some space in that nugget of his, he found out that the palate was ready to be painted however he wanted it! Big and bold, the sky is was the limit. But it started by finding out who he was RIGHT now through meditation and mindfulness. After that, the painting began to paint itself. 

Look at any self-help programs: want to write a book, make more money, learn to create online courses, be a kick-ass mom, pass the bar exam, start a business; usually, a chapter on looking inward at who you are or a repeated suggestion that you need to meditate is mentioned. WHY do you ask? Well, listen up, and I'm a-gonna tell you!

Hey there, Alexa Z here, and I am here as living proof that meditation can help make you a badass. Of course, that is just my opinion of myself, and of course, we know what opinions are like, but how you feel about yourself (which if you are like me can change daily) is what is most essential, and losing yourself can sometimes be easier than finding yourself. 

You may have heard about a meditation technique called self-inquiry. In a nutshell, it is a great way to practice listening to your inner wisdom. You know that insight phone that is always ringing, but you forget to answer it. Well, the good thing is that it will ring again and stuff like Inquiry meditation can help train you to listen for it.

Let's try it really quick. Wherever you are, eyes closed or open if you are in motion, of course.

  • Take a few gentle but complete breaths
  • Inhaling with your whole body
  • And exhaling with your whole body
  • Again inhale, exhale
  • Now silently ask yourself this question “Who am I?”
  • Ask yourself, then sit silently for a moment without trying to answer the question.
  • Become absorbed in the silence of the unanswered question. 

How did that feel? Many may say: awkward, impossible (I know who I am, and I want to answer the question) or maybe just silly. 

It is simply this – it's a practice to listen to yourself. It's like being at your favorite rock concert. You are rocking out for hours, and suddenly the venue starts to close, and it's time for everyone to go the hell home. Clear out, get rid of the stale beer smells and the sweaty tee-shirts, sweep the floor and give the place a spit shine. Get it ready for the next big event! This is your brain. It needs a good cleaning just like your house.

Recently we painted the first floor of our house, which meant we had to put away all the knick-knacks, all the pictures, move the furniture, and we took the time to throw out a lot of stuff, including window treatments whose beauty expired in the '80s. Now that the painting is finished, the place looks clean and straightforward, and we discovered that it feels AMAZING. The minimalist look is so calming that we are committing to keeping it that way. Of course, we need pictures of families on the wall and our stellar lighthouse wedding photo. But maybe five pics, not 500. THE COOL PART is (see there is a point to this) is that this process made us know what the house can be to us now. It's just us in the house now; the rooms now have different uses, I want a large office, and Jerry needs space to play music and brew beer. Before we painted, all I could not see past "sell this place and get me the hell out of here."

We needed the discomfort and confusion of 10 days of painters (and three dogs shoved in the bedroom) to settle the house and our minds and see the good stuff. 

When you sit in the silence of your brain, you give it space for the excellent stuff. The 'Who am I' is no longer a gentle meditation but sets your life up to scream, "THAT'S RIGHT GUESS WHO I AM? I AM A BADASS THAT CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT, ANYTIME I WANT, AND AT ANY AGE I WANT."  As you practice (remember meditation is a practice, you don't master the piano overnight, right?) sitting with unanswered questions like Who am I? (there are others, but we are staying super simple) You become more aware of how friggin' great life is right now and, more importantly, how great you are!  I'm tasting another dose PRESENT MOMENT AWARENESS from the last podcast. 

  • Train your brain by being quiet every day (or most days please, even 5 minutes will help)
  • Results: (many but today it is all about being a badass) Realizing you are everything you need and more. You are beautifully complicated and full of possibilities. Your insight phone will ring again, but this time you will hear it AND answer it. 

Your mind does not have to keep thinking every moment until that idea of a lifetime strikes you like light a bolt of lightning.  That will never happen. If you never learned ONE MORE THING as of this very moment, you still have enough brilliance to change your life and perhaps the world.

But back to the self-help, DIY programs – they always give a tiny mention of inserting meditation. I am just making that small mention a bit louder. I want to scream, "IF YOU WANT TO BE A BADASS THEN SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP FOR 5 MINUTES."

In your meditation studies, you may have heard amazing teachers like Thich Nhat Han refer to PEACE, CLARITY, COMPASSION, AND COURAGE. Every day I sit down always with a beginner mindset, and I meditate in a desire to find PEACE.  But today I am rephrasing it as Peace, Clarity, Compassion and Badass because the courage can lead you down to those kick-butt places.   

Ok, I told you at the beginning that I thought I was a badass, so I better tell you why? For sure, I didn't start that way, and really I am still rooted in the discovery of my greatness, but here are some of my real-life examples. And meditation helped me through every single one. Each one is a novel to me, but I mention them briefly, hoping one might spark your inner badass.

  • Childhood anxiety, panic attacks, total fear of so many things (including riding a school bus and other kids) This is where meditation entered my life, but it took until 17.
  • College: work all day, go to school at night – finish in 5 years
  • Passed the CPA exam after a few miserable attempts
  • Survived to work a gazillion hours for 15 years climbing the corporate ladder not because I liked what I did but because I needed to make cabbage and the ladder was my stupid gauge of success at that time.
  • Wake up and discover I hated my job and take a leap to become a massage therapist (you're saying: whaaaaaaaat?) Yeah, my mom did too. Massage school started on my 35th birthday so I figured it was a sign. Badass creeping in
  • I open Even Keel Wellness Spa (no clue how to do this but just did it) 16 years later it's still making people happy
  • I failed in what feels like a million relationships but again found enough in me to continue to love. Never stopped trying; keep looking inside.
  • Finally get of out of a long term, emotionally abusive relationship (yup the badass still hides a lot that's why I continue to meditate
  • Start another business teaching meditation (I figured hey I have been teaching all along anyway)
  • Marry the coolest, kindest, most genuine man alive (according to my internal Wikipedia) Meditation made me finally identify "Hey look – this one IS the one."
  • Start an online meditation training company because I know this is what is needed! (again no clue how to do this)
  • Start this podcast – BAM HERE IT IS I HAVE NO IDEA what I am doing (I learned everything from listening to podcasts), and right now, I feel pretty darn badass because deep inside, I have no fear of failure. Heck, I am pretty good at failure, but I am even better at building on it and moving forward.

 I should have done things differently; I am human. I should have looked a lot inwards harder. But in my courage, I have found the strength to stop shoulding on myself and look at my life today as a beautiful clean palate, ready to be filled with great stuff.

And tomorrow, my confidence might fly out the window like a fart in a breeze, and I will go back to my chair and shut up, and it will all be ok.

Let me leave you with this quick summary of why you should meditate.

You may have heard this analogy from others or maybe from me because I use it regularly because it is spot on…ready. 

You are not the waves of life, the waves of emotions like fear, grief, jealousy, happiness, anger, confusion, etc., those are just waves, even happiness. You are the ocean. Take a few minutes each day to practice being quiet, going back into the ocean of who you are, the source of all of your greatness. The answer lies within, right?

Well clear the clutter, find your badassness and go forth my friend because we are placed on this earth to do great things. And you are GREAT.  

 Homework: Be quiet, maybe be aware of your breath, maybe ask yourself "who am I" and sit and listen. 

 Until next Monday head out there and strut your badass.

Peace out Tators





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