This isn’t going to be your usual meditation blog
Hi, my name’s Eddie.
Welcome to ZenGuided.
I’m normally a skeptic. And not just about meditation, but pretty much everything. So while most of the meditation world seems to be more Mulder, I’m more of a Scully.
But, ever since I started to practice meditation daily for just 10 minutes, I’ve noticed significant improvements in my overall happiness, focus, productivity, relationships, and more.
The purpose of ZenGuided
But despite seeing these benefits, I still have lots of questions about meditation, such as why it works, which types of meditation are best, how my experiences will change with practice, what the potential dangers are, and why more people aren’t practicing it.
As I continue to learn more about meditation, I’ve decided to create this blog to document, share, and understand my journey with meditation.
So here’s my story
I guess you’re on the about page because you want to know a little more about me. So let’s go back to the very beginning of this journey.
It all changed after the stationary cupboard
My interest in meditation began after a particularly stressful experience. In 2014, I had a panic attack in a stationary closet at work, which left me struggling to breathe and feeling like the room was closing in on me.
I didn’t fully understand what was happening to me at the time, but over the next few months, I found myself constantly replaying the incident in my head and falling into a state of panic.
‘Those kinda things don’t happen to people like me.’
My recovery was slow, and I spent most of my time locked in my bedroom, trying to make sense of what had happened.
I was surprised (shocked) that this could happen to someone like me, who was confident, outgoing, and had always thought of myself as strong-minded. My family, who had little experience dealing with mental health issues, treated me as if I had the flu, hoping that I would simply get better with rest.
From surviving serial traumas – to finding real happiness
I don’t want anyone going through what I went through.
It could have been prevented
After being taken to several medical doctors who suggested a therapist (because my family still believed it was a flu-like illness), I finally had my first appointment with a therapist.
Prompted by a few skilled questions, I told the therapist about my life. Things I’d never spoken to anyone about.
When I finished, the therapist leaned over and said, “I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier.”
Where it probably started
My parents emigrated to the United Kingdom from the island of Cyprus, in 1978.
When my mother became pregnant they decided to move further out to a once quiet little suburb on the fringes of London called Enfield.
Our family was one of the first foreign families to move into the area. It was at the age of five before I met the first non-English child in the same area.
I do remember being told very early on how to behave so we could fit in. It was almost funny.
We were trying to behave like the 1950s families we were watching on TV just so we could be accepted by our neighbors.
At the age of three, my parents had to take me home after the first day of nursery school (pre-school) after being told that I couldn’t attend until I had learned to speak English.
Within a short space of time, I had learned the lingo, but I was the kid that spoke funny and joined halfway through the year.
Desperate to be liked, I found that being funny made people like you. I also learned that being myself could be dangerous.
I’d also learned that I should only use two emotions – happy and angry. Anything else was considered weak, and therefore dangerous.
Being myself was considered dangerous.
The end of the sh*t list
Later in life, I muddled along until I got to what I now refer to as a period of my life called the shit list.
In the space of five years, I was hit with a series of life traumas:
- My uncle, aunt, and sixteen-year-old cousin were murdered
- My grandmother died while I was alone in the hospital room
- I married for the wrong reasons and divorced after two years
- I was trying to perform in a high-pressure job under a tyrannous manager
- My father was diagnosed with vascular dementia and I became a part-time carer.
But while all this was happening, I was ‘fine’. The stationary cupboard happened about three months after my father’s funeral. I moved to a good job with a kind and understanding manager. Things were looking up.
What I later discovered was that each event was a distraction. A distraction from being aware of how I was actually feeling.
It was only when the distractions had ended that my subconscious was about to introduce me to the wonderful world of anxiety.
If I had just stopped just once in a while, just sat still, and listened to my thoughts, could I have avoided a panic attack?
Yes, I very likely could have.
How aware are you?
While you’re reading this, for just a moment, pay attention to your back. How is it feeling? Should you be sitting a little straighter, can you feel any tightness?
If I hadn’t asked you to pay attention, you would have probably ignored it until it began to hurt.
The same can happen with our thoughts, feeling, and emotions.
Meditation is transforming my life. It’s improved my physical and mental well-being, relationships, and career. But I didn’t always believe that. As Dan Harris put it in his book, 10% Happier:
“Until recently, I thought of meditation as the exclusive province of bearded swamis, unwashed hippies, and fans of John Tesh music.”Dan Harris – 10% Happier
My goal with ZenGuided is to first learn, then educate, and inspire people to enjoy mindfulness, and the different forms of meditation, in a positive and meaningful way.
You don’t have to be depressed, dealing with trauma, or even sad. Meditation is for everyone.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I appreciate that you took the time and deeply value every relationship I make with this blog.
I try to respond to every email and DM and would love to hear your story.
I hope to provide a safe community where new and experienced meditators can collaborate, provide encouragement, and work together.
I hope that your journey into meditation brings you happiness, health, and peace.
Join the ZenGuided community and sign up for the newsletter where I’ll share exclusive meditation and well-being tips.
Thank you for reading.