This Isn’t Going to Be Your Usual Meditation Blog
Hi, I’m Eddie.
Welcome to ZenGuided.
As someone who’s always been skeptical about most things, I never thought meditation would make such a positive impact on my life. But it did.
After practicing meditation for just 13 minutes daily, I’ve improved my happiness, focus, productivity, relationships, and more.
The Purpose of ZenGuided
Despite experiencing the benefits of meditation, I still have lots of questions about it. So, I’ve created this blog to document, share, and understand my journey with meditation.
The Turning Point: The Stationary Cupboard
In 2014, a panic attack in a stationary closet at work left me gasping for air and feeling trapped. It took me months to recover, and during that time, I was locked in my bedroom, trying to make sense of it all.
‘Those kinda things don’t happen to people like me.’
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.
It could have been prevented
After being taken to several medical doctors who suggested a therapist (because my family was treating my anxiety like a flu-like illness), I finally had my first appointment with a therapist.
Prompted by a few questions, I told the therapist about my life. Things I’d never spoken to anyone about. She helped me understand my past and how it contributed to my anxiety.
Where it probably started
My parents emigrated from Cyprus to the UK in 1978 and settled in Enfield, a quiet suburb on London’s outskirts.
Our family was one of the first foreign families in the area, and I didn’t meet another non-English child until I was five.
To fit in, we tried to mimic the 1950s families we saw on TV. When I was three, I was sent home from nursery school until I learned English.
I quickly picked up the language but still felt different.
Humor became my way to be liked, and I learned to only express two emotions – happiness and anger – as anything else was seen as weak or dangerous. Being myself was considered dangerous.
Being myself was considered dangerous.
The sh*t list
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:
- The murder of my uncle, aunt, and 16-year-old cousin
- My grandmother died while I was alone in the hospital room
- I married for the wrong reasons and divorced after two years
- A high-pressure job with a tyrannical 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. But each previous event had been 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.
The Power of Awareness
I later realized that if I had taken the time to sit still and listen to my thoughts, I could have likely avoided my panic attack.
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
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.
Thank you for reading.