You’ll notice that our thought of the week looks vastly different to how it usually does. The reason is that I (Nikki) forgot my laptop at the location of our Here and Now Retreat on Sunday night.

Picture this…we’ve just finished our very first meditation and mindfulness retreat. We’re feeling utterly proud and content as the retreat turned out even better than we could have ever hoped for (we were joined by 15 inspiring individuals, two incredibly talented teachers, the most beautiful hosts at the Brahma Kumaris Centre, and a spectacular setting with perfect weather to accompany it). We arrive at a restaurant for dinner and sit down for a celebratory meal with my family. Everyone’s asking how the retreat went and we’re telling them with excitement until it dawns on me like a tonne of bricks that I forgot to collect my laptop from the dining room at the retreat centre! What immediately ensued was a concoction of unproductive thoughts and emotions. Frustration in the form of “why did it have to end like this”, regret in the form of “if only I put my laptop in my room straight away”, angst in the form of “how am I going to create the Thought Of The Week without photoshop” and everything in between.

And then something remarkable happened. Instead of getting caught up in it all, I suddenly rose above and began observing my thoughts and emotions unfolding from a birds eye view. I witnessed the stark contrast from being so happy and content the one moment to being so flat and frustrated the next. I realised how nothing about my present situation had actually changed…I was in the same company, with the same surroundings, and the same successful result, yet my experience of life was suddenly so different. Now I was stuck ruminating over what I could have done differently in the past and rehearsing for how badly it would in turn affect my future, against a backdrop of unpleasant emotions and uncomfortable sensations. Seeing it all unfold from this perspective, I was now armed with a choice. Do I continue to wallow in what was and what will be, or do I choose to bask in what is instead? And just like that, I made my decision: I would give preference to the positive around me instead. It’s not that the feelings immediately disappeared, it’s that slowly but surely they started to dissipate. And I was left with a delicious meal surrounded by my supportive and loving family.

This is the single biggest benefit that I have received from meditation. Our participants that were on our retreat now understand first hand too that meditation is so much more than just stress relief. It provides a profound access to personal introspection and inner transformation too. If you personally are meditating regularly, you have likely noticed it yourself as well. And if you’re not, then there’s just another worthwhile reason why you should be. Oh and by the way, you’ll be happy to know that my laptop is coming via courier tomorrow 🙂