If you’ve been following my blogs then you already know this has been a very difficult year for me and my family. I went through a divorce, lived with friends for a few months, finally moved into my new place and transitioned my daughter into a new daycare. It’s been intense, to say the least, and things like going to meditation class, which I love doing, took a backseat.

Well, more than a backseat, I just stopped going and it’s been probably 7-8 months since I step foot in my beloved Odiyana Center.

Lately, I’ve been feeling depression creeping in and it does not feel good. I held myself together all these months but now that I’m settled it’s like everything I had been stuffing down or trying to not feel because I was living in survival mode is coming out full force.

I went to my doctor and in addition to medication she also told me I need to create “me time.” I think I laughed out loud. As a single mom my “me time” comes at 8:30 p.m. after I’m sure my 4-year-old is finally asleep. I haven’t figured out how to fit in running, which is something I have always loved to do and prioritizing meditation classes just hasn’t happened. Until now.

This past (child-free) weekend I decided the best thing I can do for myself right now, considering the state of mind I’ve been in, is to finally go back to meditation class. As I drove towards the Center, I felt very emotional. Like, I almost started crying. I don’t even fully know why. I think I was worried what folks would think of my weight gain while at the same time knowing that they would fully embrace me back into class with so much love. And they did.

The moment I walked in I heard “Hi Michelle!” And I felt at home, once again.

The teaching this particular day was about death. You see, Buddhists believe that meditating about death, our own death and death of others is the most powerful meditation there is. And I agree. Most of us don’t want to think about dying even though we know it happens to everyone and will happen to us. But if we can switch from being afraid to think about it, to feeling empowered by the thought it’s a truly transformational action.

Getting up in the morning and thinking “I might die today” sounds morbid, sure. But it reminds us to focus on what’s truly important in life – building relationships, spreading kindness and practicing compassion. We easily get caught up in drama, negativity and the like (myself included) but none of that matters in the end. Keeping death top of mind is a powerful way to live the life we want and to live in accordance with our hearts.

This meditation was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve been so caught up in my own stuff that I haven’t been able to be as compassionate as I strive to be. I don’t want to let small annoyances lead me down a negative mental path. I don’t want my insecurities about my body to hold me back from feeling worthy of love. I don’t want to feel angry at anyone because I want to choose patient acceptance and love.

Meditation is so important to me and I’m glad that in the midst of feeling depressed, I was able to get myself back there.