Meditation and mindfulness are practices that have helped me immensely over the years. Living with endometriosis and daily symptoms takes a huge toll on our mental health, and it can feel hard to have any joy. Mindfulness has helped me to live in the moment, which has allowed me to access meaning, joy, and gratitude, and these make living with daily pain just a little less heavy. Meditation has helped me look at my destructive thought patterns and replace them with ones that are more helpful to me. I’ve been working on replacing my self-criticism with self-compassion, my feelings of being a burden and undeserving of love with the understanding that being sick doesn’t make me a burden at all (and it doesn’t make you one either!). All of this has helped me relate differently to my disease, my pain, and my life.
For more info
- Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us – “Whether you’ve tried meditation but it never sticks, or you’ve heard about it but never gave it a shot, Justin Michael Williams guides you step by step in creating a custom meditation ritual that fits in with your busy (and sometimes messy!) modern life. With free downloadable audio meditations every step of the way, Stay Woke gives people of all genders, identities, colors, religions, ages, and economic backgrounds the tools to stop wasting time, overcome self-doubt, and wake up to the lives we were really born to live.”
- Greater Good in Action – Excellent website from the The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. It has in-depth articles and short 5-15 minute practices on topics like happiness, compassion, self-acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, intention, forgiveness, etc.
- Sounds True – Mindfulness, meditation, psychology, relationships, self-compassion, subtle energy from well-known experts in the field. There are free trainings, free online summits, and their podcast is my favorite! They also have books, audio, video, and trainings for purchase that they have produced with these experts.
- Tara Brach – A well-known meditation teacher. Her podcast is a collection of all of her talks spanning back almost 10 years.
- Vipassana Meditation – 10-day silent meditation retreats. They are free (donations encouraged), run by volunteers, and have locations all over the world. I’ve done 3 retreats and highly recommend. They teach you how to meditate and while it is hard to be 10 days in silence, you can learn a lot about yourself. I’ve had major personal breakthroughs on these retreats, and because they teach you to sit with body sensations, Vipassana has helped me learn how to live with chronic pain.
- Gaia – Huge online collection of yoga, meditation, Qigong practices and more with professional teachers. They also have shows/talks on transformation and expanding consciousness, as well as thought-provoking documentaries and inspirational films.
- Qigong – This is a wellness practice that is hundreds of years old used for health. It involves slow movements done in rhythm with the breath, and it’s usually done standing up or sitting. It can be a great low impact exercise option for people with fatigue or pain. It’s often used for health, healing, and martial arts training. It can have benefits such as increasing energy, relieving stress and anxiety, and stretching the body. My favorite teacher is Lee Holden, who describes qigong as “the art of effortless power”. I do his 20 minute morning routine a few times a week!
Some Great Books on Meditation/Mindfulness
- Stay Woke: A Meditation Guide for the Rest of Us by Justin Michael Williams
- Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World by Pema Chodron
- Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
- Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace) by Chade-Meng Tan, Daniel Goleman, Jon Kabat-Zinn
- The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise Paperback by Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Related Podcast Episodes
- Ep 5 – Changing Your Experience with Pain
- Ep 10 – Finding Gratitude Even in the Difficult Moments
- Ep 18 – Asking Empowered Questions for a Better Life
- Ep 26 – Using Mindfulness to Appreciate Moments We Aren’t Sick
- Ep 32 – The Way We Face Our Problems
- Ep 49 – Practicing Self-Compassion After an Endo Horror Story
- Ep 51 – Practicing Gratitude
- Ep 86 – Acceptance, DBT, and Endometriosis – A Chat with Maggie Bowyer. Part 1
- Ep 87 – Acceptance, DBT, and Endometriosis – A Chat with Maggie Bowyer. Part 2