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Cinderella’s Hearth: In Praise of Meditation


I (Kate) used to be one of those people who thought meditation was impossible. I was steeped in the idea that “successful” meditation meant that I must clear my mind of all thought. I couldn’t imagine doing that, so I wrote it off.


But in 2016, I started to get the feeling that life was getting harder for everyone. It seemed like the world was losing its mind, and I needed some sort of touchstone to keep me from joining in the madness.


Out of desperation, I decided to try the Headspace app, but without realizing it, I accidentally paid for an entire year’s membership. I was FURIOUS! I wanted to try it, not buy it. 


I was stuck. So in my contrarian, bumbling way, I said to myself, well, if Headspace is gonna make me have it for a year, then I’ll show Headspace. I’ll learn how to meditate.


Pretty silly, right? But here’s the thing: Within two weeks, I literally felt like my head had more space. I felt calmer, more at ease. I didn’t dwell on the negative nearly as much as I once had. (Rumination is really, really bad for your mental health. And creative types, like writers, ruminate a lot.)


Within two months, I decided to become a certified meditation teacher. And I did. And you know what? I’ve never once completely cleared my head of all thoughts, but meditation makes me calmer, more relaxed and less reactive. It absolutely has changed my life for the better.


If Cinderella’s stepmother had meditated, maybe we’d have a different fairy tale—but then again, I do love me a Cinderella story.


Anyway, if you’ve never tried it, give meditation a whirl. There are nearly as many forms of meditation as there are meditators, and the right one is likely out there for you. To get started, try the Insight Timer app. It’s free and great for beginners!

 

Speaking of Cinderella, Lissa Sloan's novel, Glass and Feathers, a Cinderella continuation novel, publishes on March 26. Learn more here.

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