MY MEDITATION EXPERIMENT
I MEDITATED for 100 days and this is what happened.
First I had to adjust my schedule so that I would be able to wake up early enough to meditate every day. I had already been an early riser but now I was putting something else in my schedule for the morning, more than just getting up early, this was another “thing” to do.
The getting up early was never a problem, I picked up that quality from my mother Annie. She would leave the house every day no later than 5:30am so I became accustom to waking up with her, either at her request so she could make sure I would be in the waking up process to go to school, or on my own to make sure she left the house safely. However, now as an adult I had to adjust my mind to get up early, especially when I didn’t have to.
Next I had to discover what type of mediation I would do. This was important because when you first decide to mediate there is so much, almost too much information to go through to figure out how to do it. For instance you could choose to mediate:
1. Self reflection style.
2. Self questioning style.
3. Seeking Awareness (just noticing your body).
4. Seeking Transcendence (which is truly next level stuff where you are in a state of nothingness, like a blank space, no thought).
I chose a style of mediation where I would:
1. Focus on some things that are positive
2. Focus on things that I want to manifest in my life and
These are the benefits I experienced from meditation:
✅ Increased ability to tap into calmness when you need it.
✅ The ability to start your day with power.
✅ The physical and psychological benefits of sitting still.
✅ The power of really feeling your body.
Let’s Go A Little Deeper:
Meditation stimulates the nervous system in a relaxing way. That means when you practice meditation you are able to relax your body. Think about how important it is to relax your body. Most people have an average day that looks like this. Get up in the morning, get the kids dressed for school, stop the kids from fighting and arguing, take the dog out or care for your other pets, get some type of food in everyone’s system. Leave out the door, more arguing and fussing from the kids. Get the kids to school, rush to work. Get to work and deal with the attitudes, issues and energy of everyone around you and then begin your day.
There is no wonder why the majority of our culture is over medicated and other wise sedated through drinking, drugging, going out, and other behaviors so that you can just get a “time out.”
Through the practice of daily meditation I found that I am able to give my system a “re-set” from all the stress in our daily lives. I am actively purifying my mind from the stress of the world.
Keep in mind that stress is the main cause of most of our physical and mental illnesses. While meditation will heal your body. If you don’t believe the medical and scientific support of your relaxed nervous system being able to heal your body think of this. If you are using your energy to yell, fight, flight and other stressful responses you are taking your energy away from other areas of your body that need attention. Attention that is necessary to heal.
When the nervous system of the body is relaxed your body can fight and heal most illnesses.
A Little Medical Support
Scientifically when you meditate you release Oxytocin, Dopamine, Serotonin, endorphins - aka the Juices of life are switched on.
Also, and very important to the concept of healing, your IGA levels can rise. IGA levels are the primary defense against bacteria and viruses - It’s better than any flu shot.
The “Meditation/Marathon Continues.”
One of the blessings of my position as a Municipal Court Judge is the fact that I meet and interact with so many wonderful people every day that I have many chances to gain and exchange wisdom. In addition to my court room experience, I spent many years as a Defense attorney and all my life as a woke Black Man. One reoccurring theme in life is that we often let our mess go unaddressed. We ignore the very things that are keeping us from truly living our best lives. However, If you want to live your best life you have to clean up your mess.
CONFRONT THE ISSUES IN FRONT OF YOU
In order to change and move from where you are to where you want to be you have to gain the courage to confront the issues in front of you. I get asked for advise often and I’ve come to lean that that people will ask me for advice and then defend against the answer that I give them. They’ll ask “Do you think that I should leave this relationship because she is consistently acting disrespectful?” Or some other question just like that. Then I’ll start to say “from the outside looking in that person simply is not right for you...,” and before I can finish the sentence the person who asked me for advise begins to defend the person, the question and the answer. “Well I am the one who starts a lot of the arguments.....”
I understand that many issues, situations and relationships are more than surface deep and it takes more than a few minutes of advise to get to the bottom of a problem and to the best solution, however many of you don’t even want to try. You would rather sit in your mess, deal with the same limited success or occasional pain than to clean up your Sh*^. Notice that I said “occasional pain” because when it comes to admitting that you need to make a major change in your life, all of a sudden the situation was not that bad. “He only hit me a few times.” “She only acts that way when she’s been drinking.” But as I said, in order to move to the place that you know you deserve or at least to move in the direction of your gut feeling that life can be better, you have to be honest, identify, name and confront the issues that are in front of you.
COMMIT TO THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE
You have to commit to the life that you want to live. You have to commit to the success that you want to achieve. Instead of doing this, people commit to a person, place or ideal even when that person, place or ideal doesn't’ serve them any more.
Instead of being so willing to commit to other people and to commit to ideas, commit to the life that you want to live. You already know the life that you want to live. You already know the dreams that you have for your career, you already know the dreams that you have for your family. You already know the dreams that you have for your relationship. Why do you continue to settle for less than the life that you want?
In my court I see the result of not staying committed to the life that you really want to live. I see the grief. I see the regret. I see the pain. I see devastation that life can bring when you fail to confront your issues. I see the traps that life presents when you won’t even admit that you have any issues at all.
When you are truly ready to get off the treadmill of moving everyday, all day and never getting anywhere closer to the dream life that you want, you have to first confront the issues that are in front of you and then make a new commitment with yourself and a commitment to the life that you want to live. In other words, you have to clean up you Sh*^!
New Year, New You, New Story
On January 21, 2019 at the East Cleveland Public Library, 1:00pm there will be a panel of intelligent, relatable and relevant people to have a discussion about the problem of negative community and police relations. As the host of this panel discussion I feel that its important for all of us to consider a few questions as we enter the year 2019.
WILL THE NEW YEAR BRING A CHANGE IN COMMUNITY VS. POLICE RELATIONS?
Here is the answer:
NO, if we as the community and police officers individually decide that holding on to our pre-set mentality about each other is more important than change.
YES, if we all understand the power of our minds and use that power to change our thoughts, which will change our behavior, which will change our lives.
I believe that we all must make the decision in favor of change because otherwise we will continue to suffer from negative interaction with police and negativity in our personal lives.
HOW CAN WE MAKE 2019 A BETTER YEAR THAN 2018?
One definite way to make this new year better than the last year is by planning to make it better. I’ve found that too many of you sit back and let life happen to you. You live the exact same life every day without any planning. The unfortunate result is that many of you are finding yourselves in legal situations, bad relationships, destructive environments and you are depressed about it all. If you would take just a little time to plan and map out your future many of those situations will be avoided. I am an obsessive planner. Though I know that I can not control every possible situation that life throws at me, I am committed to controlling the things that I can. Here is a short list of the things that you can control.
1. Your friends
2. Your conversations
3. The places that you go
4. The things that you do in public
5. The effort you give on the daily basis
6. The attitude that you reflect
I could continue with this list but I believe you get the point. Plan how you want your year to be and live each day making the decisions that will lead you to completion of your plan.
HOW WILL PLANNING MY FUTURE HELP WITH THINGS LIKE AVOIDING NEGATIVE INTERACTION WITH POLICE?
Please understand that I don’t believe that you can avoid every single bad situation. You may encounter a bad teller at the bank. You may encounter a bad worker at McDonalds. You may encounter a bad police officer. I am not suggesting that by planning your life will be perfect, I am suggesting that when you choose to plan your life you will make “close to perfect” decisions or at least decisions that are right for you. For example, you can avoid many bad tellers by going to a different bank. The same holds true for a bad worker at McDonalds, go spend your money somewhere else. Now to avoid negative interactions with police officers, especially those who are considered “bad” these are my suggestions.
1. Never argue with a police officer who pulls you over. Think about it, are you going to argue yourself out of a ticket?
2. Never run from the police. You know what they say, if the police have to chase you they are bringing a butt whooping with them. Well that may not be the case most of the time but how do you think your interaction will be when they catch you.
3. If you don’t have a license don’t drive.
Social Media: @judgedawson
CAN I REALLY CHANGE?
Every New Year we all proclaim that it’s going to be “the best year ever”. We make plans, talk about being a new person and even declare that we are cutting people off who have been unproductive or even toxic in our lives. The truth is that the will power that is necessary to make real change in your life does not have a clock. That will power doesn’t magically appear on January 1st. Instead, real change can be found inside the word itself and inside you.
CHANGE: C - Courage
There will never be real change until you develop the Courage to change. Courage comes from many sources but at the very least it comes from the realization that what you have been doing is not working. The relationship that you love so much doesn’t love you. The drugs and drinking that you enjoy don’t help you achieve your goals. Whatever the issue may be, until you take a long, honest look at it you won’t develop the Courage to change it.
CHANGE: H - Honest
The look that you take at your life has to be Honest. You can not sugar coat it. Look at:
1. Your friends - are they positive? DO they have things to offer your life and your advancement other than fun?
2. Your home - Is it livable? Should you be there? Is it even safe?
3. Your relationships - that man or woman that is laying up with you at your house, are they helping pay bills? Do they respond when something is wrong? Are they contributing to the wellbeing of the situation or have they become childlike in the way that you take care of them?
4. Your job - is it providing for you financially? Are you adding value to the job that you are taking from financially?
These questions and hundreds more are needed so that you can be Honest about the change that you want to make.
CHANGE: A - Attitude
This is the sleeper part to positive change. I call it a sleeper, because you will never change until you develop the Attitude that is different than the one you have right now. Your current Attitude is why you are not achieving at your highest level in school. Your current Attitude is the reason why you aren’t getting the raise or the opportunities that you want at work. Your current Attitude is the reason that you are okay with staying in a relationship that is destructive, violent, and all around terrible. You can not make change when your Attitude remains the same.
Through my experiences as a Municipal Court Judge, I have witnessed people come into my courtroom over and over again for the same things or same offenses. They stand before me talking about a better life, talking about change and asking for a second chance and as sure as the day comes, they end up right back in my court or another court without breaking any negative, unproductive cycles.
The reason that this happens is because they have not mastered the first three elements of this change model. For example let’s look at a domestic violence offender.
C - This person lacks all Courage because they feel that the only way to gain respect is to obtain power in a relationship through abuse.
H - This person is not Honest about the fact that a person committing domestic violence turns into a monster.
A - The Attitude that they are right or justified in their actions is a barrier to any real meaningful change.
Stay with me so we can complete this change model in the next segment.
For more information about the Cycle Breaker Conference contact the East Cleveland Public Library or visit JudgeDawson.com.
Judge William L. Dawson
East Cleveland Municipal Court
Social Media: @judgedawson