This week Walker Tracker is excited to have Lena Franklin join us a guest blogger. Lena is a Mindfulness-based Psychotherapist and is the head of content for Welzen.

Welzen is a wonderful app which provides a variety of mindfulness tools to assist users in developing their own meditation practices and improve their wellbeing.

In honor of May being designated as Meditation Month Lena is sharing her insights on how meditation can provide you with inner peace along with emotional balance and joy.

Our minds are regularly engaged in an inner dialogue that involves stories about work, marriage, financial status or that strange look our friend gave us. We experience 60 – 80 thousand thoughts a day and…wait for it…the majority of those thoughts are negative. Wow, right? So, in order to transform our lives, we must transform our thoughts.

In a world where you truly need to disconnect to find a signal, carving out time for stillness and silence is imperative to our health and happiness. Essentially, meditation can create a greater sense of inner peace, emotional balance, love, and joy. It’s energizing to realize that we hold the power to increase our sense of internal happiness, the feeling state our society is frantically striving for.

But we need to make a fundamental shift if we’re going to begin experiencing the deep inner joy and contentment we’re seeking. THE shift: Move from focusing on external to internal consciousness. What does this mean? Well, instead of grasping and clinging to external materials and life circumstances to be happy, look within…deep within…and stay there for periods of time. Through our great teachers of stillness and silence in mindfulness meditation, you’ll be transformed. Here’s how:

1.) Self-Love

In order to love our lives and those precious people in our lives fully, we must connect with an authentic sense of love for ourselves. Through mindfulness meditation, we’re able to gain a felt sense of our wholeness beneath the not-so-accurate thoughts of being deficient human beings. When we can finally drop into mindful presence, receiving and accepting ourselves in the present moment, no matter what is going on externally, we begin to appreciate our imperfectly perfect selves. And through this appreciation, we learn to love ourselves more — embracing the goodness of our true self beneath fear and self-doubt.

2.) Compassion Cultivation

I like to say that “to journey inward is our highest calling” because to go within through the practice of meditation is to be courageous enough to see what’s there. We all experience thoughts and feelings we’re not so proud of. The Buddha taught that because we are humans living on this earth, we suffer. This very suffering is the connective tissue that binds humanity together as one. To honor our inner distress (without pushing it away) with compassionate presence is to transform the way we walk through the world. When making compassion meditation a daily practice, we honor not only ourselves but all of humanity.

3.) Profound Peace

We’re constantly looking externally to grasp at the next exercise fad, supplement or treatment that will bring us the peace and joy we’re so desperately longing for. A fundamental tenet of mindfulness meditation is the belief that peace exists within the depth of our being. Again, this is the shift from external to internal consciousness. The more we’re able to be present with the ebb and flow of our inner landscapes (thoughts, feelings and body sensations), the more quickly we’re able to find that profound inner peace when we need it. It’s a choice. When we choose to go inward, we choose to walk the path of peace. Peace is our natural state as human beings.

4.) From Stress to Serenity

Mindfulness meditation gives us an inner tool to begin witnessing our thoughts without judgment or attachment. With dedication and practice, we can start to see that our thoughts are real experiences, but they’re not necessarily based on truth. Much of our stress as human beings stems from negative thought patterns that loop in our minds. Shifting from the busyness of our mind into the presence of our breath decreases cortisol, the primary stress hormone that floods our bodies when we’re caught in our maladaptive thoughts. Meditation is our tool to shift from stress to serenity.

Cultivating a meditation practice is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and the world. You see, the amazing capacity for peace, love, and joy thrives within. And beneath the turbulence of daily living, we can begin to reclaim the essence of our power, transforming our lives from the inside out.