Creating a Space for Stillness
“I found meditation in much the same way that most people do. Out of frustration and desperation and the quiet determination that comes once you decide that actually, I deserve more.”
Passion backed up by a supportive and sound mind is what you find when you meet this young Namibian woman on a mission, a meditation mission. As Melissa Mukaiwa puts it, she want’s “meditation for the masses.” This is because according to Melissa “We’re living in pretty exciting times. A few years ago if you’d said the word meditation, one may have been forgiven for assuming that you were either Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist or into that “New Age stuff. Nowadays this simply isn’t the case. In recent years we’ve been snowed under an avalanche of neuro-scientific research that supports the endless benefits that meditators have been claiming for many thousands of years.”
For an example of these endless benefits, take a look at this article by Mental Health Daily by clicking here : Meditation Health Benefits
99FM’s MYD Heart spoke to Melissa, the meditation teacher and international speaker, to find out how meditation can work for us.
99FM’s MYD Heart asked :
How did you become a meditation teacher?
“I found meditation in much the same way that most people do. Out of frustration and desperation and the quiet determination that comes once you decide that actually, I deserve more. It was a textbook case of betrayal. Someone who I cared about and felt completely safe with hurt me in a way that few people can and in spite of how much I tried, I just couldn’t stop myself from reliving the trauma. More than a year after the fact I was still suffering and I could see how my inability to “just let go” was impacting every aspect of my life – my work, my health and most importantly my relationships. Honestly, life sucked and I was sick of it. So I Googled “How to forgive someone”.
And in all the many articles that I read, they all spoke about this then quite mysterious thing called meditation. For many months I tried meditating on my own, and honestly I wasn’t really very good at it but a few months later I moved into a monastery, learned with one of the most revered monks in Thailand, and within 3 days I suddenly understood what all the hype was about. That day I said goodbye to the life of pinstripes, pumps and pencil skirts to teach people what I now consider to be one of the most important skills you can learn.”
“Nowadays, I’m lucky enough to speak for and coach people in 8 countries all over the world, with clients ranging from CEO’s, Logistics Managers, and Diplomats to Waitresses, Seasoned Coaches and Yogi’s.”
According to Melissa how we go about to create a process of lasting change involves three steps, “the overall goal is three-fold and involves – education, preparation and inspiration.”
Step one she explains is Education
“There are so many ideas and misconceptions around meditation that it’s no wonder that people are so lost and confused about it. But the fact is that meditation need not have anything to do with a specific culture, religion or ideal. You also don’t need to become vegetarian, stop feeling emotions or relocate to the top of a mountain in order to start living some of its many profound benefits.”
“Personally, there’s absolutely nothing special about me, where you are now, is where I was once before and so that’s why I know that if meditation can work for me then it can most definitely work for you too. I believe that everyone irrespective of their background can define meditation in a way that is both useful and empowering. My aim is to make it simple, pragmatic, accessible, safe and comfortable for people from all walks of life – to make meditation for the masses.”
“Like I said before, most people come to me once they’re desperate and so often we need to do a bit of personal soothing before they’re in the right headspace to actually start meditating effectively.They may also be incredibly left-brained, sceptical and pragmatic (been there, done that!) and so we then might also have to have some conversations about the science of meditation and the mechanics of the mind to help get that left-brain on board, and make the experience more satisfying overall.”
And the last step in the process is Inspiration
“Knowledge is cheaper than it’s ever been. Most people know what they should be doing but usually it requires a certain amount of activation energy and courage to actually do it.That’s why nowadays teaching effectively goes beyond knowing techniques and also requires that one is be able to fill up their clients’ cups as well. One needs to be able to get people to the point where they are ready and inspired to take the consistent action that will bring about the permanent shifts that will then change their lives. This happens through coaching, speaking and inspiring through the powerful moves that one makes in their own life as well.”
What’s next for this Namibian Meditation coach?
“I suppose that here I could start talking about projects, foundations, 5, 10 and 20 year plans but actually what it all comes down to is really quite simple. My ultimate goal is to educate, inspire and coach myself into obsolescence. Right now the world needs us. Our stimulant saturated go-go-go selfie society has got people more stressed and totally disconnected than ever before and so right now there is both a very real and dire need.”
“The hope though is that with enough time and progress this will no longer be the case. Inherent in this calamity is the opportunity for myself and other like-minded individuals to work to develop better systems and structures for how we do life so that things like chronic stress and dissatisfaction are no longer considered normal.”
“Together we get to redefine a collective baseline that will hopefully correlate with greater personal awareness, a better standard of living and a total abolishing of the need to “save ourselves from ourselves”.
Get in touch with Melissa through her website here : Melissa Mukaiwa
Or find a selection of Namibian meditation coaches by clicking here : Namibian Meditation Coaches
For more information on the health benefits of Meditation take a look at this Forbes article : Meditation Can Change the Brain
“Knowing that stillness is the space where all creative expression, peace, light, and love come to be…Only from that space can you create your best work and your best life.”
– Oprah Winfrey