Working as a corporate lawyer in Toronto, I used mindfulness meditation to manage my stress and anxiety and to perform better at work. The more I practiced, the more I realized that having a regular meditation practice gave me a huge advantage in dealing with every aspect of my life. I am now fully committed to teaching mindfulness and to educating people on how meditation can make your life easier.
WHY I STARTED PRACTICING MEDITATION
My mother introduced me to yoga in high school. If I went to a hot yoga class with her, she would drive me to the movies or the mall that weekend. It was a good trade.
I continued practicing yoga daily throughout undergrad at Queen’s and law school at Emory in Atlanta. In between degrees, I went to Goa, India, and completed a 200hr level Yoga Teacher Training in the style of Vinyasa and Ashtanga. It was there that a meditation practice became part of my life as I saw how great I felt after meditating with the group every day for a month.
In the last semester of my last year of law school, I woke up one morning to excruciating pain along my entire spine. For the next four months I could barely walk. I had a bulging disc and I tried everything to manage the pain – way too many painkillers, chiropractics, acupuncture, massage, a steroid injection into the disc, physio. Nothing helped.
This is when I got back into a regular meditation practice. I started questioning why this pain had arisen in the first place. I was healthy and fit – not someone you’d expect to have severe back pain. As I focused on the sensations within my body and got to know my thoughts more through meditation, I learnt that I held all my stress in my lower back and neck. Years and years of stress and anxiety, which I thought was normal and didn’t really affect me, had built up to the point that my body had to physically force me to slow down. I never would have realized this without meditation.
As I recovered through patience and slow strength building through yoga and walking, I moved back to Toronto and began working as an associate at a corporate law firm downtown. I would periodically go to yoga ashrams in the Bahamas and India when I had the time to focus on my meditation practice, and took courses on weekends in the city. The more I meditated, the more I learnt about what I really cared about and who I really was, aside from all the expectations society, family and myself had imposed on me throughout my life. After a lot more reflective questioning and learning about myself, I realized that law wasn’t the right place for me.
I had already been coaching many colleagues and friends in meditation for years as people often asked how I stayed so calm and collected in such a fast-paced career. Upon observing how my meditation teachings had benefited people and changed their lives, I felt incredibly grateful and knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to teaching this practice and helping people live more enjoyable lives.
I know firsthand how stressful it can be to work in a fast-paced, high-expectation environment, and I know that meditation can help EVERYONE in that space. I hope you give me a chance to teach you and maybe you’ll see how meditation can help make your life more enjoyable and easier.