Last week I experienced a few enlightening meditation sessions that I’d like to share with you. The credit for this enlightenment is due in large part to the expert instructions I received live and in-person from Erich Schiffmann, when I was lucky enough to study with him earlier this month.

Both in person and in his book Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness, Erich suggests to ask the universe “What do I need to know?” when silently meditating and then wait for the answer. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t wait to hear what the universe had to say to me, and had no problem putting his suggestion to practice.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Deep in meditation this last week I posed the question “What do I need to know?” and got two very different and wise answers.

The first one came early on a weekday morning when I sat down on my meditation pillow right after getting up from bed. I didn’t take the time to do any asana practice because I was in a hurry to start my day. As a result, I had a difficult time getting into my meditative state due to the tightness in my body. The message that came through loud and clear was always take the time to stretch and breathe before you start your meditation practice.

Yes, this is basic yoga knowledge, and the reason why asana practice was developed in the first place was to prepare the body and mind for meditation. You’re probably thinking this is not a major revelation, but right at this time in my life, the universe was telling me exactly what I needed to know, or rather, to be reminded of. I wasn’t expecting to get a message like “go play the lottery” or “it’s time to make a dentist appointment”; I was just hoping to get some sage advice that I could put into practice. Sometimes the messages we receive from the universe can be just a gentle nudge, a reminder of what is best for you. If you’re going to take the time to meditate, you might as well take a few more minutes to prepare for it and get the most out of it.

Become Fear-Less

The second message I received later in the week was more profound. It came Saturday after doing an awesome hour-long yoga practice on the beach. I got to move, stretch, and breathe with the sound of the waves, blue skies, green trees, and soaring birds, so settling into my meditation practice was much easier (incredible what listening to the universe can do for you!). After about 10 minutes, my mind was ready, and I put out the question to the universe…What do I need to know? The response: Let go of fear. It is such a waste of time to worry about the future. Focus on being happy and enjoying this present moment. Just keep doing what you’re doing, help other people, and it will all work out.

I have to admit, for the past year I have fretted quite a bit about my future. Can I make a living doing what I love? Will I be able to retire comfortably someday, or am I blowing this time of my life when supposedly I should be in my peak earning years? Am I fooling myself; should I just go out and get a “real job”? I’ve had many tedious conversations in my head, beat myself up silly, and let fear get the best of me on repeated occasions. And, the worst part about this—I can’t get back any of that time. It’s lost when it could have been filled with happier and more productive moments.

Despite my ability at times to be “fear-less,” I can tell you that I have never been happier in my career or life. I am doing what I love (teaching, writing, and sharing about yoga), my work attire consists of either PJs or black stretchy yoga pants, I have no commute, and I’ve learned how to live and survive comfortably on a smaller budget.

Wow – what great advice the universe gave me! I’m all ears and taking this advice to heart. I need to let go of all that yuckiness, the worry about the future, and just live for this moment, do what I love, keep focusing on helping others, and have the belief that it is all going to work out.

I put this into practice on Sunday night, when my usual mode of operation is to let the angst about the coming week start to creep in. I worry about everything I have to do, and poof! The gift of the last few hours of the weekend is completely lost. Think about it: How many Sunday nights have you not enjoyed because you started festering about the week to come?

This Sunday night instead of getting that pit in my stomach, I popped in a movie, grabbed a glass of wine, and hung out on the couch with my husband, fully enjoying the moment. I have wasted so many Sunday nights, but no more! This is going to be a continual challenge, but each time I let fear creep in, I’m going to kick it in the ass and instead tune into my message from the universe and focus on enjoying and being productive in the present moment.

Have you received any messages from the universe recently? If so, please share and leave a comment below.

Last week I also had another meditation breakthrough courtesy of wisdom provided by Max Strom, so stay tuned for that revelation.

Fear Image: Kriss Szkurlatowski