Monday, September 5, 2016

Can Meditation Help a Controlling and Judgmental Person?

Why I Meditate - A Pitta / Type A Personality Confession

by Kathleen Lisson

When I was in my thirties, I felt like I had everything under control. I had a great job in the New York State Legislature and had just married wonderful man. We decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro a month after my 40th birthday. During the hours spent slowly walking to the top, I first realized that I could not control everything in my life. Approaching the summit of the mountain at over 19,000 feet was truly a one step at a time process. As long as I took one step and one breath, I was able to continue. Any time I thought ahead or wondered about what time it was or tried to go faster, I became overwhelmed and short of breath and had to slow down. I spent 8 hours that day living in the present moment.

Meditation for Endurance Athletes

After I returned from Africa, I began to realize how much I had been structuring my life around being in control. I would yell at a driver if I was cut off instead of silently feeling scared. I would be overly critical of myself and others at work, silently judging others and demanding perfection. If a goal was unattainable, I would find reasons why I didn’t want to do it. My mind would work to place blame on someone, anyone, instead of letting my body feel insecure or uncertain.

Meditation for Type A Personality

A cross-country move took me out of my old, familiar job and I enrolled in massage college to fulfill a life dream. I was suddenly in a constant situation of being a beginner instead of an expert. I turned to meditation to gain a deeper understanding of what I learned on Mt. Kilimanjaro - that the only way to really reach my goals was to allow my body to go through the moment to moment experience without pressure from my ego to please others or be competitive, to win.

Meditation and Skin Cancer Diagnosis

I recently put this new way of living to the test when I was diagnosed with skin cancer in June 2016. Both my parents died from cancer (breast and lung) and my diagnosis could have been much more distressing if I focused on the negatives instead of listening to my body. Now, instead of ignoring or trying to hide my diagnosis and my scar, I am becoming comfortable talking to others and exploring what beauty and wellness mean in my life.

Here is more about my new search for beauty and wellness:

Kathleen Lisson is a certified Meditation Teacher and Labyrinth Facilitator and teaches Meditation and Mindfulness at IPSB college in San Diego. Sign up for a private meditation lesson or labyrinth walk in the comfort of your home here:

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