The Calmer Waters of Meditation – By Guest Blogger Andrew Beck (part 1)

Hi, and welcome to this guest blog post by my musician and author friend, Andy Beck.

We met through an autor programme called Author Academy Elite, which is based in The United States and offers a lot of programmes for self and professional development. More specifically, we met through the Igniting Souls London group, led by yours truly, and we’ve become accountable to each other and a third member who I will be featuring here once her book is published, as she touches on a topic close to my heart as well – Autism.

It’s safe to say that we both would recommend Kary Oberbrunner and his programmes! You can test out the free versions first and then decide for yourself.

Let me now tell you a bit about what the next few posts will be about…

Andy has recently published his new book FOLK SPRINGS ETERNAL, which follows four talented musicians playing Irish and Scottish music with a punk twist.

So, why is Andy talking to us about mindfulness and meditation if his book is about music?

Folk music, a passion of Andy’s, as well as Self-care, are at the heart of this book.

In a nutshell (as revealed in the Amazon summary of this book), the book talks about how these four individuals navigate through life to get where they want, finding the tools they need to find success among the criticism, the busyness of life, and every obstacle that is placed among them.

Sound familiar? We all go through similar things, so this book is very relatable whether you’re into folk music or not.

At the end of the book, Andy offers coaching and other services that will help guide you to find success and to withstand setbacks and failures.

Without further ado, I’ll let Andy talk directly to you guys about what he’s found through writing this novel, his own life journey and his discovery of meditation as a means to reach his goals and do what he’s passionate about.

“You should be a priority in your life at all times,” said my author friend Karin Brauner when introducing her book “20 Self Care Habits”.

Get that right, and pandemic or no pandemic, all of life’s other obligations will be less of a strain. 

I know what that strain feels like…

My wife and I spent a week in the Inner Hebrides in 2017.

Yes, we were on holiday in Scotland, one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. And I felt dreadful.

Far too much time to think, not enough control over my thoughts to stop them spiralling out of control. 

This is just one example.

Fortunately, my breakthrough came that same year; having suffered from depression and anxiety on and off since my mid-teens, I finally discovered Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), or Mindfulness meditation.

And it worked.

This is something of a miracle, given that I was convinced I was beyond help, that my mind was some incomprehensible maze. 

And I’m not the only one to feel this way. 

Even Lin, the heroine in my recent novel Folk Springs Eternal, struggles not only as an Irish folk musician but also with her own state of mind: 

[S]he needed to control her temper. The irascible attitude, the raised voice, the profanity, definitely the way she’d behaved towards Gus and Herman that morning. None of it had helped; more to the point, it was embarrassing, both to her and to her friends. 

But what could she do to address her aggression issues?

She had no idea where to start, and her only inkling was defeatist. 

Maybe I can’t change.

Do you recognise yourself in any of the above?

Feel like demons are stalking you, and you don’t have much of a defence?

Then this post is for you.

Lin chooses to embrace the calmer waters of meditation, and just like me three years ago, it turns her life around.

She goes from being verbally and physically abusive towards those closest to her, to showing them the respect and affection they deserve (and quitting nicotine).

Even if the world is not much different, her world certainly is.

And so is mine.

Now, we can both show the world the best versions of ourselves, and try to leave the positive mark on it that we want to be remembered for. 

While I can’t say that Mindfulness will be THE answer for you (as different therapies work for different people), my mental health advice is as follows:

“Never stop searching for answers.”

Thus, knowing about MBCT can’t hurt; it at least gives you the chance to try it out, to see whether it will benefit you. 

I hope you enjoyed this installment of our Guest post this week.

We will be collaborating with Andy for a few more guest posts, so if you haven’t, subscribe to my blog to follow them (see the form below), and also do go follow Andy’s blog page through this link for more on folk music, self-care and updates on his upcoming products and services.

In next week’s post, Andy will continue talking to us about mindfulness based cognitive therapy.

Just a note from the therapist in me: if you’d like to know more about other therapies also available, you can have a look at my website in the “how I work” section.

Until next week….

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