Connecting Women Around the World Through Meditation

Connecting Women Around the World Through Meditation

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meditation
Photo courtesy of author.

We are living a moment in time that we will never forget. Our daily lives have dramatically changed in a short time and most of us are trying to make sense of this experience. We are searching for meaning, connection and moments of ease in the midst of intensity and confinement.

From the first week of “lockdown,” I had a deep urge to be of service, to connect to other women through my work as a certified wellness coach and Yoga instructor. Without overthinking, I created a virtual session from my living room in Paris and invited a group of women to join me for a guided morning meditation practice.

Tania del Rio Albrechsten
Author during mindful walk © Tania del Rio Albrechsten

I am a firm believer that a consistent meditation practice can help you relate to stressful situations in a different way, build resilience and improve focus by training your mind to be in the present moment.

For many of us, our thoughts can quickly take us to the past or to the future, through mindfulness meditation we can train the mind to return to the present moment with kindness. This is key. 

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn 

Author during her virtual mediation session with women around the world. © Tania del Rio Albrechtsen

There are many different styles of meditation with different benefits. In the sessions that I have been doing during confinement, I have focused on body scan meditation, which is one of the practices that I have personally found very beneficial. This means that we train the attention by focusing on different parts of the body, noticing any sensations, always replacing judgment with curiosity. This, in my experience, not only helps to train the attention to be in the present moment but also connects to the body in a different way.

Leading these 30-minutes daily group meditation sessions has given structure to my day but it has also given me a sense of direction and purpose. I wake up and I get ready to lead this beautiful practice in which we connect as a group simply by “being in the present moment” not by “doing”.

During the past three weeks, we have started our days together, we have meditated together and we have shared brief but powerful exchanges to appreciate the practice. We have given ourselves the precious opportunity to train the mind to be in the present moment together.

alternative therapy
© CC0 Creative Commons

This has been a safe space where we can acknowledge that there are days that emotions are high, that the mind feels restless, that we have more or less resistance to go inwards. However, there is aways common agreement: we all feel better after the practice.

As a group participant shared: “I showed up to the session feeling overwhelmed and I am leaving with a smile”.

In the second week, I opened a second virtual group at 3pm Paris time to provide another space to sit together and breathe together. The purpose of this group was to invite those women who lived overseas as far as Mexico, Brazil and the United States to participate.

Something incredible has happened. Our group has been growing little by little with women of different ages, backgrounds and countries. We are all at home, each trying to make the best of the circumstances acknowledging that some days are easier than others, and grateful for the present moment and the practice.

I cherish and savor each session, each exchange and each experience.

I am grateful for these women who choose to share these moments of their days with me. I am grateful for the opportunity to sit together and breathe together at a time when there are so many around us who are struggling.

As Queen Elizabeth said in her speech as she addressed the nation on April 5, 2020:

“And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths and of non are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation.

There is no “one size fits all” approach to living through confinement. Mediation is not for everyone but for some of us these group sessions have been a way to feel better inside as we connect to others who are going through a similar experience in different parts of the world.

Never underestimate what 30-minutes can do for each one of us. Even in the midst of intensity and crisis, find what makes you connect to purpose and gratitude in a way that feels authentic to you. Each day we have an opportunity.

Tania Del Rio Albrechtsen
Tania Del Rio Albrechtsen is author of Happy Healthy & Zen in Paris, an easy-to-follow self-care guide filled with ideas, inspiration and resources for your daily life. She is also co-author of the snack recipe book Goûter, A Healthier Twist on Snack Time. Tania is passionate about helping others learn how to make healthier lifestyle choices to reduce stress, increase energy, productivity, and well-being. Based in Paris, she is a certified yoga teacher, an integrative nutrition health coach, a wellness advocate, and a happy mom. In 2012 she founded Wellness in Paris and continuously offers mindful workshops and health programs that support families, professionals and students living in Paris.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This practice has helped us to relax and feel united, belonging to a group formed with women from around the world. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us and helping us through these hard times.

    • I have been one of the lucky participants during these last three weeks enjoying each second of the meditation following Tania’s great way to lead us into discovering ourselves; i.e., body and mind together. For me it has meant a healing process to looking into a bright future nurtured by all the positive and energetic vibes during each of the sessions and with the company of beautiful people. At the end of each session we share our feelings and sensations which enriches and helps wrapping up the great moments of every session.

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