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Marylynn Huggins

Reflection Paper
HLTH 1240-002
The Theory and Practice of Meditation
Instructor Julie Pugmire

Marylynn Huggins
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Meditation Reflection Paper

One of the requirements for my AS Business degree is a Lifelong Wellness course. Since I have
injured my hip and being aggressively active is beyond my current physical limitation, I chose to
enroll in a meditation class. I saw how taking a meditation class helped my daughter become
more focused and manage the stress in her life better. So, based on that example and my
limitations this class seemed like it would fulfil two objectives at once, degree requirement and
learning to live with the stress of my day to day life.

For each week of the semester we have practiced a variety of meditation methods. Ive learned
how energizing breathing, sitting, and lying down while maintaining mindfulness can be. Three
of my favorite meditations include: Looking Up, Body Scan and Affirmations.
Looking Up Although Im not able to get down on the floor during class time, I did
take advantage of the opportunity to practice this position during the week at home. This
is a new perspective. I didnt realize how much the injury to my hip has impacted the
cleanliness of my home. Definite steps need to be implemented to get things back to my
standard. Looking back in my journal I found that this entry sums up why I enjoyed this
method of meditation so much.
Today I let go of worrying about cleanliness and imagined I was a
young girl again laying on the grass in the backyard on a warm
summer day watching the clouds go by. I forgot how peaceful and
relaxing that could be. Also, how fun to share those moments with
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a cousin as we would imagine various shapes of the clouds as


animals. Today I drifted away and simply relaxed, I think I even
took a brief nap. I came back feeling refreshed and motivated to
get homework assignments completed and turned in.

Body Scan This was a wonderful way to get in touch with each part of my body. By
simply being aware of the sensations of breathing, the feel of my bed beneath me and
sinking ever farther into it. While lying there and focusing in on the movement of my
abdomen with each breath it opened a new level of mindfulness I hadnt experienced
before. That mindfulness extended to every part of my body one at a time. Consciously
feeling the sensations in my legs, my arms, my back and my hip. I even found myself
able to let go of the pain in certain areas.

Affirmations This is my favorite overall meditation. Its been quite a few years since
Ive given myself permission to think positive thoughts about me. So much has
happened over the years, both physically and emotionally that has impacted my life in a
negative way. All too often I forget to acknowledge all the good in my life. When I was
a young woman, after high school and dropping out of college in my first semester due to
failing grades, I had the opportunity to leave home and go live with an aunt. I had been
bullied in high school, treated very poorly by peers at church, and been subjected to
sexual molestation for several years when I was younger. That all took a toll on my selfesteem and confidence which were both at their lowest point at that time. My aunt took
me into the bathroom the first morning I was there and had me look in the mirror at
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myself. Then she had me repeat after her this phrase, Im as good as the best and better
than the rest. She instructed me to say that ten times every morning while looking in
the mirror. By the time I left to return to the home of my parents three months later, I
was a different person.

However, the lesson learned by believing in myself and the effect of affirmations were
seemingly short-lived. Years later I found myself in an abusive marriage, physically and
emotionally beaten down, and hanging on to what little self-worth I had left to be able to
stand up for myself and just say no to living with that behavior any longer. I faced the
challenge of being a single parent to four young children while being thrust into financial
ruin by my former husband. Stress and neglect of my needs led to my body letting me
know it had reached its limit and I suffered a stroke in 2005.

Coming away from that experience has been an uphill climb. Learning how to be patient
as my body and brain healed, realizing I needed to go to school to be qualified for a
profession that could support myself and my family, learning how to learn again after a
traumatic brain incident, dealing with other residual physical effects my body was left
with, and coping with mobility restraints the last three years due to the injury to my hip
joint. It became the default to view myself in a negative manner. As this semester began
I was struggling with feelings of inadequacy, even though it wasnt that long ago that I
was recognized by the faculty of the Accounting Dept. at SLCC and received the
Outstanding Student Award for the class of 2015.

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I missed class the day this meditation with introduced. So, I went in search of an
example on the internet and what I found filled a void I hadnt even allowed myself to
acknowledge. As I began with that simple meditation I felt the burden of the negativity
being lifted off me. I honestly felt lighter, physically and emotionally. As part of the
next class time, we made lists of affirmations to use during our meditations.

I have truly felt the difference meditation can make in my life. I have created a space and
the time for my meditation that has become a habit over the weeks of this class. The
difference is real and I normally hang onto habits that are beneficial. I have also set a
goal to do at least one affirmation meditation per week going forward. The positive
thoughts help me remember that I have value and worth in this world.

Marylynn Huggins
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