Essential is a strong word. Oxygen, food, shelter and lube are all ESSENTIAL.
Meditation is equally valuable when done correctly. This is my take on why meditation is so vital in this painfully taboo industry.
.: Why is meditation important for anyone? :.
When we meditate we stop trying to analyse the thinking mind – with the thinking mind.
We step backstage, into our subconscious to get a more holistic view of ourselves. There is no point attempting to understand our flawed thoughts with flawed thought processes.
Our subconscious is the puppet master of our conscious mind and of our decisions – it sees way more than it tells us and sometimes the consequences of this leak into our conscious mind – or into our dreams. This is why dreams can be so powerful, yet obscure and so heart wrenching but unmemorable – the subconscious sees past the bullshit. The bullshit is a good thing – it observes, filters, prioritises, and cleans constantly without any effort on our part.
But like any great machine, we glitch under stress and this can be difficult for us to acknowledge, analyse, understand and fix without a little help.
.: How can you practise meditation? :.
Meditation can be practised in a number of ways, but, I can tell you from experience that guided meditation is absolutely the most effective way to learn!
Headspace is a great way to do this! And with a wide range of user options, this will quickly become a part of your day that you look forward to.
.: How can you step up your meditation-game? :.
One huge setback for almost everyone is failing to be efficient during sleep, whilst trying to be very efficient whilst being awake.
This is because sleep is supposed to be restful. We switch off and repair in preparation for the following day’s grind. But what about when we don’t sleep well? Interrupted or poor quality sleep can lead to lethargy, irritability and poor mental health.
With stress, anxiety and depression as the leading causes of Chronic Insomnia (habitual sleeplessness) and heavy contributors to Cardiovascular Disease – meditation could play a very real role in alleviating a variety of symptoms.
We can increase productivity in our daytime hours, by utilising our nighttime hours. By using guided sleep meditation (e.g. positive affirmations, sleep stories, sleep sounds, etc.) we are allowing the subconscious mind to absorb reassuring, positive information that promotes and encourages self-improvement.
.: What are your top tips for meditating? :.
From my personal experience, sleep meditation was a game-changer! I sleep more restfully, work more productively and, most of all, my body harmonises with my mind. The ability to escape one’s own mind, in the moments where we are our own worst enemy, is a fine-tuned skill that takes time and effort to build. Meditation is a skill – a skill we all need!
Ensuring your lighting and atmosphere are appropriate for the task at hand can be a nice mood setter. Soft lighting, a warm, comfortable and clean space along with any other home comforts you fancy! I typically meditate on my bed with a cosy blanket!
.: What is a good meditation routine? :.
Once you have mastered meditation and you feel comfortable with the process, you can start thinking about where best this fits into your life.
Perhaps you prefer to meditate in the mornings before work, whilst you wait for your Weetabix to microwave. Or maybe, meditation holds more value to you in the evening after all work is complete and you’re ready to start winding down.
My normal routine consists of Vinyasa yoga (which releases happy chemicals into my bloodstream) and a separate 15 minute guided meditation session in the evenings. If I feel stressed during the day, I will often look to a 5-minute wind-down to help me refocus.
Whilst falling asleep, I listen to a variety of ‘sleepcasts’ – stories by Headspace. Or occasionally I drift off to sleep music. All to improve the quality of my slumber.
.: Why is meditation particularly important for the sex work community? :.
As discussed above, meditation can help just about anyone to find inner peace and an internal hiding place.
The stereotypes of sex work make it a fragile and restrictive sector. The very nature of the adult industry alienates sex workers from the regulations put in place to ensure safe and legal practice for every other sector.
Due to how ridiculously taboo sex work is (if-we-don’t-talk-about-it-we-can-ignore-it mentality) it is widely misunderstood, misinterpreted and unregulated.
This means that when we see a bad customer who is perhaps a little overbearing or refuses to pay for a service, there isn’t a fat lot we can do about it. So we resolve to learn from our mistakes and the blame is shifted slowly onto our own practice and principles.
This is detailed more thoroughly here in The Modern Sex Work Dilemma!
The effects of this can easily lead to mental health problems. And trust me, I’ve suffered myself with these struggles and it’s impossible, to say the least. Being violated financially, physically or emotionally is no joke; for me personally, incidents of such nature send me into a pit of lowness that’s difficult to escape.
Meditation is always my first instinct.
I know that I need to understand and accept the problem before I can solve it.
Essentially, sex workers are high-risk individuals for mental health problems, unfortunately. Meditation is a viable and advisable option for anybody vulnerable, as a long term strategy.
.: So, where to now? :.
Some useful links to get you started…
- Headspace – for guided meditations and sleepcasts: free trials are available! (I like the visualisation that the app provides, the design is simple and non-distracting!)
- SAAFE – a sex-work specific forum.
- 7CupsOfTea – for mood tracking, 1-1 support and lots of fun self-improvement activities.
- Calm – guided meditation, music
- The Calm Zone – an English charity for mental health support.
Have questions or want to add something useful? Comment below!