18/12/2015 05:50 GMT | Updated 17/12/2016 05:12 GMT

Taking the Time to Meditate

Wrapped up in almost complete darkness with only the blue-white glow of the moon giving off light and for the first time in my life I'm not afraid of the dark. Alone in my little cabin in the woods I breathe in the night and tumble effortlessly into sleep to visit the dream world.

For as long as I can remember I've been absolutely petrified of the dark, never would I have believed it possible to be alone in a forest at night without an inch of adrenaline or fear bubbling through my body. So how did I confront the fear and learn to feel safe with the unknown?

There are many contributing factors but mostly, I would give the credit to meditation. I've been meditating every morning and afternoon for 20 minutes each time for 2 years now. I learnt Transcendental Meditation (TM) as a student in my final year of university after volunteering abroad over the summer. I realised that if I wanted to make a meaningful contribution towards finding peace in the external world then I had to practice a way of finding peace within.

I'd done various forms of mediation, relaxation and yoga before and always felt the benefits but I had never committed to a daily practice. I don't think it particularly matters which practice a person chooses because we're all so beautifully unique that different methods work for different people but taking the time to build any practice into the daily routine is what sows the seeds for positive change and allows an individual to tap into an infinite source of energy.

Since meditating every day, the way I look at things has changed. I wouldn't say that it's a magic potion which gives a quick fix solution to any problem. Of course I have to play an active role in life alongside taking the time to focus within and meditate.

For me, it's about taking responsibility for myself, knowing that the only person I can really change is me. It's also about obtaining a tool for my toolbox to carry with me through life's peaks and dips. Also it's putting the theory into practice. I must have read at least 50 self-help books or texts on spirituality but I didn't start to feel the benefits of these until practicing meditation for myself.

Taking the time every day, twice a day, to say "I care about you" to myself has been very influential. In doing so, I have developed a much more loving and kind relationship with myself which thus enables me to bring my gifts more fully to the world and have more energy to take care of the planet and living things on it.

If I can give myself what I need then I don't have unrealistic expectations of others and I am more equipped to work towards having a positive impact on the wider world.

Every single meditation is different, sometimes I feel a deep sense of calm, and other times I fidget and feel frustrated. Sometimes I completely transcend my thoughts for a moment and sometimes my mind is distracted by 30 random thoughts per minute. But I trust that whatever is happening in the present moment is just whatever needs to be happening.

It feels comforting to know that no matter what happens in my life and no matter how much chaos the world can sometimes seem to be in, I will always have my meditation practice to cultivate inner peace. After all, every conflict in the world reflects the inner turmoil of individuals so what better way to make a positive change than to find a way to feel stable within ourselves?