For years, I pushed my mind and body to the limits. It started when I took a finance job right out of college and moved to downtown Chicago. Most weeks, I put in somewhere between 60 and 80 hours a week at the office and then still found time to socialize and make friends. To outsiders, it looked like I had it made – I had a high paying job, a swanky apartment, and a fantastic social life. But, on the inside, I was unhappy, unfulfilled, and depressed.

Running on little sleep, I was constantly stressed out and overextended, but I continued the lifestyle I was used to for years, until a pivotal moment in my late 20s. I was in the middle of an important presentation with a client, the top partners in the firm were there to close a deal, and all eyes in the room were focused on me. Suddenly, I started having a panic attack. I started profusely sweating, my lungs felt like they were failing me, and my heart felt like it was going to pound out of my chest. Confused about what was happening, all I could do was lay down on the floor and wait for the room to stop spinning.

Concerned co-workers rushed over, thinking I was having a stroke or heart attack, and someone dialed 9-1-1. I was transported to the closest hospital where my condition was diagnosed as merely a panic attack. My body could no longer handle all the stress and strain of my work hard, play harder life. It was time for something to change.I stepped down from my position at the big firm and found employment that was more routine and less demanding. I started partying less, eating healthier, and getting the exercise I needed.

But, the final transformation in my life was discovering meditation. To be honest, I had always been a bit weirded out by spirituality and the idea of tapping into one’s inner-self. A buddy of mine convinced me to just give it a try. Five minutes of concentrated meditation just a couple of times a day. So I did. During these sessions, I was finally able to relax my mind and focus inwardly for probably the first time in my life. There was an incredible stillness and serenity in my meditation practice – I was hooked.

I started Evanston Meditation to help others find their way to a more peaceful, less hurried life. In a bustling place like Chicago, it can be difficult to find time to step away from our hectic lives and focus on our mental health. Evanston Meditation offers training and classes in the art of meditation. Whether you can join us just one day a week or multiple times a day, I guarantee that you will find meditation beneficial in your life. Come try your first class for free and experience the transformative power of this ancient science.