If you met Katsilis today, you would think she’s outgoing, but that hasn’t always been the case.
Katsilis explained that in the past, she suffered from social anxiety disorder and depression, but after learning how to meditate she was able to overcome those obstacles.
“After I started meditating, I was able to go up and talk to people and now I enjoy talking to people. I didn’t think I did before,” she said. “I also used to be really angry all the time and now I don’t react to people’s anger and am no longer angry.”
Not only has Katsilis noticed the change in her personality, but she said others have as well.
“People who know me have said they can see the positive changes in how I react to people (and situations),” she remarked. “It’s nice to not be a slave to your emotions. I am able to naturally control them now without any effort.”
Katsilis said she first learned about meditation from a friend in high school.
“My anxiety with tests was so bad in high school that even though I knew the material, I wouldn’t do well on my tests,” she remarked.
Katsilis said she saw one of her friends in a state of meditation one day before class and she asked her what she was doing. After trying it one day before a test, Katsilis said she actually did better.
Since then, Katsilis has taken all types of mediation classes, looking for one that worked for her, and has learned that not all meditation is alike.
“I have done Oprah’s 21 day meditation challenge, guided meditation from other teachers, and other forms of meditation,” she explained. “I have tried pretty much every type of meditation except transcendental mediation because it is so expensive. I feel that meditation shouldn’t have to be expensive, that anyone can do it.”
Katsilis said most of the meditation classes she has taken have felt nice, but none of them seemed to work for her until she found a form of guided meditation, where she could pick her guide and where she wanted to go.
After having done meditation more consistently for the past five years and seeing its benefits, Katsilis decided she wanted to share its benefits with others.
“After a couple of years of sticking with it and seeing the benefits, I thought about sharing with other people. I felt that if other people learned how to meditate, it would help alleviate their stress,” she explained. “We live in a very stressful time, and I wanted to share this with others.”
Along with some of the benefits she has experienced, Katsilis named a few other benefits of meditation: helps sleep, eases stress and anxiety, physically changes the brain, reduces depression, decreases pain, boosts cognitive function, builds focus and concentration, helps relationship satisfaction, fosters a healthy body image, boosts immune system, lowers blood pressure, and more. All of these have been backed by studies and were published in an article by the Huffington Post. The article can be found at www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/14/meditation-mind-body-spirit_n_5291361.html or on Katsilis’ website, www.globalheartmeditation.wordpress.com.
“It can also help someone stop smoking or drinking,” Katsilis added.
Katsilis said the type of meditation she offers is for everyone who is interested in trying it.
“With this type of meditation, you don’t have to change your spirituality and you don’t have to learn a new philosophy like you do with other types of meditation,” she said. “A lot of people think of meditation as new age or Buddhist, but learning meditation can be neutral.”
Katsilis said wherever a person is in their life, the type of meditation she offers can help guide a person where they want to go in life and meet their individual needs.
“People have their individual experiences, so their meditation should be individual too,” she remarked.
Katsilis explained that during the free Global Heart Meditation class, she will ask participants to pick a place that is safe and comfortable and then she will begin guiding them from there.
“They get to decide where that safe and comfortable place is,” she said, noting she had a horrible experience in the past from someone else picking where she would begin her meditation from visually.
She also explained that during each class, she will have participants do something different and work them up to learning how to meditate on their own.
Katsilis said the reason she chose to make the class a four week class is because, according to research, it takes that long to learn a new habit.
“It takes between 21 to 30 days to develop a habit. This class will help people develop the habit of meditating on a regular basis,” she said.
The classes will be offered at the Walkertown Library, starting on Friday, August 1 as well as the following three Fridays, August 8, 15, and 22 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Another class will be held at the Central Library in Winston-Salem, starting Monday, August 4 as well as the following three Mondays, August 11, 18, and 25 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
For more information about Global Heart Meditation or to register for a class, visit www.globalheartmeditation.wordpress.com, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-310-5828.