Releasing the Past and Taking Charge: My Journey with Transcendental Meditation

My name is Oriana Leo.

I have been practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique since mid June of 2015. I picked it up immediately. I transcended during my first meditation, and it was an unbelievable experience.

Initially, the reason that I was drawn to the TM technique was because I saw it everywhere. I saw it in articles, magazines, and from friends – I heard it like eight times, so finally I said to myself: “Fine, I get it, Universe. I’m going.”

At that time I was in a really, really bad place. I had just gotten married to a man I was deeply in love with, but it was falling apart.

When I learned TM, I felt like it saved my life. You know, as emotional beings, we often go into denial and suppress things, especially developmental trauma as kids. But this can be incredibly damaging to us. With transcending in meditation I had to wake up. TM let me release the denial I was in about my life and about my relationships. When I started meditating and transcending, I began to let go of a lot of stored stress, fear, and angst; I started waking up from this deep sleep.

I started unleashing some of the emotions of my past that had manifested in my marriage which was very helpful during a painful time. Sometimes I thought to myself: “I’m never going to get over this.”

But I did.

And having meditation, having that safe place . . . I can’t explain it. I know there’s plenty of science to explain it, but I had a really safe place for the first time ever in here – in me.

It has been so intense letting these thoughts and memories come up that I had spent my entire childhood shutting down. I had been coping rather than really living in the present, until I made the intention to face my past and face my self.

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Now it’s been over a year. And looking back, I can’t believe where I am now. The changes are monumental. There is still stress, and I’m still dealing with my past, but I have more strength and detachment when the stress surfaces so it doesn’t trigger me.

It has been a process.

At this point my meditation practice is non-negotiable. That’s my attitude because it has become so sacred to me. Those 20 minutes in the morning and evening are so sacred.

And I should also mention that while meditation is so constructive, there were other things that also contributed to my progress – attending to my health with good food, exercise, a twelve step program called ‘Adult Children of Alcoholics’, and even the book, The Artist’s Way.

So this has been my journey. I have had a lot of stress and memories come up, but now I have this tool to be strong from within where I can acknowledge my past, my truth, and heal. I have been able to let go of a lot of nasty, toxic, abusive energy that I had been unwittingly carrying up until now.

I’ve started to get back in my groove. I’m not married or living someone else’s idea of a “perfect marriage.” But by doing a lot of self work, doing a lot of digging, and being brave enough to look in that mirror, so much has opened up.

I can now take responsibility for my choices, face my pain, and everything else. And this has allowed the doors to keep opening for immense positivity in my life.


Oriana Leo is a Certified Personal Trainer, Healthy Lifestyle Coach, and On-Camera Host/Producer. She created her fitness technique and online lifestyle brand TILT by Oriana to empower others to be fit and flexible forever. She loves dancing, spending time at the beach, and encouraging others to be their best.

Find Oriana at Tiltbyoriana.com, @tiltbyoriana and @missorianaleo on Twitter and @orianaleo Instagram.