Angélique Kidjo: TM allows you to tackle problems in a much more constructive and less stressful manner

Angélique Kidjo, is a Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter and humanitarian from Benin, West Africa. She was selected as one of the Top 100 most influential women by Forbes Afrique.

My father always used to tell us, “If you feeling that the day’s too hectic around you, find a moment for yourself. Just regroup in yourself. It’s better than medicine.”

My vocal cords are in better shape. In the last three years, since I started TM, I haven’t been at my doctor’s. We live in a world where everybody believes that drugs are the solution to
everything. But I think that our body has the capacity of treating itself if you give it a chance. The only thing you’re doing, and the most important thing you’re doing, is allowing your body to rejuvenate, to regenerate.

Transcendental meditation allows you to readjust to yourself. The life that we often lead in Africa, especially the women of Africa, is one where we get up every morning and we are the last person to bed. We don’t stop working. What’s more, we must take care of the family; if there is a bereavement, we must be there. If there is a marriage, we must be there. If a child is born, we must be there. We spend our entire day not thinking of ourselves… not thinking to stop for twenty minutes, in order to revitalize ourselves and continue working.

So, that’s what TM allows you to do. It allows you to readjust your brain, to regenerate yourself, and allows you to tackle the problems that you face, in a much more constructive and less stressful manner. And that’s why I do it; because I live a life where I am constantly traveling, I’m all around the world. My own goal in practicing meditation is to be able to find this balance. In my schedule, which is very, very full and, it’s the same for the women in Africa–at the market, at home–the ability to find this balance that will allow them to be more effective, to fall ill less often and to be able to better take care of their children, of their husbands and of their society.

There is noise around us all the time, whether it’s at the market or in the street. When you come home, finding twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening to recenter yourself will allow you to be much more effective in everything that you do.

Ms. Kidjo performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City USA for the benefit of the David Lynch Foundation to raise funds for bringing Transcendental Meditation to veterans and women and children who are victims of abuse.