— -- Two-time Grammy winner LeAnn Rimes opened up about meditation, explaining that she began her "metta" practice in order to improve her relationship with herself and with her blended family from her marriage to husband Eddie Cibrian.
“I’m a stepmom with two boys that are 10 and 14 and the stepfamily environment can be rocky at times,” Rimes told ABC’s Dan Harris during an interview for his podcast “10% Happier.” “So to try to cultivate love in that situation, honestly, that’s what brought me to ‘metta,’ and when I discovered it I was like, 'OK, I’m starting to put all of these puzzle pieces together for myself.'”
“Metta” meditation, also known as loving-kindness meditation, is the Buddhist practice of directing good vibes toward others and toward oneself.
“The piece of metta where it was directing it towards yourself was probably one of the hardest pieces for me,” Rimes said. “I’m my hardest, worst critic."
The 34-year-old singer said she now practices meditation for 45 minutes to an hour on a regular basis and has a meditation room in her home.
“I used to not be able to sit still,” she said. “I had separation anxiety, big time. I used to not be able to sit by myself at all. I just didn't want to be alone, and now I crave that time every day. I have to have that peace for myself.”
Rimes, whose chart-topping hits include “Can’t Fight the Moonlight” and “How Do I Live,” has been making a name for herself and her powerful voice since she was a child. She had her first big hit at age 13 and the following year, she became the youngest Grammy recipient ever.
The artist's career has since expanded to writing books, including novels, and acting. She’s appeared in multiple TV series and movies, including the new film, "Logan Lucky," which is out in theaters now. In November, she will perform at the “Live in the Vineyard” music festival.
The singer has also been the subject of tabloid scrutiny, and in the past, she has owned up to mistakes she said she made in breaking up two marriages, including her own, to be with Cibrian.
“I've gone through my whole life in the public eye,” Rimes told Harris. “And so this [meditation] feels like a piece of me. You know, I get to have those moments for myself.”
Rimes said she started exploring meditation after she noticed she would feel “incredibly drained” after a show or overwhelmed when fans would share how her music had impacted their lives.
“I was experiencing so much energy coming back at me and I was coming off [stage] incredibly drained and I didn't understand what was going on,” Rimes said. “I’m just a really empathic, very sensitive person… [and] my brain would not shut down.”
So a few years ago, she said she started working with an “energy healer,” a type of holistic therapist whose goal is to help balance the patient’s energy flow to reduce stress and anxiety.
Rimes said the energy healer introduced her to visualization meditation and she later started practicing metta. She now documents her soul-searching journey on her new blog, “Soul of EverLe,” in which she talks openly about forgiveness, loving one’s self and meditation.
“[Meditation] has changed my relationships, the way I am. I'm less reactive,” Rimes said. “My whole outlook on life has changed.”