I resisted meditation for years. I had tried it a few times on my own or with different apps, books and tutorials but I guess I wasn’t ready for it. A few months ago, I used “Headspace” an app on my iPhone after reading about the benefits of mindfulness. The benefits seem too good to be true, and I really thought there was either a catch or it was bullshit. You can read a great article about the benefits of Meditation on here.
I guess my earlier efforts weren’t serious, because I did try. Last summer I meditated using the Headspace app for 10 days straight and felt good about it. But for some reason, I was also hating it. I found that I was unable to be quiet and focus at all. I struggled to keep doing it on a regular basis and always found excuses, or reasons to not meditate. I was too tired, or thought that exercise, or reading was a more important activity. I also felt weird about when and where to meditate. I wasn’t ready to tell anyone, and didn’t want my family to have a laugh at me as well. Needless to say, I dropped the idea.
About 3 months ago as of this writing I started a course called “The Artist’s Way” to help me regain a sense of my creativity. Part of that course was something called “Morning Pages” which are 3 pages of writing first thing in the morning. Morning Pages themselves are a of meditation. I’ve been doing them since December 30th, 2014 and haven’t yet missed a day. I set eggtimer for 20 minutes and write down literally whatever comes to my mind. I focus on the thoughts themselves and write. No filter. No editing. Just writing. Whatever comes out. And sometimes it’s odd. Sometimes it is inspiring. Sometimes it’s cringeworthy. Sometimes I just complain and other times I’m a poet.
Focusing on my thoughts… hey – isn’t that meditation?
So I was sort of meditating but wanted to try the real thing again. Increasingly, I was feeling like my internal voice was trying to tell me something important. I was hating my job and hating my life. And didn’t know why or what was bothering me. My coach told me one day that part of my problem is that my brain never shuts up. That I literally am never being quiet. I thought about it and after reading yet more articles about meditation, I decided it was time to give it a real go. But I had to make it into a game or I know I’d give up too easily.
The rules of the meditation game I set up for myself were:
- I must meditate every day for at least 5 minutes, 10 is better, 20-30 is best
- I am allowed to use any guided meditation I want, or none at all. But no music is allowed.
- I must follow the directions of the guided meditation at all times
- I must do this for 30 days in a row, if I miss a day, I must start over!
I’ll be posting the results of the challenge next week. If you’d like to follow the journey, or read my daily specific comments, join coach.me and add me as a friend “Searchingforsumthin”
So how did it go? I can’t share yet because I’m not quite done… But here’s a sneak peek:
- March 9th: “Fell asleep a few times.”
- March 2nd: “Short and sweet. Too much caffeine. Mind and heart racing.”
- February 19th: “Was doing well until the last 5 minutes of a 35 minute guided session when I either fell asleep or got caught in the future.”
As I’ve started to meditate regularly, I’ve also realized I have a ton of questions about the practice. Some of which maybe you’ve asked yourself as well…
- Is this meditating or am I just sitting here talking to myself?
- Do I have to sit crosslegged on the ground?
- Why does my back hurt so much when I meditate and why can’t I just sit in my comfy chair?
- Why is it so hard to stay focused?
- Do I need incense?
- Can I meditate while exercising?
- What counts and what doesn’t count as meditation?
The Meditation Diaries posts will feature my meditation journey. I will also be writing a Meditation FAQ for noobs like us that include answers all my own questions, and any you send in as well. I’m writing it now, send in your tips!
Do you meditate? How do you like it? How do you do it? Leave some thoughts in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org