I have been telling myself for years (ok decades) that I want (and need) to meditate. I had a regular meditation practice from age 4-14 and then I let it go. I came from a family of TM (Transcendental Meditation) practitioners and it was normal to wake up to my mom and dad sitting in bed meditating every single morning. If we wanted something we would have to wait until their 20 minutes of bliss was over.
Since I grew up around meditation, I never thought it was weird or different, I just didn’t see the value in it, which is why as a teenager I stopped. I needed that time to “Aquanet” my hair into a wall of fuzz or to change outfits 6 times before heading to school. And on the weekends ‘The Smurfs’ and ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’ was on super early, and that definitely trumped any silly meditation practice.
Well, as always, hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I would have never gotten out of practice as now it is hard to get back into a practice.
So here I am almost 30 years later working to make it part of my morning routine.
Over the past 10 years I have tried several different types of meditation, usually coming back to TM, and usually only lasting a couple weeks. But every time I want to give up, I listen to another podcast or read another story with someone I admire who says one of the most important parts of their day, and a non-negotiable in their daily routine, is meditation. So I try again.
One of my fave podcast hosts, Rich Roll, who has the most amazing guests on his show, also talks about his struggle with meditation. Funny thing is that his wife is like super meditator and I imagine meditates several times for long periods throughout every single day.
About 18 months ago Rich had the creator of the HEADSPACE app, Andy Puddicombeon, on his show talking about guided mediation and how to make it a regular part of your day. It was a great podcast and I uploaded the app immediately!! But that was as far as I got.
Earlier this year I needed more space on my ancient phone to make a video, so I deleted all the apps I wasn’t using, including Headspace.
But guest after guest on his show, when asked about their morning routine, included meditation as an integral part of their success in life.
So 2 months ago, while talking with my friend Katie, who was also failing at starting a meditation practice, I uploaded the app (again) and committed to a start date. After all, the beginning guided meditations were only 10 minutes, and free! No brainer!
We started a Facebook group and invited some of our friends to join us. I excitedly started on Day 1 and loved it. Short and sweet, simple, I liked the guy’s voice, I’m in! I took me a month to do the first 10 days.
What? Total failure!! I suck at this!
But when Katie (who a month in was only on Day 3) told me how much she sucked at meditation and that she can’t even get through the 10 mins and felt like a total failure, it sounded so silly! Sucking at a meditation practice, failing at listening to a guided mediation, being a crappy meditator? Those were all things I told myself and believed them, but hearing Katie say them out loud made me realize how ridiculous I sounded.
So I told her (and myself) it’s called a practice for a reason, it takes time and patience to sit there and ignore all that is going on around us, it takes discipline to make it a habit, and it takes focus and commitment to let yourself, even for 10 minutes, let go of thoughts, lists, schedules, responsibilities, and chatter.
Plus the guy doing the guiding is super forgiving and lets us have a minute of freedom to think whatever we want at the end…like recess!!!
The next day I started back up with day 11, and another month later, I am on day 19. Baby steps!!!
But this time I am more gentle and understanding with myself and my crazy brain that won’t turn off.
This time I know I will get there…eventually!!!
My goal this month is 3 times a week. I am up to the 15 minute meditation so I take 45 minutes a week to train my brain to sit quietly in the moment and be still and open to the greatness I will become.
You don’t have to be great, you just have to start!!
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See you soon! Om.