Beginning my practice of Meditation
“Ding” the Tibetan singing bowl rings through my phone to start the ten minute meditation. I bring my attention to my breath. “breathe in. I know that I am breathing in. Breathe out I know that I am breathing out.” I say to myself repeating the simple mindfulness chant that I read from Thich Nhat Hanh’s You are Here. As air leaves my body at the peak of the exhalation so do my thoughts desperately running away from the present moment. My brain runs to my peers who began their adult life with fantastic jobs and are well adjusted to society. I take another breath and I start to think about Piglet
My mind wanders far away from me to the Hundred Acre Wood. Piglet and Eyeore were always my favorites which may make some sense since I have an anxiety disorder with recurring depressive episodes. Piglet was always the sweetest, always quiet and helpful like I hoped to be in the eyes of my friends. He seriously just wants to help and be there for his friends! That is so wonderful. I love Piglet. I try to return to my breath grounding myself to the present moment. I open my eyes and glance down at the meditation timer on my phone there are approximately four minutes left. For nearly half of my meditation I have not focused on my feelings, my body, or myself at all but Piglet.
At the recommendation of my therapist, the media, and just about every smart successful person ever I have started meditating every single day. The goal is to take at least five to ten minutes a day to quiet my thoughts focusing on the present moment. This seems like it should be reasonable as well as an easy goal to achieve. However as mentioned in the paragraphs above it proves to be a challenge. There are even days in which I spend fifteen minutes trying to convince myself to be mindful for five! My goal is to be mindful for at least five minutes per day why is it so hard? “Piglet’s Big Movie” is about fifteen times that so I almost have no excuse. The truth is that any Meditation is hard. I personally use Insight Timer as an aid to my own practice of meditation. I have it set onto 5 minutes and after two weeks of practicing every day I give myself a pat on the back if I was truly mindful for one whole minute. Three minutes? Well then I deserve some chocolate cake. Being mindful is a skill. It takes practice. It is normal for your mind to wander, we are used to the noise.
For a few years I did not think that meditation was for me. I find myself squirming around unable to focus on my breath. I did not like many of the guided meditations I found. So I decided that meditation wasn’t for me since I clearly wasn’t good at it. I was wrong. There are other ways to be mindful and meditate than just sitting down listening to a recording about lavender. You can do a walking meditation, being mindful while sipping coffee, or even a shower. Meditation can be for everyone it just takes a bit to find the right fit. I am still not a fan of the popular “5 4 3 2 1” meditation exercise but I know many who love it. What does work for me is taking five to ten minutes in the morning to relax myself. I also love finding ways to be mindful while practicing music and coloring in an adult coloring book. Many guided meditations take you places like a lavender field I seem to prefer the Hundred Acre Wood. That’s perfectly ok!
In the two weeks that I have been meditating I have noticed a difference. My mornings do not feel as hectic even if I am carving out a bit more time to quiet my mind. I do not feel the need to check my phone as often, although I am still quite addicted. I also find myself being more productive. I put more thought and energy into projects. That’s only a difference of actually being mindful for two minutes, even though it is supposed to be ten. Of course meditation is not a cure all for everything but it does help!
Your brain is a wanderer and that is ok. Like anything it does take practice to meditate. If porgs start to fly in while you are meditating then that means you are human and a fan of star wars! Great but at least try to find at least one moment where you are grounded aware of where your body is in space and where your breath is. Perhaps thinking about Piglet wasn’t the best way to spend my meditation time but at least I remembered to ground myself afterwards.
Let me know what you think of meditation? Has your brain wandered towards strange places when you have meditated? If so where? Let me know and have a great day!