If you're an avid "meditator," this post is not for you. It's for people who hate the thought of meditating, and who probably aren't that good at it. Aka, moi.
After conversations with several friends who praised meditation, I decided that it would be my goal, in the month of July, to meditate every day. Here are a few things I knew before I started:
- I knew I wouldn't do it in the morning, so I decided on 1:15 p.m. (after my kid went down for nap).
- I knew I had to start small and work my way up, so I meditated for two minutes the first week, then five, then seven, then ten.
- I knew I was going to suck at it at first, so I told myself that it was okay when my mind wandered, as long as I brought it back to my breathing.
Here's what happened after meditating every day for a month:
1) I stopped dreading it. The first few days, I groaned when my alarm went off. But by the end of the first week, I'd proceed to my meditation spot without a look of complete disgust. (Success!)
2) I actually looked forward to it. Sometimes, I would do a chore or two before heading to my mediation spot, but I started to look forward to putting my feet up and just breathing. I didn't need the alarm anymore.
3) I found that it helped in challenging situations. From one more rep of bicep curls to sitting in traffic, I found that focusing on my breathing alleviated the focus on how
first world miserable I was.
4) I was able to be more present (with my kid). I'll say it: imaginative play is boring for me; my mind wanders. But as I did when meditating, I'd give myself a gentle reminder to return focus to my son and what he was doing in the moment.
5) I prioritized better. I'm constantly saying, "I need to acoomplish X, Y, Z." Through this experiment, I realized there are few things that I need to do. Dirty floors can wait. We can only enjoy today's family dinner today.
Whatever your goal may be, the above five bullet points apply. Stepping outside your comfort zone can be, well, uncomfortable, but rest assured that there are many benefits when you do so.
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