It’s a common thread through most spiritual practices, and now more modern interpretations of successful lifestyles - meditation. Sitting still, clearing the mind, breathing deeply, and imagining yourself in a calm place beside water. I have been meaning to do more of this for a while, I checked my app, and the last time I did was 7 months ago. So, I challenged myself to 7 days in a row. I really think having regular and uncompromising quiet contemplative time would be beneficial for my brain. And science says so, so here we go…
DAY 1. Wednesday
After a 20min workout I set 10mins on the timer on Insight Timer app, press go, and here’s what happened in my brain…
I was very aware of pain and discomfort in my body. This isn’t unusual, because… chronic pain.
I struggle to sit cross legged. My postures is a bit poor and I’m constantly adjusting. So that’s distracting.
Shifting in my position on the floor I tried to empty my mind a little. My mind is VERY BUSY. I’m thinking about the kids, a guy, the tyranny of institutions, and Year of the Pig pops in my mind. Ok, that might be something I should tuck away since I’m coming to China again. I wonder to myself if it has something to do with abundance..
I’ve had interesting spiritual experiences lately, and I think oh I should write about them…
I feel that and try to let it float down the river.
So many thoughts pop up. I shift and try again to empty my mind. I remember how calm and lovely it is to go that little bit deeper and feel more carefree for the day when it goes well.
I think my 10mins is up as I continue to be uncomfortable and shift around. I check the phone. 4.23sec to go!
Ok Jade. Settle into this, clear you mind. I notice that I’m not being very kind to myself.
I muddle through the remaining 4 minutes, and feel proud that I’ve just made a start.
Later I googled Year of the Pig, and it turns out that is THIS year, and I didn’t even know. There you go.
DAY 2 Thursday
Instead of an 8fit workout this morning, I decided I just wanted to do my own slow paced yoga routine. Concentrating on breath and slow movements, and stretching some very painful parts of my body.
Yesterday I was in so. much. pain. It flares up sometimes. I think the heat might contribute.
I felt really good going into the meditation because I’d stretched and breathed and ideas about the book I want to write just came to me.
It’s like as soon as I have space, important things are rising up to attention.
4 minutes into the session, my daughter woke and stumbled out to me for a cuddle. She didn’t say anything, I didn’t open my eyes, she just curled up in my lap and we silently connected
DAY 3. Friday
A very uneventful 10 minutes. I felt good about continuing into the third day, but just ... meh
I’m coming up to PMS, so feeling out of sorts. I just didn’t care, fidgeted, felt uncomfortable and in pain, tried to be chill, and waited for the timer to finish.
DAY 4. Saturday
Oh what an emotional day. I woke up fatigued and sad and without time to meditate before picking up the girls. Had an eventful day of social anxiety, and a realisation about patterns of thinking that had led to conflict. This all kind of got resolved, but I had so many tears.
Existential crisis is in full swing, happens every month. I feel disconnected, anxious, like a failure, like nothing I do matters, and nobody wants to play with me. My brain just won’t calm down. I’m constantly searching for meaning. Making guesses about what life is for. Observing the system and analysis of its flaws, then spending my energy fighting against it, trying to find a better way. It’s very exhausting.
I check my cycle tracker app, and sure enough, it’s 9 days to expected period. ALWAYS 9 days before I get my period, I get into this funk. Grrrr…
So I failed on this day. Let it go, and hopeful that future Jade will give it another go.
DAY 5. Sunday
Day 5 didn’t happen, I had the girls with me and there wasn’t much space to do it. I could have made space, for sure. So that was 2 days out of my 7 that I didn’t make time :( ah well. I believe mindfulness would say “that’s ok, try again tomorrow”
Weekends look troublesome for this holy habit.
DAY 6. Monday
So I did try again. Another 10mins on day 6. I had some beautiful moments of slipping deeper and then coming out again. I had a busy mind but I feel relaxed and good about it. I think taking just a few minutes to clear the mind allows important things pop to the front. Like this issue I’ve been dealing with in myself. Where I’ve created a framework for what makes me feel connected. And then I’ve made the absence of these things into rejection. Where that is likely not the case. This system is based on what other people do, in order for me to feel connected. While this is relevant to a certain extent, I need to fill the absence part with a new perception, one that isn’t rejection. But perhaps acceptance of myself. So when there isn’t much connection from others, I know that I am OK. Confused? Sorry. I needed to write it out.
I also had lingering feelings about a dream - I was in the paddock at my childhood home, there were more buildings around and bulldozers were coming to mow down all the trees I used to play in. There was one particular branch we used as a broomstick when I played witches with my sister, and I remember thinking that I’d like to keep that one as a reminder and a memento.
I felt really sad that my childhood forest was being bowled down by progress.
DAY 7. Tuesday
I did it, and it seems to be getting easier to just drop into. I feel like my life (and all of our lives!) is a tornado. There is such high swirling energy around me at the moment, and this meditation helps me stay in the eye of the storm. It centres and grounds me. The external storm is likely not to change - we can’t control the weather! But we can find ways to protect ourselves from it. I think this might be a way.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sitting here all zen AF yet. I’m fidgeting and my mind is going crazy, I’ve realized I compulsively suck in my gut, and when I try to just relax it, it goes back to being clenched...But if I keep trying to meditate as often as I can, I think it could really help.
I’m trying to find stillness in the storm.
Do you meditate? How long for?
Try just 5 or 10 minutes a day if you’ve never done it, and let me know how you go!