So I’ve written a bit about my own personal growth and process in previous articles. I’ve talked about wanting to do yoga more — get outside more and get more exercise — but alas, change really is hard. I have ridden my bike more, and my guess is that with the construction that’s going on in Springdale through the winter months, I’ll be doing more of that. That gets me outside, and I get some good sunshine and also some activity. And although I’d really like to be getting up a bit earlier every day, going for a short walk or doing a bit of yoga, I haven’t gone too far down that path quite yet. I did, however, get the opportunity recently to teach a couple of yoga classes, which was exciting.
Something I have been doing everyday, though, is meditating. Six months now of daily meditation, each and every morning. I’m quite proud of that streak, and for good reason … like I said, change is hard! And even though I haven’t yet been able to get myself motivated to be more active in all of the areas I’d like to, the meditation itself has been a really good start. At the very least, I seem to have more clarity on those things and my desire to do them. It seems that’s what I’m getting the most from my new habit of daily meditation: clarity and vision. And not just in these areas of self improvement but in all areas of my life. It seems to give me the ability to see myself in each situation, which has been fascinating.
What I had been told to expect with daily meditation has really happened. When events unfold in my life, I now seem to have a much better ability to stay clear headed about what is happening in the moment without getting emotional. That’s not to say I’m feeling less emotions — I actually feel like I’m feeling more emotions lately — but it’s somehow different. I don’t think I’ve lost my temper once, lashed out in anger, or called someone a bad name in that time. I’m sure that would seem like a really strong claim, but I believe it’s true.
While I certainly have felt anger, pain, sadness, loss, and grief, I’m somehow able to compartmentalize it, observing of myself that I am feeling these things, that it’s okay for me to feel them, and that I’m okay. And that I am enough.
My hope and plan is to keep building on this new habit. I feel like it has been helping me analyze my life, goals, dreams, and habits at a deeper level. In addition to feeling I’m better equipped to think and feel through these big life decisions, it’s most practical in the present moment.
I had an incident happen recently where I witnessed a couple getting a bit aggressive with each other. I think my past self would have reacted immediately, possibly throwing myself into a potentially dangerous situation. Instead, I could hear a little internal voice as I watched their interaction telling me to stay present. I stayed calm taking mental notes of what was happening. I kept my phone at the ready if it had escalated, and stayed out of it. Even though I never want to watch anyone fighting, there’s definitely a time and place to intercede. I credit my daily meditation for my being able to pause, assess, and react appropriately.
For anyone interested in starting a daily meditation, I’m happy to share with you my tips for success. I highly recommend doing it daily, and first thing in the morning has been what’s worked best for me. My rule is that I don’t get out of bed until I’ve done it (even though most of the guided meditations direct you to sit comfortably). So even if I’m running late or need to get somewhere, I tell myself I absolutely must meditate first as a form of required self care … I just might keep it a bit shorter. And to keep it interesting, I’ve downloaded three different meditation apps: Headspace, Calm, and Meditation Studio. Only the last one of those cost any money, and I think it was $3.95 with free downloads of all their guided meditations. The first two do charge to download additional meditations. The other thing I do to assure success is to not demand it be of any certain length … a number of the meditations are only five or six minutes long, and sometimes I do ones as long as 30 minutes. Having that flexibility in my program seems to work well for me.
I’m sure it’ll be interesting to see how I feel about all of this in another six months. Hopefully, by then I can share with you other successes relating to it.
Have an enjoyable month! Happy reading.