fitness · meditation

Update: Meditative but not always meditating

After today, I have three days left in this phase of my meditation experiment.

 

A white person's hand, palm upward, rests on their leg, just above the knee. They are wearing grey pants with black polka dots. The background is a red mat resting on green carpet.
I was told once that when you meditate, you put your palm upward to receive information from the universe and you put it down if you are being introspective. I’m open to ideas in this photo.

It hasn’t gone like I had hoped but I am still pretty pleased with the results.

 

Over the past couple of weeks, things have gotten more and more hectic for me.  my freelance workload temporarily increased, the weather got super warm ( at least warm for here),  and it seemed like demands on my time increased overall.  My schedule went awry and I lost any sense of *when* to do things (a big problem for someone with a slippery grip on time in the first place).

 

So many things were flying at me that I struggled to prioritize (again, not one of my strengths) and I didn’t even choose a time to do an update here.

 

This is exactly the sort of thing that my plans were supposed to help me prepare for but I wasn’t ready for the scope of my sudden-onset-busy-ness.

 

Things worked out in their own way, just not how I had planned.

 

The Downside

 

While I did pretty well on my first couple of weeks, during the second half of the month, I only *sat* to meditate a handful of times. My idea of clearing this space and increasing my meditation time slowly didn’t work at all like I envisioned.

 

Lots of times, I got interrupted by one urgent matter or another. Or the alarms I set had to be postponed because there was too much going on at the time.

 

And sometimes I couldn’t make myself stop what I was doing, either because my brain refused  or because I had a deadline.

 

The Upside

 

I can confirm that it takes 2-3 minutes for me to stop squirming and settle into my meditation – this is valuable information.

 

I can confirm that when I am having trouble ‘settling’ on my own, I can do a guided meditation and it will help.

 

And here’s the really big thing.

 

Even though I have not yet made a regular routine of twice daily meditation, my INTENTION to do so has made me more aware of my patterns – both of thinking and of doing.

 

In these hectic weeks, I became increasingly aware of how my time was being used. I began to have some space, some additional space, between me and the action I was taking. I started to breathe slowly when I felt stressed and reminded myself that the stress was temporary. 

A rectangular index card rests on a wooden surface. The card has a drawing of one side of an analog clock face, which is outlined in green, and the words 'Take your time' are written on the left side of the card.
In addition to meditation, this month, I have also been doing the Index Card a Day challenge. This is from one day when my meditation and my art practice was on the same page.

 

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So, even though I wasn’t sitting to meditate per se, I was in that kind of mental space.

 

It was almost as if the fact that I meant to meditate  was giving me the the breathing room that I hoped for.

 

I want to be able to have a bit more space in my head, I want to feel a little less reactive, and I want to be more thoughtful about things. I like it when I ask questions about why I’m doing things the way I’m doing.

 

So, I feel like I got one of the wellness benefits of meditating, or at least one that really helps me, without  going fully into a meditative practice.

 

In my earlier update, I talked about ‘doing the dishes meditation’ or ‘mowing the lawn meditation’ and I have found that I have had success with that again in these past two weeks. I am more conscious of what I’m doing when I’m doing it, I’m not self-conscious or anything,  but my reactions are not always automatic either.

 

Phase Two

 

The things I have gained feel great but  I still feel like I want to work toward steadier, specific meditation. I want to meditate a couple of times a day and work up to a longer times. I like how that type of meditation feels and I want that feeling more often.

 

So I’m going to keep working on it throughout August. I am going to work up to those two separate times in a day .

 

I’ll report back in a week or two and let you know how it’s going.

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