I’ve sat for eight or nine classes over the last two weeks. What I’ve gained most so far is the importance of taking time daily, or as much as you can, for yourself. It’s so easy to tell yourself you don’t have it. To hit the snooze button. To check Instagram instead.
I started meditating with this goal:
For me, it’s really about getting more in touch with myself, & my emotions. It’s about mindfulness, & self-discovery. & also about building more awareness & empathy for the world & the people around me.
I’m getting there, slowly. Nothing is going to change in an instant. It’s a long journey.
In nearly each class, the teacher always tells us not to worry or get upset if the mind drifts, if thoughts come & go. It’s what the brain does. Instead, we should gently nudge our mind back to the task at hand — breathing, or contemplation. Meditation is training the brain.
One of the things I’m most proud of is that I’ve recently been able to apply lessons from meditation to the real world.
- On a long bike ride, I was able to get through a really rough stretch by focusing in on my breath, & in on each push of the pedal. By focusing on a series of moments instead of the larger task at hand, it became more manageable.
- The other night, I found myself going down a rabbit-hole of anxiety. I acknowledged what was happening, & honed in on a practice of showing gratitude for things, small & large, in my life. It put things into perspective.
The latter piece is really key. Anxiety is something I think most of us deal with at some level, & something I’ve written about a lot. Finding ways of managing that anxiety has been an incredible early benefit.