On daily meditation practice; my first 30 days in review

If you’d asked me about mediation 10 years ago, I would have looked at you like you were wearing a tin-foil hat. “Meditation is woo-woo stuff for weirdos who can’t deal with reality,” is something I could see myself as having said. Perhaps leftover Army Infantry officer bravado, perhaps young and inexperienced…or perhaps less introspective.

So, yesterday I finished my 30th straight day of a daily meditation practice using the Headspace app (this is not a paid endorsement; I’m just a fan with a positive experience!). Why would I try to commit 500 minutes of time to something I previously would have considered so far out and hokey? Approximately 70% of Tim Ferriss’s podcast interviewees of high performers across the full spectrum of life attest to having some sort of daily meditative practice — this includes names like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Foxx, Tony Robbins, Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Amanda Palmer, Malcolm Gladwell, Rick Rubin, Reid Hoffman, Chase Jarvis, and Sam Harris to name a few. After hearing that, why in the world would I not try a daily meditation practice to improve my personal mindset, well-being, and ultimately my performance?!?

How has my first 30-day streak with Headspace been? As a whole, this has been a fantastic daily exercise commitment that I know is improving my life outlook. It’s not some weird woo-woo spiritual event with chants or mantras…it’s simply become a daily time of focused relaxation and mind-clutter clearance. I don’t feel pressured to achieve some sort of other-spiritual plane or recite some affirmation but rather finding the space to focus in my own way. My Headspace time is blocked on my calendar (although I only meditated during that 7:30am scheduled window about 30% of the time). Each day I find that I look forward to carving out the 10–20 minutes (usually 15 minutes) to get alone, listen to the relaxing guidance from Andy Puddicombe, and end up feeling very refreshed afterwards.

Now each session isn’t 15 solid minutes of zoned-out mindfulness practice. On the contrary, quite a few days are hard and feel like I’m trying to hard to force something to happen. Some days even feel like the practice is a bit of a chore; sometime I almost doze off; sometimes I feel the urge to make 15 minutes hurry up into 5–10 minutes…and don’t get me started on the time I tried to focus late at night after a few of my favorite beers out with some friends. But, I have yet to have a single session that I didn’t find a window of time that I was completely in touch with my breathing, relaxed, and found the reset button getting pushed somewhere in my mind and in my body.

I will maintain this practice and check back in at the 90 day mark. By then, I believe I will have built upon the mindfulness that meditation is the foundation of and will have extended the benefits into other parts of my life.

Anyone else have any thoughts? Hit me up with any questions here or on Twitter. Go find your own space!

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