Now I am not the first person you will hear saying “Meditation is great!” but I have been under a lot of stress lately and I know it is only going to get worse.
I noticed a few months ago that I was getting angry and upset for no apparent reason. I was also having trouble breathing. I decided to start a new practice for myself. Meditating. Now I used to meditate somewhat regularly when I took yoga classes twice a week in college but that time is no more. I have a basic understanding of how to meditate but it was hard to get going.
I knew it was going to be a challenge so I needed to make sure I was going to enjoy it so when I saw a crafter selling meditation pillows I jumped on that opportunity. I would get myself a gift to start myself on the right track, because of course I would want to use my new gift right away.
While at the retreat I used it and enjoyed it greatly but as soon as I got home it got piled up with all of my camping gear and I did not find time to get back to my gift for a few weeks. Two and a half weeks ago I finally decided that I needed to pick up my place and make it livable again after all of my traveling. I found my meditation pillow and immediately knew I was ready to get going.
The first few times I tried to meditate were tough. I had told myself that I would start with 10 minutes a day of trying to clear my mind while sitting in a good posture. Sounded simple enough. Well I already had been having a hard time sleeping and boy was my mind a running every which way it possibly could. Clearing my mind was not working. I needed a target.
Being tech savvy I searched for an app. And yes, there’s an app for that! I found a few free meditation apps, some just music and some with chants, and others were guided meditations. Trying to keep it simple I started with the music ones.
Again, for a few days, I noticed a little more calm while trying to clear my head meditating with music playing for 10 minutes but I was not getting where I needed to.
Now, with always having various breathing problems, asthma and common colds being the key ones, breathing was something that I always paid attention to. I realized after about a week of trying to meditate that I was still not focusing on my breathing. I know a lot of breathing techniques so I started simple, breathe in 1, 2, 3, 4 breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4.
I was starting to finally clear my head of all of the thoughts, worries, and fears that would come up while I was trying to meditate. The first day that I noticed that I was getting it I wanted to keep going when my music stopped. I was feeling good. So I simply pressed play again. I felt great that night and got great sleep later too.
Well all good things must come to an end and I was too busy the next two days to meditate. When I got back to it three days later I felt glad I did come back. That had been hard and it would have been easy to not do it. But I needed it, I was starting to feel upset again. It was hard that day to meditate and I felt upset with myself for not being able to clear my mind at all so I stopped in the middle of my 10 minutes, got up, and exercised for 10 minutes instead.
Wow, I was amazed that that worked. I sat back down to meditate and my mind was clear, my breathing was already in sync with what I wanted and I was ready to relax. The next night I chose to exercise again before meditating, just for a little, and I was so exuberant about meditating that after I did my 10 minutes with my music app I chose to open up one of the guided meditations and do another 10.