Well here we are … 8 weeks later and I’m still meditating. Not every.single.day but most, and I’d personally consider this whole little experiment a success.
Truth be told, I still get stressed and from time-to-time even lose my cool and yell at the kids. However, the difference is now I notice when I’m in those heated moments and can pull myself out much quicker. People don’t immediately wake up with zero stress and feel super content after only experimenting with meditation twice (or even just 8 weeks). It truly takes practice but little by little, I have and will continue to see and feel the benefits.
3 things meditation has done for me:
- Enhances Presence: Meditation has made me much more present in the moment. I hear birds chirp, hear the wind rustle the leaves… just notice the little things that I used to miss when I was always in my head. Being mindful gives us more insight into our emotions, boost attention and concentration, and improves our relationships.
- Reduces Stress: When I’m more focused on the present (aka mindfulness), I’m not as stressed. Most stress is in our head – we are dwelling on something that occurred in the past, or worrying about the future. Even when the stress is real, we make it worse by stressing about the stress.
- Increases Patience: Well I’m not sure if you can actually increase patience, BUT you can decrease the sense of being impatient. This is something that I’m slowly but surely learning through my practice. The Headspace Blog says “Patience is an inherent part of a calm and clear mind. If we know this, if we understand it, then we do not try to “create” patience; instead we simply let go of the noise and our involvement in that activity and thereby experience patience.”
One takeaway for all my readers is meditation is something that can be done by anyone – that busy CEO, the mom with 3 kids, or the young single person managing school and a part-time job. It can be a practice as simple a pausing for 1 minute and focusing on your breath, or listening to a guided meditation for the first 10 minutes of your day.
You likely won’t really notice much at the beginning but don’t give up! When your mind says not today, maybe tomorrow (and it will!), I encourage you to sit down and do it anyway.
There are tasks I do daily—brush my teeth, wash my face, make food, clean the dishes … and now I meditate. This daily action, sometimes decadent and sometimes messy, always feeds me. I create discipline around it.
I will continue to do this because it is essential for thriving in these challenging times. Life can be tough. People struggle and hurt; hearts ache. Life is fast and hard and bumpy. I meditate so that I can ride these waves—not from fear and chaos, but from my soul, and a place of peace.
So today I will meditate. I will have a tea. I will talk kindly to myself and my family and I will check-in and ask myself what I really feel I need.
What will you do?