Thursday, April 30, 2015

Who Me, Meditate?

Meditation really is changing my life, and nobody is as surprised as I am. I used to say that knitting was my meditation, and it still is, but actually taking the time to meditate is very different, and so much better. When I knit, my mind isn't necessarily quiet at all; it usually never shuts up. It may slow down, but it's always running in circles.  Learning to meditate, even for just ten minute sessions, is having an outward effect on my ability to concentrate and be present. It feels different.

I noticed this while watching Delaney on Saturday, when we were at the pool.  I realized later that I hadn't acted like myself, and it was an improvement. She didn't want to swim, she just wanted to "relax on the steps," and the normal me would have grown impatient with this, and would have started encouraging (haranguing) and pressuring her to come into the water on MY schedule.  Instead, I let her do it on hers, and she did come down one more step, come in a little deeper, and talk talk talk about the pool and swimming.  We did it on her terms, and I didn't feel at all impatient or bored with her slowness. I was just present with her. That really is a thing; it's not just words.

 I'm changing, and it's a good thing. I wish I had known this balance was possible when I was a young and impatient and frequently short-tempered mother.  I would be a better mom now than I was then, I think. I suspect most grandmothers feel this way, but in this case, I can say it's a recent development on my end.

I'm currently doing a Headspace meditation on creativity.   I can feel that my creative spark is a weak little dying firefly these days.  It's being smothered by traffic and annoying problems at work, and folders full of invoices to code, all overshadowed by uncertainty about the future of my job. I've been coming home numb, and reaching for a glass or three of wine to numb myself further. I know meditation helps in a way that knitting alone doesn't. It quiets the chatter in my mind, and the effect does continue throughout the day. I'm about halfway into the 30 day guided meditation series, and I am slowly, slowly coming out of my funk.  I only do a 10 minute session; I've done the longer guided meditations and found that I get just as much out of a short session as a longer one, which is good to know when crunched for time in the morning. It's really helping!

Headspace does a thing where if you complete 30 days in a row, you get a free month to give away. I've been using the app off and on for months, but somehow always manage to miss/skip a day. I'm at day 13 now, and determined to see it through for the 30.  My ten minutes of peace in the morning is making a difference in the rest of my day.

I'm also reading Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program. I've barely started it. I like it, but I don't know what the planned meditation program looks like yet.  I do know that it doesn't take sitting cross-legged on the floor for an hour to experience changes.  I'll have to do a book report later.

1 comment:

k said...

I've been meditating on and off for years, and it always has helped, but I get busy. I've been absolutely nuts the last couple of weeks, so I snatched up the beads and started in. I noticed how quickly I can get my neck and shoulders to unwind, and can eventually get 5 - 10 seconds of no crazy brain.
I'll try your Headspace app, I think. I want to thank you for these reminders. I put a copy of a daily mindfulness thing on my computer, but I haven't looked at it for a few months now. Maybe I'd better do that, too!