Jan 2- Meditations Abound

Meditation: Headspace, Basics #2 
Length: 11 minutes
Where: In Our Bedroom, Michigan
How It Felt: Peaceful & Lovely
Who Joined Me: Steve

Today I found myself thinking about what actually qualifies as a meditation. For the purposes of this blog, I’m defining it more specifically than I might in real life, to be sure I am acting with intention. But in real, day to day life? I don’t think I believe it’s that rigid.

When I shared my Day 1 post on Facebook, a dear friend commented with a photo of a punching bag and wrote that this was what worked for him, to fight stress, etc. It reminded me of something an acting teacher I studied with, Anthony Meindl (who started one of the best acting schools I’ve been to, and whose philosophy of dropping technique and just staying incredibly present changed not only my acting but my life), said in class once: “Any activity can become a meditation if you are fully present in that moment.” I think about that a lot, and couldn’t agree more.

I just began a new yoga challenge called “Breath” with Yoga With Adriene. (Her site, if you don’t know her and are interested in yoga: https://yogawithadriene.com/ – She is absolutely incredible.) We started the first official class with about 8 minutes of breathing, being aware of our bodies, and letting go of the outside world. I thought to myself, “This is a meditation.” I wondered if I should count it for today….but in the end I decided I wanted to have a specific, dedicated one, separate from the class.

Seriously, cannot recommend her enough. Shout out to my friend Laura for turning me on to this queen.

Besides, is there even such a thing as too much meditating?

Steve (the hubby) joined me and I’m so glad he did. He has such a calming presence, always. My soul just relaxes when he’s nearby. Today was a bit easier to focus than yesterday, I noted. Yesterday I was just so excited! (Plus that pesky failure to switch my phone to DND- oops!) Today, since I had already done a longer yoga class and freshly taken a long, hot shower, I was already pretty calm. I could keep my head in the game more easily, so to speak.

However, I am also feeling fairly sad today, because I’m leaving to fly back to LA in a few hours. Leaving Steve is never easy, although you’d think we would be used to it by now. For those who don’t know, we are in a long-distance marriage. Yes, it’s wild in some ways, but it’s just what works best for us, with three kids who live in Michigan (his from a previous marriage) and my life and career in LA (and deep aversion to winter.) It’s hard sometimes, but we make it work.

There are good things about it, too! We rarely take a moment together for granted, we talk on the phone for hours almost every day, which keeps you very close, and we tend to be focused on the quality of our time together, since the quantity is limited. It can be quite a blessing, in some ways… but I can’t wait until it’s time so get together in one official home someday and spend the rest of our lives that way, of course!

Anyway, this is all to say, I was feeling sad. But that special energy created when you meditate next to someone is pretty special, I’m realizing. I could actually feel a buzzing between us, if that makes sense, and it was pretty cool. Afterwards we both talked about wishing we had one more day, but at least I felt a little more peaceful about the whole thing.

Meditating ftw!

Later, I came downstairs to eat a snack and watch the squirrels in the backyard. This is, and has always been, one of my favorite things to do. I love watching wild animals just be animals. Earlier I had filled the yard with all kinds of peanuts and fruit and nut treats Steve had sweetly bought me, and the space was filled with little animals jumping around, burying nuts, playing, chasing each other, and using their cute little hands to pry open their treats of choice. I was in heaven.

Soon, my stepson came upstairs from the basement (aka the Video Game Zone) and asked what I was doing. “Are you meditating?”

I responded, “No, just watching the squirrels,” in a sort of dreamy voice. Then, “yeah, I guess I kinda am meditating!”

I was lost fully in the moment, my mind clear of sadness over leaving, of anxiety about a plane ride during a pandemic, of thought about what needed done next. I was just present, enjoying something that makes me wildly happy and peaceful.

Like Anthony says, anything can be a meditation if you can be fully present in that moment. I think that was today’s biggest lesson.

Looking forward to seeing what else becomes its own meditative experience this year! I’m definitely going to be paying more attention from now on, that’s for sure.